6 questions lodged at 2023 Auswide Bank AGM

November 24, 2023

Below is the text of the 6 written questions lodged at the 2023 Auswide Bank hybrid AGM held on November 24. Also, see these 10 questions from the 2022 AGM, which were handled far better than this year.

Q1. Thank you for disclosing the proxy position to the ASX along with the formal addresses and well done for receiving more than 90% of the directed votes in favour on all 3 resolutions. We have around 8,000 shareholders but less than 500 will have voted by the time the poll is concluded. When disclosing the outcome of voting on all resolutions today, could you please advise the ASX how many shareholders voted for and against each item, similar to what happens with a scheme of arrangement? This will provide a better gauge of retail shareholder sentiment on all resolutions and was a disclosure initiative recently adopted by the likes ASX, Qantas, Metcash, Dexus, Altium, Webjet, Myer and Tabcorp over the past 3 years.

Answer: not asked.

Q2. ANZ and Suncorp announced their $5 billion deal 16 months ago and we still don't know if it will go ahead. Do we think it should be blocked and have we noticed any difference in the competitive position taken by Suncorp in the Queensland market since the deal with ANZ was announced?

Answer: barely mentioned by the chair who somehow suggested both held their AGMs this morning - watch this example of why chairs shouldn't read out the online questions.

Q3. The PEXA AGM was held earlier today. The Commonwealth Bank is its biggest shareholder with a 24% stake. Critics of the company complain that it is an effective monopoly on property conveyancing in Australia. Could the CEO comment on how we find PEXA to deal with and whether its creation by the states as an electronic conveyancing monopoly has been good for mid-sized home lenders like Auswide. Should there be regulatory intervention to reduce what they charge?

Answer: the chair dismissed it whilst dealing with 4 questions in less than 2 minutes - watch this example of why chairs shouldn't read out the online questions.

Q4. Where does our new CEO Doug Snell currently live and has he committed to live in Bundaberg? Also, when Martin Barrett officially retires, how long does his non-compete apply for?

Answer: At least the chair said Doug lives in Brisbane but she tried to claim the departing CEO's contract was confidential. Watch this example of why chairs shouldn't read out the online questions.

Q5. Could the two new directors up for election today, Cameron Mitchell and Lyn McGrath, along with the chair, comment on the recruitment process that led to their appointments to the board earlier this year. Was a head hunter involved and did the full board interview any other candidates? Did either Cameron or Lyn know any of our directors before engaging with the recruitment process?

Answer: the chair didn't allow the candidates to speak and admitted that both were known to the other directors but at least a headhunter was involved although it doesn't sound like the board interviewed any other candidates. Watch this example of why chairs shouldn't read out the online questions.

Q6. Auswide is proudly a bank from regional Queensland. Once the new CEO starts, what will the geographic spread be in terms of where our directors live? How many will be living in Bundaberg and do we have a Queensland-based majority. Lyn McGrath grew up in Sydney but did she live in Brisbane or Sydney during her 2 years and 7 months working for Bank of Queensland before she pursued a career as a professional director based in Sydney?

Answer: the chair failed to read this out when dealing with Lyn's election and then tried to later claim appointments were made based on merit, geography. But this is a bank based in parochial Bundaberg, where they all drink Bundy Rum. Watch this example of why chairs shouldn't read out the online questions.