My name is Charles Goode and as your Chairman I welcome you to the 2008 Annual General Meeting of ANZ.
I would also like to welcome those of you joining us through our webcast on anz.com.
Let me say how very pleased we are to be in Brisbane again.
We have a significant investment and a long history in Queensland. We have 2,700 staff, 161 branches and over 500 ATMs serving 900,000 customers. We have had a continuous presence in Queensland since 1853.
As well as our substantial business presence, we have more than 56,000 shareholders in Queensland.
All of us at ANZ are very conscious of the many people in south-east Queensland, who are recovering from the series of particularly damaging storms, which began in late October and continued into November.
Many of our Queensland customers were directly affected by the storms and flooding, and we were pleased to provide an assistance package for those who were impacted; and our branches have been collecting donations to the Queensland Government’s relief appeal, to which we also contributed.
To make sure as many shareholders as possible, have an opportunity to attend a meeting, we have a policy of rotating our annual general meetings around Australia’s major capital cities.
As a quorum is present, I now formally declare this Annual General Meeting of shareholders open.
I propose to take the Notice of Meeting as read. If you need a copy of the Notice, please ask one of the attendants. Minutes of the last meeting, and copies of the annual report, are available in the registration area.
At our meeting today, the Chief Executive Michael Smith and I, will report on ANZ’s performance, and the priorities for the period ahead. Later, there will be the opportunity for questions, or comments, on any matter related to our business.
We will then move to the six items of business before us.
At the end of the Meeting, the Directors and many of our senior management, would like to meet you and talk about ANZ, over a cup of tea or coffee in the foyer.
We have recently appointed two new Board members, Peter Hay and Alison Watkins, and, during 2009, two further appointments will be made, namely, Lee Hsien Yang and Sir Rod Eddington.
These four new directors, will add further expertise and experience, and facilitate a transition, with the planned retirements of some of our longer serving Directors.
Two Directors, Margaret Jackson and Jerry Ellis, are approaching retirement under the Board’s governance policy.