Thank you Charles.
It really is an honour to be the Chief Executive of ANZ.
It is a great bank and a great company. I am also very pleased to be in Perth. For a banker who has been living next to high growth economies in my old base in Hong Kong, being in Australia’s fastest growing state economy certainly makes me feel at home.
Speaking as somebody who watched Australia from the outside, I have to say that I have followed ANZ’s progress with great interest over the last ten years. It will come as no surprise that, along with many others, I have been very impressed with what John McFarlane achieved in changing the culture and business of ANZ.
I also want to say that one of the key reasons I decided to make the move to ANZ was the opportunity to work with Charles Goode.
Charles did a great job of talking me into coming here, but more importantly, I wanted to work with a Chairman of his calibre. Since I made the decision, he and the Board have been incredibly supportive, of both me, and my family.
As someone who has only been in the job at ANZ for three months, I thought it would be most useful if today, I could give you my early impressions of ANZ, and set out my aspirations for the group.
Before I do let me give you my view on the changes in the global economy.
The turbulence caused by the deterioration in the US sub prime mortgage market continues to test international financial markets.
Most large financial institutions have been affected and the general tightening of credit is having an impact on global growth.
In my view the effect of the sub-prime crisis will be primarily focused in the US and Europe although no where will be immune. Despite the significance of the US to the world economy, I think 2008 will see positive growth largely because of the existing momentum in Asia.
This year China and India will be the two largest contributors to global growth.
Let me move from the global economic environment to what I see as the major trends that are changing the world for banks and other financial institutions.