Shayne Elliott, opening statement for inquiry into common ownership and capital concentration

Thank you for inviting us to appear today.

Joining me is Dr Kathryn van der Merwe.

Kathryn leads over 9,000 people, or almost a quarter of our total staff, who work in our global centres to service our customers around the world.

She is also responsible for our Talent and Culture team.

ANZ has about five hundred and fifty thousand shareholders.

95% of these are retail holders.

Institutional shareholders, however, hold about 60% of issued shares.

The largest ‘relevant interest’ shareholdings are about 6% of our issued capital.

Around a quarter of ANZ’s shares are held by shareholders outside Australia and New Zealand.

Shareholders get access to information about our financial and non-financial results through a variety of means, including AGMs, our website, media releases through the ASX and our regular results announcement sessions.

All shareholders have access to our investor relations team to ask questions and get publicly available information.

Senior executives, including myself and our CFO, meet with shareholders and analysts to discuss our public financial results and ESG performance.

Investment bank equity analysts prepare commercially-available research for the benefit of their customers.

Many of these reports are subsequently covered by the media.

We are very aware of our disclosure obligations and have a disclosure committee to ensure shareholders have access to material information about ANZ.

We are also acutely aware of our obligation under law that requires ANZ’s directors and officers to act in good faith in the best interests of the company.

This requires us to make decisions that we believe will benefit the company as a whole.

Australia also has strong competition laws which have recently been reformed, including to prohibit concerted practices that substantially lessen competition.

We give our people training on these laws and we understand what they require of us and of others.

As CEO, and previously as CFO, I have met hundreds of shareholders over eight years.

And, if there is a common theme to those meetings, it is that shareholders want to understand how we will innovate, compete and win in the market place.

With roughly 15% of the Australian banking market, we turn up to work each day looking to keep the customers we have and to convince new customers to join us.

We invest over $1.5 billion each year in new technology to improve resilience and develop new services for precisely that reason.

Our largest domestic competitor is almost twice our size.

There is an array of traditional and emerging competitiors, big and small, offering a range of financial services.

New entrants, like Paypal, buy-now pay-later providers, neo-banks, fintechs and other well-resourced ‘big-tech’ firms are entering into payments and lending.

This, combined with innovation, is blurring the definition of banking.

While new competitors face varying degrees of regulation, this state of affairs is, on the whole, good for consumers and the economy.

We are motivated to innovate and deliver even better customer outcomes.

Further work is required, however, to ensure the regulatory frameworks continue to support a fair, contestable banking and financial services market for the benefit of the community.

Thank you.

Kathryn and I now look forward to your questions.

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