Financial bosses on watch after David Hisco's shock departure - expert

Financial bosses are on notice after the departure of ANZ CEO David Hisco, a banking expert says.

Hisco's departure was announced on Monday after concerns were raised over the way he recorded personal expenses as business expenses over nine years.

Massey University academic Dr Claire Matthews told Newshub other bosses in the sector will be under close watch.

"[If] they haven't had that scrutiny, or haven't had the outcome of that, then yes, they may be feeling a little nervous," she said.

"Often things look okay at the time, but with the benefit of hindsight you actually think 'no that probably wasn't quite right.'"  

Hisco's spending, which was in the magnitude of tens of thousands of dollars, included the use of wine storage and corporate cars. Dr Matthews said that could have been a big mistake.

"I think it's suggested it's been done in the same way and simply the greater scrutiny in the current environment has resulted in it being looked at more closely and therefore questions being asked."

But she was shocked he made an error of this magnitude.

"I wouldn't expect somebody in his position and particularly in an organisation like that to be making that sort of a mistake."

ANZ board chairman Sir John Key told media on Monday Hisco believed he was in the right.

"It looked like a business expense when it was a personal expense - but he was strongly of the view he was allowed to do that.  

"David is adamant he had authority for the expenditure that was taken. If he did have that authority, it was oral in nature - so it's difficult to establish one way or the other."

Sir John said it was clear Hisco had to go once the spending was discovered.

"His departure demonstrates that when people do not do the right thing, we hold them to account - no matter their status or position in the organisation."