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Transcript: Maile Carnegie with Brooke Corte – 2GB

Brooke Corte: I've missed one big thing in talking about why house prices are so unbelievably high and affordability is so terrible. Greedy banks. Just two words greedy banks. From this texter tonight and it's true, I mean, after the 22 per cent gain in property prices last year between FOMO and cheap debt, you'd think it would never have been a better time to be a bank, right? Well, funny you should say that, because it's not quite true if you are ANZ. If you go back to the national mortgage book, last year, it grew by $135 billion. Split that up, CBA picked up $40 billion of that, NAB, Westpac and Macquarie, they each added $20 billion to their mortgage book. ANZ's share shrank by $2 billion. Back last year, ANZ was taking 51 days to process a loan and if you flipped over to Macquarie Bank and looked at that as a comparison, it was seven days. Some of the fintechs were rubberstamping loans in a mere 10 minutes at the same time, and clearly this is completely unacceptable in big bank land and to be fair, ANZ has been quite open about its values last year, admitting it got it wrong on mortgages. Well, today actually interestingly, we've learnt more about how the bank thinks it's going to start getting things right. ANZ Plus was the big announcement from ANZ today, and truth be told, I don't really know what it means. It's kind of not a singular thing, it's a digital overhaul. Maile Carnegie is head of ANZ's retail bank. She's also led the bank's digital renaissance. I'm pleased to say she's with us on Money News this evening. Maile Carnegie, welcome to the show. 

Maile Carnegie: Hi there, thanks for having me.


Brooke Corte: Well, you're the architect of ANZ Plus, so who better to explain it to us? In broad terms, what is it all about?


Maile Carnegie: Well, Brooke, you've got to think about it in two ways. There are two parts to ANZ Plus. There is the interesting bit for probably most of your audience, and then there's the bit that the tech people will be excited about. So the bit that the tech people will be excited about is that we've fundamentally rebuilt what we're calling the underlying platform of the Australia retail business. So think about that as the capability of our team, the systems, the processes, the product, all the way through including the technology. And that platform has really provided a step change in both the capability and the capacity to help to grow this business. Now, the first way we're bringing that to life is through a savings and transaction account, and that's really what we launched today is our new savings and transaction account.


Brooke Corte: So, I'm struggling to see what an ANZ Plus customer could do that your existing ANZ customer couldn't already.


Maile Carnegie: Well the savings and transaction account is the first product that has come off this new platform, our plan over time is to launch into all of our other products as well. So, to launch into an ANZ Plus home loan and put the credit card on it. So over time, we're going to basically be rebuilding the entire ANZ retail franchise on this new platform. But to answer your question specifically, what can you do differently on the new savings and transaction accounts? Well, there's a lot of new features, but the overarching difference is that it's really being created to help our customers fundamentally improve their financial wellbeing. And what it really allows you to do is provide a whole bunch of insights into some of the basic fundamental questions that you need to know in order to improve your spending or saving habits. So, for example, it really helps you in a very intuitive way to be able to understand whether or not you are spending more than you earn, and I know that sounds like that should be an easy thing. But for many Australians, that's really hard. It's almost like the bank makes it hard for you to see your money-in money-out to really see whether or not you are, over any particular period of time, actually spending more than you earn.


Brooke Corte: If we talk about what ANZ investors want from ANZ, I think ultimately we can just say one thing at the moment it's for the bank to get faster at mortgages. Because ANZ was caught napping last year, ANZ missed the housing boom. You were the only big bank to lose market share in that main game of residential mortgages and you've been open about those failures, basically too much paperwork being shuffled around. Is this the answer? Is this how ANZ is digging itself out of that hole?


Maile Carnegie: Brooke, it's a really fair question, and the answer is yes and no. But to really get to the heart of where you're going, I know in my role, that is my number one priority, to get our mortgage business back up on its feet and ANZ winning again in this really, really critical part of the market. And so, I've only been in this chair for three weeks, but that is where disproportionately I have been spending my time. The really good news is that what was fundamentally ailing us, which was our ability to get a time to decision fast enough for our critical partners, particularly our broker partners, to really get that decision and get an approved loan in to their customer’s hands, it was just simply too slow and we were out of market. The good news is that the team has put a ton of hard work in and we are now at a place where we're pretty much getting back into market. So, what I mean by that is, for our simple home loans, we are about three days. Now when I say ‘about’, obviously there's going to be people where it's that little bit longer, and actually there's quite a few people for whom it's shorter, but we are about three days. We've still got some work to do on our complex loans, they're still at about nine days. I completely agree with the underlying premise of your question, which is we have to get this mortgage business back on its feet and I feel really good about the progress the team has made. But at the end of the day, if you just think about how rapidly this industry is evolving, the rate of innovation we're seeing, the solutions that we're building now are unlikely to be good enough in five years’ time, we need to get a radically better solution into the market, so using your term, we're not caught napping again, and that's what ANZ Plus is going to do. So, we are looking to build an end-to-end digital backbone for our mortgage, we're really looking at that and getting a time to decision which is more in the minutes versus the days.


Brooke Corte: So, when do you think you will be able to process a loan in 10 minutes like some of your very nimble, smaller competitors can already do? When will ANZ get there?


Maile Carnegie: We already have pockets in our existing franchise, in our proprietary channels, where we can do it in minutes, where a customer can walk out with an approved loan. But we need to do that for all our different channels, including people like our brokers and our mobile lenders. So, we can do it, but we need to be able to do it in a way where actually it's all a straight-through process. So, that's really what we're working on.


Brooke Corte: And if we talk about ANZ Plus being all about digital first. Maile, where does crypto fit into that picture? I mean, this is obviously a progression, we've had CBA already offering customers access to crypto through its everyday banking app. The toe was dipped in; it was pulled out. What about ANZ? Will you be offering crypto as part of this transformation?


Maile Carnegie: It's not on the backlog would be the tech answer for that. But if I'm going to give a non tech answer, Shayne and I are both really passionate about this idea of improving our customers’ financial wellbeing, so we are prioritising building functions and features we think will genuinely do that. And when I look at the relatively low rates of financial literacy in general, not necessarily with your listeners, but in general all across the Australian population, a lot of Australians don't even understand the basics of good money and saving habits, things like you should actually spend less than you earn, and you should put money away for a rainy day. Some of those really basic principles, that maybe our grandparents knew, we've kind of lost a lot of that education. And so, when I think about what I'm going to prioritise for our customers, it's going to be stuff that I feel really good about in order to improve their financial wellbeing. So, I'm kind of going to be slow to rush towards crypto until I feel really confident that we've got the education and the solution where it makes sense for them, versus it just being a speculative option that we offer.


Brooke Corte: Well, that sounds like an emphatic no on crypto, and that is very transparent and honest of you. Maile Carnegie, head of ANZ's Retail Bank Thank you very much for your time today.


Maile Carnegie: It was lovely talking to you, Brooke. Thank you for having me. 

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