ANZ spindoctor Paul Edwards has been in touch after Tuesday’s item and makes the following points about why the bank has only held two AGMs in Melbourne over the past seven years:

ANZ rotates its AGMs around all mainland capital cities. Interestingly the largest turn ups we have received are in Perth and Adelaide in recent years with 400-500 attendees.

The timing of the bank AGMs is a function of the 30 September balance dates for all banks (except CBA).

Yes, but this doesn’t deal with the timing question over why the ANZ always has its AGM on a Friday – the busiest day of the week and the day that is best suited for dumping bad news. What odds they’ll get a small turn-up in Sydney today – even though outgoing Qantas chair Margaret Jackson will be in attendance as she works away at succeeding Charles Goode as chairman.

ANZ is not alone in this Friday tactic. This is what the Commonwealth Bank has done over the past seven years:

  • CBA 2000 AGM: Thursday, October 26, Melbourne
  • CBA 2001 AGM: Thursday, October 25, Sydney
  • CBA 2002 AGM: Friday, November 1, Sydney
  • CBA 2003 AGM: Friday, October 31, Sydney
  • CBA 2004 AGM: Friday, November 5, Sydney
  • CBA 2005 AGM: Friday, October 28, Sydney
  • CBA 2006 AGM: Friday, November 3, Sydney

St George was following a similar pattern but should be congratulated for breaking the Friday pattern this year, although the last Wednesday before Christmas is still frantically busy for many shareholders:

  • St George 2003 AGM: Friday, December 19, Sydney
  • St George 2004 AGM: Friday, December 17, Sydney
  • St George 2005 AGM: Friday, December 16, Sydney
  • St George 2006 AGM: Wednesday, December 20, Darling Harbour, Sydney

National Australia Bank and Westpac have only done one Friday AGM each over the past seven years and NAB at least has the decency of holding the meeting in late January when far more people are able to attend. However, a 9am start in Adelaide is hardly shareholder friendly.