ANZ is heavily focused on Asia, and under the stewardship of Mike Smith has invested considerable resources in establishing its footprint in the region.
And today at ANZ’s annual general meeting, Smith defended this strategy, which he says was behind the bank’s 2013 results:
Let me say though that there are times when I feel that some domestically focussed commentators don’t really understand the true potential of what we are creating at ANZ.
Some still say: “The local market is attractive. Why do you continue to invest in Asia?”
What this fails to recognise is that the opportunity created by Asia’s growth and our customers’ growing business and personal connections with Asia are actually integrated into every part of our business.
Smith said that in both retail and institutional banking, Australians’ personal connections with Asia are directly linked to its success here in Australia.
In Retail Banking, for example, we supply Australian tourists travelling to Asia with foreign currency. We provide loans for Asian investors wanting to buy property in Australia or New Zealand.
We also provide banking services in Australia and New Zealand to Asian students and their families, and credit cards to Asia’s growing middle class in Indonesia, in Taiwan and in the Philippines.
In Corporate and Commercial Banking our regional and rural business provides trade finance for farmers exporting beef, wheat or wine to Asia.
And we provide Renminbi and other foreign currency services to electronics companies sourcing products from China for
In Institutional Banking our network in Asia and our AA credit rating makes us a leading bank for multi-national companies doing business in the region.