ANZ celebrated its “best-ever year” at its annual general meeting, with a full-year cash profit of $7.4 billion, up 14% from the previous year.
The bank’s success can be attributed to its divisions in Australia retail, commercial, institutional, and New Zealand. ANZ remains competitive in the home loan and commercial lending market, prioritizing reliability over offering the sharpest rates.
ANZ reinforced its ties to Queensland after the Suncorp Bank acquisition tribunal hearing, expressing its love for the state and acknowledging the recent flooding in Far-North Queensland.
ANZ plans to complete the acquisition of Suncorp Bank in 2024 and build a major tech hub in Brisbane, creating 700 jobs.
ANZ’s Strategic Growth and Commitment to Queensland Post-Acquisition
ANZ celebrated a landmark year at its annual general meeting, emphasizing its strong connection to Queensland in the wake of the Suncorp Bank acquisition tribunal hearing. ANZ Chairperson Paul O’Sullivan and CEO Shayne Elliott, in their addresses to the board in Brisbane, highlighted the bank’s achievements and future plans, particularly its commitment to the Sunshine State.
Record Financial Performance
ANZ reported a full-year cash profit of $7.4 billion, a 14% increase from the previous year, attributed to the success across all its divisions – Australia retail, commercial, institutional, and New Zealand. Elliott described 2023 as ANZ’s “best ever” year, with each division demonstrating strong purpose, clear strategy, and sustainable returns above the cost of capital.
Navigating Economic Challenges
Despite high competition and concerns about a slowing economy, ANZ started the new financial year on a positive note. The bank’s first-quarter revenue aligned with the second half of the 2023 financial year. Elliott highlighted ANZ’s effective management of expenses amidst inflationary pressures and ongoing productivity initiatives.
Home Loan and Commercial Lending Strategy
Elliott discussed ANZ’s approach in the home loan and commercial lending market, focusing on remaining competitive and reliable rather than leading on pricing. Investments in home loan processing capabilities and broker experiences have yielded benefits, with ANZ aiming to grow its Australian home loan book profitably.
ANZ’s Relationship with Queensland
The speeches addressed various topics, including cybersecurity, ESG, and climate change, but the central theme was ANZ’s affinity for Queensland. The contentious acquisition of Suncorp Bank was discussed, with ANZ arguing that the acquisition would create a more competitive bank to the benefit of Australian consumers, especially in Queensland. Both Elliott and O’Sullivan also acknowledged ANZ’s contributions to the state’s recovery efforts from the recent flooding.
Looking Forward to the ANZ-Suncorp Acquisition Decision
Elliott and O’Sullivan outlined ANZ’s plans to support more customers and contribute to Queensland’s economic growth, pending the Australian Competition Tribunal’s decision in February. They expressed confidence in the execution of ANZ’s Australian growth strategy, regardless of the acquisition outcome.
ANZ’s Priorities for 2024
Elliott concluded by outlining ANZ’s top priorities for 2024, including running the group prudently, improving productivity, growing customer engagement with ANZ Plus, investing in Commercial, Institutional, and New Zealand, and completing the Suncorp Bank acquisition.
ANZ’s year has been marked by significant achievements and strategic growth, with a particular focus on strengthening its presence in Queensland. The bank’s leadership expressed confidence in navigating the challenges ahead and continuing to deliver value to its customers and shareholders. As ANZ looks forward to 2024, its commitment to prudent management, customer engagement, and strategic investments will be key drivers of its continued success.