Where Next for ANZ’s Under Review Asian Wealth Units

Shayne Elliot, ANZ Chief Executive

Shayne Elliot, ANZ Chief Executive

Expansion across Asia was at one time the key to ANZ’s future. And why not, growing into the wealthiest region in the world made fiscal sense. Times change however and a current internal review looks likely to see an end to all that, and more.

In 2009 Australia and New Zealand Banking Group acquired the Royal Bank of Scotland’s retail, wealth and commercial businesses in Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong, as well as the institutional businesses in Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam.

It was a portfolio of businesses that the then troubled RBS had itself only just purchased from ABN AMRO.

Asian Strategy

The deal gave ANZ ready made access to 54 branches, $3.2 billion in loans and $7.1 billion in deposits serving about two million clients. It was part of former CEO Mike Smith’s Asian growth strategy.

Now in 2016 times have changed and so have ANZ CEO’s. Current Chief Executive Shayne Elliot has made no secret that he is keen on simplifying the bank offering into what many interpret as becoming an onshore vanilla Australian bank. 

Back to Basics

Australian publication AFR (paywall) reports that news filtering out of the internal revue on ANZ's wealth segment is that the preferred option for the Melbourne based bank is for the complete sell off of its wealth and life insurance operations.

That option however with slower economic growth in Australia and in key Asian markets might not appeal to many buyers who would need to shell out an estimated $5 to $6 billion. 

Asian Wealth Units

Should they be «hived off» the ANZ private wealth units in Asia would certainly attract a lot of interest.

No doubt the usual names will be floated as potential buyers, OCBC's Bank of Singapore, DBS, perhaps also don't count out the ambitions of Joachim H. Straehle, CEO of EFG International. Although with the integration of BSI they might be too busy. And don't discount Julius Baer and Credit Suisse who are both increasingly relying on Asian business growth to support their business. 

Or would they?

The wealth business ANZ acquired in the 2009 deal was the old ABN AMRO Van Gogh Preferred, a banking service for the mass affluent, not a private banking business. A lot of due diligence and tyre kicking might mean no deal or a tough negotiation on price in this buyers market.

ANZ will report in August the findings of their wealth division revue.





Compare my salary

Compare my salary

Feeling Underpaid? Benchmark your salary by job title, company and location. Find out where you stand in minutes.

compare my salary


Newsletter-SymbolFree Subscription

Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive daily email alerts from the finews editorial team with a list of the top featured articles.

Share with us

Do you have any market intelligence to share with finews.asia – email us on info@finews.asia – All communication is completely confidential and strictly anonymous.