ANZ Chief Executive Officer Mike Smith said: “This is a good, well balanced financial performance with solid progress made in reshaping our business in response to the more challenging macro-environment.
“Our domestic markets in Australia and New Zealand have again delivered strong growth and returns. We are investing heavily in areas of future profitability, particularly for our Australian business. This includes a focus on key segments such as Home Lending and Commercial Banking in geographies and segments where we are underweight such as New South Wales. New Zealand has again performed well following the business simplification program and brand merger, entrenching our position as New Zealand’s leading bank. Global Wealth achieved positive results and is delivering industry-leading innovation for our customers.
“International and Institutional Banking (IIB) performed well given the twin effects of expansionary monetary policy on Institutional lending margins and lower commodity prices on trade volumes. These more difficult macro conditions will be part of our operating environment for the foreseeable future. We are responding by increasing the pace of execution of our Super Regional strategy within IIB so we continue to improve returns from the franchise while benefiting from growth opportunities in Asia.
“Given our business mix, which includes a substantial Commercial and Institutional business portfolio, and the more constrained environment, ongoing investment is being made to position ANZ for the future. We are managing expenses carefully, however we have been prepared to accept a slightly higher run rate on costs in the short term where investment can deliver sustainable growth and returns. We have directed those investments toward customer technology platforms, growing our geographic foot print in both Australia and Asia, and more customerfacing bankers. These costs are being partly offset by further gains from enterprise simplification and efficiency in global operations and technology.
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- Video interviews with ANZ’s Chief Executive Officer Mike Smith and Chief Financial Officer Shayne Elliott can be found at www.bluenotes.anz.com