Multiple changes at the reins of Big Four bank

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It’s been a big couple of weeks for one of the Big Four banks, which has been announcing a series of quick-fire major changes.

ANZ has been a busy bank, and in the past two weeks alone new developments include multiple management changes, expansions, and sales.

Wealth Professional looks at five of the announced changes.
1. ANZ CIO to step down
ANZ chief information officer Anne Weatherston will step down and her responsibilities will be assumed by the group chief operating officer Alistair Currie until a replacement is appointed.
Significant progress has been made under Weatherston’s guidance, including a transformation roadmap for ANZ technology aligned to ANZ’s super regional strategy, said Currie.
“This has seen ANZ strengthen technology infrastructure, introduce new customer channels including mobile goMoney and ANZ Transactive, deliver new global processing systems in payments, loans and markets, move to a single core banking platform in New Zealand, and develop a first class technology organisation to support our business,” he said.
2. New board member for ANZ
John Morschel, the chairman of ANZ has announced that John (JT) Macfarlane will join the board from 22 May following a decision by Peter Hay to retire.

Macfarlane, who will stand for election as a board director in December, is one of Australia’s most experienced international bankers, and was most recently the chairman and CEO of Deutsche Bank Australia and New Zealand.

“I am very pleased to have JT join the ANZ board,” Morschel said. “The depth of his banking experience in ANZ’s key market in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia Pacific will further strengthen the board.”
He also acknowledged Hay’s “very significant” contribution to the board over the past five years.
3. ANZ to sell Trustees to Equity Trustees
The bank has announced that it has reached an agreement to sell ANZ Trustees to Equities Trustees Limited and form a new strategic relationship with the company that will involve exclusive client referral and service arrangements.
ANZ’s CEO of global wealth Joyce Phillips said the sale is part of a continuing focus on the key elements of the wealth strategy, but the bank will retain philanthropic advice, estate planning, investment managing, and alternative investments as part of the wealth solutions range.
“Equity Trustees is Australia’s largest independent trustee services company with the scale to deliver more efficient trustee administration services,” she said. “ANZ Trustees is a natural fit for them in a consolidating sector.”
4. ANZ opens in Shanghai free trade zone
ANZ China has opened its sub-branch in the China pilot free trade zone to help customers take advantage of the opportunities predicted to come from China’s financial market liberalisation.

The bank will be the first in the zone, positioning it well to participate in China’s market deregulation and the trade opportunities this will present, said CEO Mike Smith.

“This new branch will help our customers in China access international trade finance services with tax and tariff advantages,” he said.
5. ANZ to accept UnionPay throughout Asia Pacific
UnionPay cards will be accepted at 120,000 merchant terminals and ATMs throughout Asia Pacific by 2015, the bank has announced.

This will also make the bank the first in Australia to accept contactless and EMV enables UnionPay cards.

ANZ China CEO Charles Li signed the new agreement at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

“Chinese tourists are on the move. For example, in Australia they represent one in five of all overseas visitors, up from one in 20 in 2009,” Li said. “It’s an important step forward to provide our merchants throughout Asia Pacific with the ability to accept UnionPay, given its status as the preeminent card network throughout China.”


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