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Corporate Responsibility September 2009

Mike Smith, CEO, ANZ
Mike Smith, Chief Executive Officer

Message from the CEO

I’m pleased to share with you ANZ’s new Group-wide framework for corporate responsibility (CR).

One year on from the Lehman Brothers collapse, many bankers around the world are still reflecting on how we got here and what we could have done differently. The social and economic effects for many people have been profound. All bankers have a role to play in putting this right and restoring trust in the banking sector.

A clear and explicit approach to CR which focuses on our areas of expertise, responds to the issues of most importance to our stakeholders and involves our people and inspires them to innovate, is vital to this effort.

Our new framework describes the contribution we will make:

  • Building individual prosperity - Creating pathways to security and prosperity through products and services and innovative education and employment programs for the disadvantaged. The Saver Plus matched savings and financial literacy partnership, which has benefited thousands of low-income Australians, is a good example.
  • Contributing to thriving communities – Using our skills and resources to help develop local capacity and create solutions to important community issues. Our people’s support of Bushfire recovery efforts in Victoria - which included establishing a temporary bank branch for impacted customers and providing call centre expertise and facilities for fundraising telethons – illustrates the potential in this area and is one of the best examples of corporate responsibility I have seen.
  • Navigating growth responsibly - Demonstrating responsible practices and decisions that balance economic, social and environmental considerations. For example, our WING mobile payments service is bringing safe, fair and affordable services to previously unbanked rural communities in Cambodia while at the same time allowing us to explore the emerging market of mobile payments.

We must also have greater coherence in how we think and act, and invest in our community. Based on discussions with our stakeholders, including our people, we have identified five priority areas for ANZ globally:

  • Creating education and employment opportunities for disadvantaged communities
  • Supporting rural development by bringing basic services to unbanked rural communities, particularly in Asia and the Pacific
  • Continuing our long term commitment to build financial capability, including by taking our most successful Australian approaches and adapting them for use elsewhere
  • Making responsible practices the foundation of our decision making
  • Identifying ways to help improve urban sustainability, for example congestion, air quality and sanitation

Now we have a framework, the next and most important step is to embed this thinking into our practices.

I believe we are part way there, not least because more than 500 of our people helped us develop this approach. And while we have work to do, it is encouraging to see strong external validation of our performance so far, with ANZ recently assessed the leading bank globally on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

We look forward to your guidance and support as we deliver on these commitments. We will of course continue to set public targets and report our performance to you every six months.

Mike Smith
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Corporate Responsibility September 2009

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