ANZ’s decision to exit product manufacturing is purely strategic and unrelated to the need to raise regulatory capital, says chief executive Shayne Elliott.
Speaking at a Reuters event in Sydney yesterday, ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott said product manufacturing is “not the model for [ANZ]”.
The comment comes after the bank announced plans to conduct a strategic review of its wealth business, with a sale one possible option.
Mr Elliott was keen to stress that a sale of the entire business, valued at approximately $4.5 billion, was only one option ANZ is considering.
“We haven’t said we’re going to sell. What we’ve said is we’re going to look for ways to release capital from [the business],” he said.
“Ideally we want to partner with somebody who can help go to market. It may include a sale.”
Mr Elliott said ANZ is already “having conversations with people and we’re open to ideas”.
InvestorDaily sister publication IFA reported yesterday that IOOF has confirmed an interest in purchasing ANZ’s wealth business.
An IOOF spokesperson said ANZ’s manufacturing business “presents very attractively and is a strong strategic fit with existing IOOF businesses”, adding IOOF would be “very interested in participating in the sale process”.
But Mr Elliott said any “partnership” would not be about ANZ generating capital.
“We’re not putting a ‘For Sale’ sign on the [wealth business] and saying the highest bidder wins,” he said.
“That is not what we’re doing. In order to do the best job for our customers, we need to partner with somebody who can help us, and has the financial/intellectual wherewithal to keep up with customer demands and to innovate."
The partner would also need to be “aggressively positioning product in the marketplace”, Mr Elliott said – noting ANZ is “not the person to do that”.
“We want to partner with somebody – and it’s possible that that person may want to buy what we’ve got,” he said.
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