Speaking at the release of the lender’s full-year profit results, ANZ’s chief executive voiced his concern over the “uncertainty” of regulation and the outcome of the Financial System Inquiry.
“It is perhaps not widely understood that Australia’s financial system has been strengthened significantly since the GFC and our major banks are now stronger and safer than ever,” Mr Smith said.
“While everyone benefits from a well-capitalised, well-managed banking system – consumers, shareholders and taxpayers – there is a real cost to the economy of evermore restrictive regulation and policy settings,” he said.
“It is not in Australia’s interest for its financial system to be globally uncompetitive.”
ANZ lifted its full-year profit by 10 per cent to $7.1 billion, celebrating 18 consecutive quarters of home loan growth.
The lender grew its loan book by 8.3 per cent over the last five years and recorded a 15 per cent increase in home loan sales in the 12 months to 30 September.
While the bank on-boarded 600 more brokers, it has also boosted its branch sales capacity with more than two-thirds of its frontline sales staff now accredited to sell home loans.
In the full year to 30 September, 52 per cent of mortgages were written through ANZ proprietary channels and 48 per cent through brokers.
This compares to the 2010 financial year, where brokers originated 49 per cent of ANZ mortgages.
“We expect 2015 to present similar opportunities for ANZ, with a continuation of a stable and benign credit environment,” Mr Smith said.
“In Australia and New Zealand the consumer sector remains relatively buoyant however we expect a gradual transition to business-led growth as business confidence improves,” he said.
“Asia’s economies are set to maintain their position as the world’s best performing region.”