Infrastructure modernisation drives efficiencies at ANZ

The bank retired more than 5000 business applications in a six-month period

ANZ CEO Mike Smith.

ANZ CEO Mike Smith.

Despite a 7 per cent increase in operations volumes for ANZ in the first half there was a decline in group-wide operations costs of 3 per cent, the bank's CEO said today.

"This is a great story based on our in-house regional delivery network and the modernisation of our IT infrastructure," ANZ chief executive Mike Smith told an investor briefing this morning.

"This is allowing us to transform key business activities and produce productivity improvements while driving a more consistent, higher quality experience for our customers."

"[O]ur enterprise approach to building the business on common platforms and processes is continuing to reduce unit costs and to reduce complexity," the CEO said.

ANZ retired more than 5000 business applications during the half.

The bank announced statutory after tax of $3.5 billion for the half, up 3 per cent compared to 1H14, and a cash profit of $3.7 billion, up 5 per cent.

The bank continued to invest in digital in the half, Smith said.

"In Australia digital now accounts for almost three quarters of all transactions and digital sales are up 52 per cent.," the CEO said.

"In New Zealand digital accounts for two thirds of transactions and sales are up 38 per cent. And there is still significant benefit to come from the adoption of these platforms — benefits to customers and of course efficiencies for the bank."

"Clearly digital is a big focus for the industry in terms of obviously the threats but also the opportunities and I think it's important to remember digital isn't all about tomorrow — it's also about today," ANZ chief financial officer, Shayne Elliott, told the briefing. "And the reality is, we are delivering today."

Over 14 per cent of sales in Australia now are coming through digital channels, the CFO said.

"One of the points I want to highlight here is when we think of digital, it's very easy to always think about consumer and apps and phones and stuff and that's true," Elliott said.

"But actually it's also changing the way we operate in our institutional and corporate base as well. So something like Transactive, our mainstay cash management platform, has also a mobile application. And you know, interestingly, it may not be intuitive, but customers even in institutional are choosing to interact with Transactive through a mobile device."

Read more: ANZ creates tech advisory panel

ANZ is expecting about $55 billion worth of transactions through Transactive Mobile this year, the CFO said. That still represents a fraction of transactions on the platform but it's a "fast growing" segment, Elliott said.

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