ANZ has reported what the CEO Michael Smith described as "a good half year result", announced a statutory profit of $3.4 billion for the six months to 31 March, up 15 per cent. Smith said that the bank had successfully absorbed increased business volumes of up to 8 per cent while cutting operations costs by around 4 per cent compared to a year ago.
"Over the past 12 months we have added 110,000 net new customers across retail and commercial, while also reducing customer complaints by 9 per cent," the CEO told a half-year results briefing today.
"And in a constrained environment we've continued to reduce costs, with the cost to income ratio down a further 80 basis points to 37.3 per cent."
One of the pillars of ANZ's 'super-regional strategy' is "an enterprise approach to deliver more control and greater efficiency by standardising processes and systems, consolidating like teams, more straight-through processing and more convenient, online self-service," Smith said.
"This involves hundreds of small process improvements throughout the enterprise and the creation of 'centres of excellence' that together are generating a large sustainable difference.
"This difference involves better services for our customers by bringing products to market more quickly, shorter turnaround times and fewer errors; that in turn has resulted in a 9 per cent decrease in customer complaints across the group."
The bank reported a 20 per cent increase in "run-the-bank" technology productivity.
"Building scale is critical to the [super regional] strategy and to the extent possible processing transactions consistently no matter where they originate," ANZ CFO Shayne Elliott said.
"That leads to a better customer experience, lower unit cost and improved quality. We continue to move volume to common platforms and consolidate activities in centres of excellence. On a constant dollar basis, operations expenses were down 4 per cent versus a year ago despite healthy increases in volume."
The CFO said that the bank's payments platform, including the online ANZ Transactive cash management platform implemented in seven countries. ANZ's wholesale credit decisioning platform and trade processing system are deployed in all countries the bank operates in, he said.
ANZ has processed $78 billion worth of transactions since it launched its goMoney mobile app, the bank revealed in its half-year announcement. The app has 1.1 million active users, according to the bank. goMoney launched in September 2010 for the iPhone, with an Android version following in 2012.
Around 53 per cent of the bank's customers are "digital users"
ANZ has deployed 1200 iPads running eight apps to members of its Corporate & Commercial Banking group in Australia, the bank revealed. In New Zealand the bank has rolled out 1100 tablets and smartphones to frontline staff.
The bank reported a drop in Australian over the counter transactions of 9 per cent.