Elliott: responding to the Royal Commission

ANZ Chief Executive Officer Shayne Elliott said the bank must respond to the Royal Commission’s recommendations in two ways in order to create a positive opportunity from the looming shakeup of the financial services system.

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It must first respond to the 76 recommendations and do the work necessary to comply with the new rules, assuming they all become law, Elliott said in a message to staff. Secondly, and more importantly, he said ANZ must look at the spirit of Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s final report, what its intentions are and what the bank can learn from the process.

"ANZ must look at the spirit of Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s final report, what its intentions are and what the bank can learn from the process” - Elliott

“People's first reaction to something like this will be about compliance – we’ve got to do these things and we do and that is the first priority,” Elliott said. “What was really good, encouraging, is the team quickly moved to where are the opportunities here for us to improve, do better, actually grow our business and kind of win out in the marketplace by being more responsible and more responsive to these changes.”

One example of creating a positive opportunity from the Commission’s proposed changes is in the way mortgage brokers operate, Elliott said. ANZ believes there will continue to be a role for mortgage brokers who provide a “very important” service to customers, he added.

“It's going to be really different, what does that mean and how can ANZ benefit?” Elliott said. “How can we lead some of that change? How can we work with the broking industry, with whom we have a really good relationship, to actually seed some of that positive change that will benefit our customers?”

A working group formed to study the report’s implementation led by Deputy CEO Alexis George and Group General Counsel Bob Santamaria is meeting for the first time next week. The group plans to go through the 76 recommendations to understand what the bank can do with or without legislation, George said. It will also consider some of the structural changes that might come in the future, she added.

“This is really hard because there is not an easy road map for us and we’re going to have to decide what is right for us to do for our customers going forward,” George said. “So that's my current views so we really attack some of the things quickly and get some momentum.”

Brett Foley is a bluenotes contributor

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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