Faruqui: continuing to build on demonstrated strengths

ANZ’s new Chief Financial Officer Farhan Faruqui says the bank’s full-year result was bolstered by strong capital foundations, solid credit quality and the bank’s increasingly simplified, but still diverse, structure.

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Pic: ANZ CFO Farhan Faruqui in the bank's Hong Kong office

Faruqui spoke to bluenotes for the first time in his new role via video conference from Hong Kong where he has remained while waiting for the opportunity to move to Australia.

"We have the capacity to invest in our business [and] grow, and we have the liquidity to support that.” – Farhan Faruqui

On his focus for the position, Faruqui says the evolving nature of a CFO means not only being good at reporting and explaining the hard line numbers but also driving them.

“That means partnering with our businesses and ensuring we’re focusing on the right priorities and we’re constantly allocating resources – whether they be capital, cost or investment - in a fashion that aligns with our strategic priorities.

“We must not take our eye off the fact we need to become a simpler, more resilient bank and one that is growing profitably.”    

Click here to read the transcript

ANZ’s statutory profit after tax for the full year ended 30 September 2021 was $A6,162 million, up 72 per cent on the prior year.

Faruqui says there were some weaknesses in the bank’s full-year result – such as home loan processing – but these were offset by solid performances elsewhere.

“New Zealand had an excellent performance across revenue, expenses, margins and returns… On the Institutional side, the business performed exceptionally well given the external environment that they were facing into… In Australia Retail & Commercial, even though we had some challenges around our home loan momentum, we still delivered growth (and) good margins.”

On the bank’s foundations, Faruqui says he thinks ANZ’s portfolio credit quality today is as good as it has been in history.

“We have the capacity to invest in our business [and] grow and we have the liquidity to support that. We’ve shown incredible expense discipline and this is important because we do have to invest for the future.”

Faruqui also discussed the bank’s risk settings and appetite as it moves into the new year with vaccination rates and economic activity increasing.

“We ended the year with healthy levels of provisions which will allow us to manage into the next phase of where COVID is going to take us…” he said. “Our risk settings are constantly dynamic and adjust as the environment improves.”

You can listen to the full conversation by watching to the video above.

Andrew Cornell is Managing Editor of bluenotes

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