“If you get through some of the noise even in this half’s result, there is some very good things there,” he said. “Underlying expense numbers we are seeing come off, that will continue.”
Whelan characterised the renovation of the business as a two-to three-year project but strong results will be seen throughout as long as the bank stays disciplined.
While risk weighted assets were coming down as the bank looked at returns, new RWAs were being added which Whelan described as “good returns from strong customers”.
Other positives in the tough result were the cash performance and signs the bank was building higher return on equity and lower capital lines like transactional banking.
Despite the restructuring of the business mix, Whelan emphasised the importance of Asia to the bank where it had a competitive advantage, noting 35 per cent of earnings from Australian businesses were related to Asia.
Watch the video for the full interview.