As ANZ navigated through what by any measure was a fraught year we were very conscious of the impact of decisions made on our team, community and of course the owners of the company.
Our board’s choice to defer a decision on the interim dividend was significant. This was the first time in ANZ’s history as a listed company a dividend wasn’t announced with our financial results. The dividend was subsequently announced in August. Ultimately that decision, together with one to reduce the final dividend, was made in the long-term interests of all shareholders. We know this was a difficult outcome for many and these decisions were not made lightly or quickly.
Ultimately all shareholders will benefit if ANZ remains robust, our customers thrive, and our staff value the bank as a positive place to work.
Although we believe Australia and New Zealand, in particular, have come through the year with less economic damage than anticipated, there will be ongoing volatility. However, ANZ is in a very strong position as a business and is committed to supporting customers, staff and of course shareholders.