ANZ tak­ing steps to change cul­ture

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

SYD­NEY: Aus­tralia and New Zealand Bank­ing Group’s (ANZ) trans­for­ma­tion into a smaller bank and other steps it is tak­ing will speed up a push to change its busi­ness cul­ture, fol­low­ing a se­ries of scan­dals in the fi­nan­cial sec­tor, its CEO said.

Banks in Aus­tralia have come un­der in­tense po­lit­i­cal pres­sure amid calls for a pow­er­ful ju­di­cial in­quiry into the fi­nan­cial sec­tor, fol­low­ing rev­e­la­tions of mis­lead­ing fi­nan­cial ad­vice, in­surance fraud and al­leged in­ter­est rate rig­ging.

The outcry cul­mi­nated in par­lia­men­tary hear­ings last month where the heads of the so-called Big Four – ANZ, Com­mon­wealth Bank of Aus­tralia, Na­tional Aus­tralia Bank and West­pac Bank­ing Group – re­peat­edly apol­o­gised for bad be­hav­iour.

Shayne El­liott, who took up ANZ’s top job at the start of the year, said the bank is ready to shift the di­a­logue “away from pro­tect­ing the bank from a bad rep­u­ta­tion to ac­tu­ally think­ing about the broader im­pact of those de­ci­sions on the com­mu­nity”.

“I ac­cept we are not there yet but that is ex­actly what we are work­ing through,” he told Reuters in an in­ter­view.

El­liott said ANZ’s plan to sell its non­core busi­nesses, in­clud­ing its do­mes­tic wealth busi­ness and mi­nor­ity stakes in Shang­hai Ru­ral Com­mer­cial Bank Co, Bank of Tian­jin Co, PT Bank Pan In­done­sia and Malaysia’s AMMB Hold­ings Bhd, would help trans­form its cul­ture.

“I fig­ure a smaller, sim­pler bank will be eas­ier to man­age,” he told a Reuters News­maker event ear­lier in the day. “We should do less things for less peo­ple, do things that we’re re­ally, re­ally good at and can win, and that will be an eas­ier place to trans­form as well.”

The bank is set­ting up a rep­u­ta­tion­al­risks com­mit­tee to eval­u­ate a new cus­tomer, in­dus­try or trans­ac­tion, he said.

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