“The institutions and New Zealand are in very good shape. And together they represent well over half of our capital as a bank,” Elliott explained. “Australia [had] a bit more challenging environment for us at ANZ and for the industry. [It was a] very competitive period of time, but we have nevertheless strengthened our strategic position.
“We launched ANZ Plus, our new long-term growth platform in our retail strategy, and announced the separation of our commercial banking into a new division to unlock its own growth potential in the future.”
Elliott says market activity has faced headwinds this semester, but he is confident it will return to normal going forward.
On the growing momentum of the new ANZ Plus proposition, Elliott says that although it is only the early days, the more contemporary service model allows the bank to roll out features and functions at pace and at low cost, safely.
“It really positions us [well] for the future, all built around this idea of financial well-being… We started simple,” he said. “You just get something out of the box that works, it’s really basic, and then you iterate and build from there based on customer feedback.”
On capital management, Elliott says the bank has been careful to be careful stewards of shareholders’ money, having undertaken strategic buyouts over the past five or six years.
“We have dominated the enterprise capital management market and have just completed our A$1.5 billion buyout. This brings the total redemption to A$5.5 billion over the past five years,” he said.
However, with the changing environment, Elliott said the bank will continue to actively manage capital while maintaining flexibility for future opportunities, although there is nothing immediate to announce.
On plans to create a non-operating holding company structure to enable the growth of “non-banking” services provided by ANZ, Elliott said the initial group would be “relatively small and modest”.
“This is the next step in the evolution of building an agile and contemporary organization better able to serve its customers.”
You can listen to the entire conversation by watching the video above.
Andrew Cornell is editor of bluenotes