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Elliott: optimistic in tough conditions

ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott says the financial services industry is in the middle of a huge transformation as the bank posted a slightly higher half-year cash profit.

Speaking to bluenotes on video, Elliott said the environment for the half has been quite tricky but the bank has managed to still do well.

"[We have] our very best people focused on the biggest, most difficult problems we’re facing.” - Elliott

ANZ posted a cash profit on a continuing basis of $A3.56 billion in the half year, a 2 per cent increase. Statutory profit was down 5 per cent at $A3.17 billion.

“[This result is] the dividend of a lot of hard decisions we’ve made over the last three years,” Elliott said. “Whether those decisions were about tightening up and refocusing our balance sheet … or whether it’s the focus we’ve (had) on costs.”

Click here for a transcript of this video

The CEO said ANZ’s New Zealand and Institutional businesses delivered very solid performances, offsetting some of the weaker divisions such as Australia. He praised his leadership team for coming together to ensure ongoing growth across the board.

“[We have] our very best people focused on the biggest, most difficult problems we’re facing. [It’s] a team willing and able to make tough decisions as they’re required.”

Elliott maintains the banking industry is facing ongoing technology and data challenges which ANZ also needs to prepare for.

“We need to completely change the way we operate and the way we think... but you also have to be optimistic,” he said.

“It’s in times of change… that leadership arises and companies like ANZ will emerge and come through stronger [and] better.”

He also touched on the issues facing households and businesses, particularly in Australia.

You can hear more of the conversation in the video above.

Andrew Cornell is managing editor of bluenotes

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