ANZ CEO - Asia The Key Driver

According to Mike Smith Asia’s importance to Australia - and to ANZ - has not been oversold, but more realistically undersold. Speaking in Sydney recently the CEO of ANZ Bank Mike Smith emphasized that Asia remains a key cog of growth for his bank.

Smith was firm on the benefits of closer ties to Asia noting that engineering, financial services and technology companies all grow as they in turn support resources and service exporters. Australian based multinational companies create jobs in Australia as a result of their offshore investments. As an example he noted that ANZ’s own domestic operations benefit from business originated in the region.

Acknowledging the slow down in the commodities trade Smith said he believed as Australia shifted from a natural resources led relationship with Asia to a deeper, more multi-faceted engagement with the region, that Asia has never been more important to Australia’s future and therefore also to ANZ’s future.

He is also not letting up on growing into the Asian hinterland saying he wanted to take the presence of ANZ to the next level in Asia through continued growth but with a particular focus on improving returns.

Smith also went on to say he wanted to accelerate ANZ’s digital transformation to drive growth in Australia and New Zealand, to build scale in Asia and to deliver a step change in operational efficiency.

Recognizing the growing influence of the tighter regulatory environment Smith is preparing ANZ through an emphasis on greater capital efficiency in every area of the business but particularly in the International and Institutional Banking Division.

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