ANZ to embrace ‘barrier-breaking’ technology

The chief executive officer of ANZ, Shayne Elliott, has outlined the lender’s intention to bring about “huge changes driven by technology”.

In his address at ANZ’s Annual General Meeting in December, Mr Elliott stressed the need for ANZ, and the industry as a whole, to adapt to “rapid changes”.

Mr Elliott quoted the chief executive of General Electric, Jack Welch, who said: “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, then the end is near.”

The ANZ CEO added that “barrier-breaking” technologies could therefore present the industry with new opportunities.

“[Our] customers with smartphones now carry their bank in their pocket and access our services 24/7,” Mr Elliott said.

“Digitisation, mobility, cloud computing and increasingly artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics are transforming industry after industry — breaking down barriers, creating new forms of competition, providing nimble players with new opportunities while imposing fundamental challenges to the incumbents.”

The CEO said that the “scale of changes” in the current environment is “greater than [anytime] in ANZ’s history”, and he claimed that “customer and community expectations are changing just as fast”.

“[Our] customers’ lives are changing fast, too. People work differently, buy differently, pay differently and expect more from their bank,” the ANZ CEO stated.

The ANZ executive emphasised the bank’s commitment to investing in new technologies to help sustain and accelerate its growth, saying: “The key to sustainable, profitable growth is to recognise and embrace the changes that are disrupting our business and to invest in the technology, people and relationships that are needed to provide customers with the solutions they want in this new world.

“Our strategy in this rapidly changing world is to build digital ecosystems around customer needs [and] to collaborate with technology partners and create innovative products and services.”

Mr Elliott concluded by saying that ANZ has taken appropriate steps to adapt to these changes, which he said was evidenced by the bank’s recruitments in 2017.

“[In 2017], Gerard Florian joined us from Dimension Data to rethink our technology architecture, and Kathryn van der Merwe joined us from Bain Consulting to overhaul our approach to people and culture.

“This new way of working is allowing us to respond more quickly to customer needs, create higher staff engagement and make further improvements in efficiency.”

Concluding, Mr Elliott said: “In a digital world, lower cost and better customer experience go hand in hand.”

[Related: ANZ pledges to restore confidence in banks]

ANZ to embrace ‘barrier-breaking’ technology
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Charbel Kadib

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