18 February 2008

ANZ Bank ups the ante in India

TECHNOLOGY and offshoring will be central to the ANZ Bank's goal of doubling profits over the next five years.
"We will do more to further integrate and expand our operations in Bangaloree ... to reduce cost and foster innovation and improve service. This will free up time for staff in Australia and New Zealand to focus on taking care of our customers," ANZ Bankk CEO Mike Smith said.
"We don’t aspire to just be equal, but attempt to better some of what the global leaders in this field have achieved. We’ll get there by sharpening our focus on segment base marketing and making changes in the way we use technology," Mr Smith said.
He was speaking at an investor briefing before the bank's annual general meeting in Perth today. "2008 will be more about putting in building blocks for the next few years.
"Can I just reassure you again, we are going to be very disciplined in what and how we do this, we will do what makes sense financially and it will make sense strategically and I’m confident our shareholders will be well rewarded."
ANZ will continue to pursue higher levels of customer service by giving its customer service representatives access to all instances of a customer's interaction with the bank, he said.
There would also be more emphasis on the online world.
"To become truly customer centric requires continual investment in technology so that it becomes a source of competitive advantage for us rather than just a means for keeping the doors open.
"Successful companies will blend the cyber world with the physical world ... we want to increase traffic whether on anz.com or through our branches," he said.
ANZ's institutional business has lagged its competitors in recent years, and Mr Smith identified poor investment in technology as one of the reasons behind this.
"We really should have done better than what we have. Our growth in 2007 was six per cent, compared to a peer average of 15 per cent.
"We’ll be investing more in the likes of cash management platform and markets platform. We expect to see a better revenue outcome here in 2008, and even though we still need to make some investment to fix some legacy issues (in institutional banking), it should deliver a better bottom line performance. I think the real payoff will be in 2009 and beyond."
ANZ has set a goal of doubling its profits in five years, and said a big part of this would be achieved by growing earnings from Asia.
Mahesh Sharma AustralianIT December 18, 2007

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