In the wide-ranging conversation, O’Sullivan touched on the issue of climate change, undoubtedly a hot topic at the AGM.
“Some shareholders think we're moving too slowly and others feel we shouldn't be getting involved at all,” O’Sullivan says. “I'm a businessman. If I wanted to go into politics, I would have taken a different career path. This is not about the politics of climate, it's a business decision.”
O’Sullivan says it's clear the global economy is moving to a low carbon future which creates huge opportunity for ANZ to provide finance for investment in the transition.
“At its heart, banking is about customer relationships and risk. It's about making decisions on where to allocate capital to take advantage of opportunities but [always] taking into account the risk,” he says.
“The community is looking at things like climate science and saying, 'we've just seen a black swan event - a pandemic. It was predicted for many years by scientists. Maybe we need to think about the fact that the unexpected could happen in other areas'.”
“I think taking into account things we traditionally might have seen as being beyond our bailiwick will be important.”
You can hear more of the conversation in the podcast above.