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RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Australia

ANZ positions for growth in Asia after massive downsizing

It will now focus fully on institutional banking.

Australia’s ANZ is fully concentrating on institutional banking after completing its massive restructuring programme which saw the bank exit the Asian retail and wealth business, reports South China Morning Post.

Also read: Australian banks speed up Asian retreat as competition and oversight mounts

The lender is now turning its focus on transaction banking, financial markets, syndicated loans and debt capital markets, Mark Whelan, head of institutional banking told SCMP.

“These Asian business restructuring, alongside ANZ’s other disposals of retail finance business in Australia, has since generated $4.33b (A$6b) in capital back to the group. Over the next three years, the bank anticipates on average 4 to 5% revenue growth each year from across all divisions in Asia,” added Whelan. 

ANZ started winding down its Asian operations in 2016 afters selling its retail and wealth arms in Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia to DBS, allowing it to shed of around $36.08b (A$50b) in risk-weighted assets in Asia. The lender also entered into an agreement to sell its retail, commercial and small-medium sized enterprise (SME) banking business in Papua New Guinea to Kina Bank. 

This comes on the heels of the bank's intention to sell its 55% stake in Cambodian JV ANZ Royal Bank to Japanese financial holding company J Trust following earlier announced stake sales in Metrobank Card Corporation in the Philippines and Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank in China.

Also read: Can trade finance plug the gap left by Australian banks' retreat from wealth?

“In China, our priority is on developing our financial markets and transaction banking businesses,” said Farhan Faruqui, group executive international for institutional business in Asia, Europe and America.

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