Elliott: wealth simplification complete

ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott says the finalisation of the divestment phase of its wealth business restructure is another step in delivering on the bank’s on-going simplification process. 

ANZ has announced the sale of its life insurance arm to Zurich in a deal worth $A2.85 billion.  The bank says the transaction will be broadly earnings per share neutral.

" Being slightly smaller but more focused ultimately is in the interests of our shareholders and our customers.” - Shayne Elliott, CEO ANZ 

Speaking to bluenotes on the morning of the announcement – which will see ANZ retain roughly 300 financial-planners – Elliott said the bank was doing what was best for its customers.

“We believe that being slightly smaller but more focused ultimately is in the interests of our shareholders and our customers,” he said.

“This is about entering into a 20 year relationship… to make sure that we're always going to have great, attractive, simple, easy to understand product out there for the benefit of our customers.”

The deal comes in the wake of the bank’s decision in October to sell the pension and investment part of its wealth business to IOOF. The total proceeds from the sale – which will see the bank enter a two-decade alliance with the other parties – are $A3.825 billion.

Elliott said the sale would leave ANZ a slightly smaller company from an earnings perspective. 

“But in terms of returns, the returns on that capital really don't change the whole lot,” he said. “It's kind of net-square from that perspective. “

Considering the proceeds of the sale, Elliott said the bank would be assessing its total capital position and said if there was excess there were “options to return it”.

“Generally those things would be through either dividends - although our ability there would be constrained by franking- or potentially through buybacks of some description,” he said.

Watch the video above to find out more.

Andrew Cornell is managing editor at bluenotes 

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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