Shipley v Brash: Who earns more Chinese bank cash?

Dame Jenny Shipley's chairmanship at China Construction Bank is one of several directorships she holds.
Fairfax Media

Dame Jenny Shipley's chairmanship at China Construction Bank is one of several directorships she holds.

Former prime minister Dame Jenny Shipley is worth considerably more than fellow former National Party leader Don Brash, at least according to the Chinese banks they head up.

The first disclosure statement for China Construction Bank (CCB) NZ, of which Shipley is chairman, reveals she was paid $50,769 between June and December last year, which works out to about $90,000 on a yearly basis.

In an interview with Stuff.co.nz last week, Shipley declined to reveal her director's fees, though hinted that she had taken a substantial pay-cut.

Even so, Shipley's earnings dwarf that of her fellow former politician, with Brash earning just $65,000 as chairman of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)'s local arm.

The Bank of China, which is the third banking behemoth to enter New Zealand in the last two years, has yet to disclose its financial records.

That means the salaries of its directors Ruth Richardson and Chris Tremain, also both former National MPs, are as yet unknown.

CCB's disclosure statement reveals the bank is still in its start-up phase, with only $3.8m worth of loans on its books so far.

Its global parent has contributed shareholder equity worth $58m, and kicked in $1.5m to help cover start-up costs.

All three of the major Chinese banks setting up shop in New Zealand are predominantly focused on trade finance and commercial lending, rather than retail banking.

The bulk of ICBC's fledgling loan book is in corporate and syndicated loans, with a relatively tiny $11.2m worth of mortgages.

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China is a massive market for New Zealand, and last year the trading relationship between the two countries passed the $20 billion mark for the first time. 

While some longstanding banks such as ANZ and HSBC already have a strong focus on the Asian migrant market, ANZ chief executive David Hisco said the effects of increased competition had yet to be felt.

"They're still sort of sorting themselves out, getting set up."

ICBC NZ, which is a subsidiary of the largest bank in the world, has already managed to run afoul of the Reserve Bank, technically breaching its conditions of registration by failing to ask the regulator's approval for a new hire.

 - Stuff

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