6 questions asked at 2023 CBA AGM

November 24, 2023

Here is the text of 6 written questions lodged at the 2023 CBA AGM held on October 11, along with a summary of some of the answers and some video links. There were no material protest votes. See full video archive of webcast.

1. Could the CEO summarise his past LTI grants as to whether they have vested or lapsed. Also, has he ever sold any ordinary shares in the company or bought any on market without relying on an incentive scheme to build his equity position in the company? Please don't say look it up in the annual report and through ASX announcements. It's complicated and the CEO could factually summarise the situation in 60 seconds.

Answer: disappointingly, chair Paul O'Malley took this one and didn't answer the question. Watch exchange via Twitter.

2. I was hoping to vote for Rob Whitfield online now after listening to his re-election speak, but you've banned online voting this year, similar to what you did last year when live online questions were also banned. Why not just fully embrace the hybrid AGM model rather than being like recalcitrant billionaires Gerry Harvey and Kerry Stokes who ban full online participation at their AGMs. No other company adopts our 2023 AGM model offering live online questions but no live online voting. Why did we do this?

Answer: Chair Paul O'Malley failed to defend this just saying they made incremental progress adding online questions this year.

3. In 2019, Treasury Wine Estates voluntarily moved to annual elections for directors in line with best practice in both the US and the UK. Dual listed companies like News Corp & Rio Tinto do this due to the laws in the US & UK and BHP has continued doing it even after its UK DLC ended in 2021. Can the chair & the candidates for election today comment on whether our company will follow this TWE lead & move to annual elections of directors at the 2024 AGM? CSL's chair said it seriously looked at this issue at its AGM today.

Answer: Chair Paul O'Malley made no commitment to take this on. At first he said they'd look at it, then he said they'd stick with three year terms - watch the exchange via Twitter.

4. At this year's Macquarie Group AGM, there were 44 power point slides lodged with the ASX to accompany the formal addresses. We only managed a 4 pages of text from the chair & 3 from the CEO with no slides, graphs or images. In 2024, why not at least include a few point point slides and why not disclose the proxy position to the ASX with the formal addresses to offer more timely disclosure to the market? The likes of Origin, Myer, Brambles, Carsales, JB Hi Fi, NAB, Xero & Seek do this. What does Simon Moutter think on this?

Answer: Chair Paul O'Malley made no commitment to take on the early proxy disclosure element but later came back and said they release so many slides with the full year result, the AGM is about shareholder engagement. Fair enough. Watch video via Twitter.

5. Given the interesting discussions today, including this LTI grant for our excellent CEO Matt Comyn, could the chair undertake to make an archived copy of the webcast plus a full transcript of proceedings available on the company's website? The likes of Nine, AGL, ASX, ANZ, Domino's & Lend Lease all started producing AGM transcripts in 2021. Will you follow suit today? This is something IAG has been doing since 2003. Politicians aren't told to watch the video, they get hansard. How about the same for retail shareholders?

Answer: Chair Paul O'Malley made no commitment to take this on, falling back to the usual "watch the video" response.

6. Retail shareholder voting turnout at AGMs has fallen to less than 5%. What is the point of voting? Therefore, when disclosing the outcome of voting on all resolutions today, including this rem report, could you please advise the ASX how many shareholders voted for & against each item, similar to what happens with a scheme of arrangement? This will provide a better gauge of retail shareholder sentiment & was a disclosure initiative adopted by the likes of Metcash, Altium, Dexus, Webjet, Tabcorp & Myer over the past two years.

Answer: Chair Paul O'Malley made no commitment to take this on.