Mike Smith On A Super-Regional ANZ: 'It's Like The Game Of Thrones'

ANZ boss Mike Smith. File photo / Getty

ANZ boss Mike Smith has likened the Australian banking state of play to the epic fantasy novel Game of Thrones, defending his 2007 “super-regional” vision as a long-term play.

Speaking to The Australian’s Richard Gluyas, Smith hit back at a recent JP Morgan report that said ANZ’s Asian returns hadn’t matched those of Australia-focused banks.

Here’s what he said:

This is a long game; it’s like the Game of Thrones. We’re in book one at the moment and we’ve got some way to go.

If you put all your eggs in one basket, that’s fine … But a bank of our size has to have a broad business mix, and we’ve always fundamentally been a commercial bank, not a retail bank.

We’re creating an international bank with a super-regional strategy to support the growth of Australian and New Zealand businesses in the region.

[…]

It seems to be only the sell-side analysts in Australia who don’t get it. Maybe [JP Morgan’s] equity analyst would like to give advice to their own senior management.

A Game of Thrones – made popular by the HBO TV series – was published in 1996 as the first in George R. R. Martin’s seven-book series A Song of Ice and Fire. Only five of the books have been published so far.

There’s more on The Australian.

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