ANZ has conceded that it has failed its customers, placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of directors, the company’s poor culture and short-term thinking.
In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, ANZ’s chairman, David Gonski, stated that a short-term focus and a conditioned acceptance that positive change was too hard or against “the way it’s always been” were reasons for the bank’s previous failures for its customers.
“There have been instances where we have failed our customers,” he conceded.
“Where this has occurred, we are determined to make things right as quickly as practicable.”
Noting that numerous problems stemmed from the board of directors, Mr Gonski highlighted the poor culture, “short-termism” and a lack of accountability as leading to its woes.
“We have a culture where our teams do not speak up,” he said, adding that conservative decision-making has also played a part.
“Often, this leads to an outcome where we do nothing.
“This needs to change.”
Roadmap for change
To combat past issues, ANZ said it has developed a “roadmap for change”, which includes a number of focus areas in which it will concentrate efforts for the delivery of better customer outcomes.
According to the bank, these areas for change were identified through self-assessment and through issues raised during the Hayne royal commission.
Simplification, culture, governance and accountability, remediation and management of operational risks are the five categories through which change will be implemented.
The result, according to Mr Gonski, will be “a simpler and less complex bank”.
“Among other things, we will have fewer products and more effective systems and processes,” he said.
“We will record a marked improvement in our employee surveys and culture audits; we will resolve customer complaints faster and have a higher net promoter score.”
Late last year, the bank had announced a $374 million hit to its profits in the fallout from the banking royal commission.
More recently, the bank had to reform its remuneration strategy to improve customer outcomes.
Cameron Micallef is a journalist at Nest Egg, writing primarily about personal wealth and economic markets.
Prior to this, Cameron worked for Australian Associated Press. He graduated from the University of Wollongong with a double degree in communications and commerce.