ANZ shares hammered

A mudpit belly flop contest. Barry Williams/Getty Images

Shares in the ANZ Bank were sold down hard today.

Investors were retreating after an analyst suggested the big four bank would have to cut its dividend.

At the close, the shares were down 4.43% to $23.50.

Richard Wiles of Morgan Stanley says the dividend cut could come in the second half of the year.

“We believe revenue and credit risk, business mix, dividend risk and strategic uncertainty will weigh on ANZ’s share price performance,” Wiles said in a note to clients.

ANZ shares are down more than 15% since the start of 2016.

In October, the ANZ Bank reported a weaker than expected full year cash profit of $7.2 billion, a “modest” rise of just 1%, as the bank faces lower economic growth and intense competition.

Last week it was revealed that two traders are suing ANZ Banking Group after they were sacked for inappropriate behaviour, claiming senior management of the bank condoned a culture of sex, drugs and alcohol.

Westpac shares also also under pressure today, trading at $30.09, down 3.5%.

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