In one slide, here's Matt Comyn's strategy for the Commonwealth Bank

Matt Comyn. Image: Screenshot from a video clip.
  • The Commonwealth wants to be the best in digital banking.
  • 6.5 million people use the bank’s mobile app each day.
  • New CEO Matt Comyn is also bringing the bank back to its core banking business.

Matt Comyn, the new CEO of the Commonwealth Bank, puts a lot of store in the rising popularity of digital banking tools to build his vision of the future for Australia’s biggest bank.

His overall focus, after four months as head of the bank, is on retail and commercial banking, what he calls delivering a simpler and better bank for its customers.

This means getting out of wealth management, mortgage broking and life insurance.

And Comyn also wants to build on the CBA’s leadership in digital banking as a way of communicating directly with customers, on top of the face-to-face contact via more than 1000 branches across Australia.

More than 6.5 million people use the bank’s mobile app and 5 million log in to NetBank every day.

Comyn says the bank has never had such engagement with customers.

“Into the future, that is going to be even more important as more of our customers are using our digital channels,” he says.

“It is going to be that combination of both the best digital experience in Australia combined with leading customer experience across all of our face-to-face and assisted channels.”

Comyn says the strategy is grounded in understanding where real competitive advantage and strengths lie.

The core Australian and New Zealand retail and commercial banking business generates more than 90% of the bank’s profits.

Comyn’s strategy in one slide:

Source: CBA 2018 results presentation

The Commonwealth Bank today reported a 4.8% drop in cash profit for continuing operations to $9.23 billion for the full year to June, squeezed by fines for poor behaviour and by the costs of responding to inquiries including the financial services royal commission.

The 2018 results record a combined total of $389 million in additional provisions, including risk and compliance of $234 million and one-off regulatory costs of $155 million.

This is on top of the $700 million paid to settle civil penalty proceedings for contraventions of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act.

“We just have to recognise we have not done a good enough job for our customers,” he says.

“We got some things wrong. We have made mistakes. We absolutely need to make sure we do not make them again.

“And a big part of my job of course is making sure we are a simpler and better bank for our customers, working closely with any customers who have not had a good experience but most importantly making sure that those sorts of issues do not reoccur.”

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