Supporting our customers
George Kinnear, a young Scottish entrepreneur, embarked on a six month voyage from London to Australia to establish the first branch of the Bank of Australasia in 1835. He could never have imagined it was destined to become one of the world's most enduring and successful banks.
Since he landed in Australia 180 years ago, ANZ has transformed itself many times over, moved hemispheres, merged with 15 other banks, bought and sold assets and built its business with its customers.
In that time, ANZ's people have worked hard to create an enduring, growing and innovative bank, one which has stood the test of time.
In its early years Australia was riding the sheep's back as wool became its main export industry. A rapid increase in the number of banks meant credit was easy to come by. However farming on this scale was new, many banks didn't understand the economic cycle and there was little regulation. When commodity and land prices started to collapse, banks began to fail.
Despite this, our predecessor bank, The Bank of Australasia, not only remained open but managed to prosper. Indeed, ANZ survived some of the darkest and most difficult times with its doors remaining open through depressions, through wars, through floods and through fire.
Fast-forward a century to 1951 and The Bank of Australasia joined with Union Bank of Australia to form ANZ Bank. ANZ in turn merged in 1970 with English, Scottish and Australian Bank to become Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited – the largest merger in Australian banking history at the time.
While the expansion into Asia and the decision to sell Grindlays Bank in 2000 were driven by different times, the proceeds allowed for the acquisition of The National Bank of New Zealand in 2003. This transformed ANZ's presence in its second major domestic market and the bank was further strengthened with the merger of the two banks' systems and brands in 2012.
In 2007 Asia's economic rise – and the growing connectivity between Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific – inspired a strategic transformation. ANZ saw an opportunity to create value for shareholders by becoming a super regional bank – a bank of global quality with regional focus.
Almost eight years on, Australia has opened its eyes to Asia's importance; the strategy has gained momentum and recognition and investors rank ANZ highly for its long term and distinct growth strategy.
In recent years ANZ embarked on yet another ambitious journey to meet emerging customer needs by embracing digital. ANZ's mobile banking app 'Go Money' was launched in 2008 and by 2013 it reached more than one million customers, last year surpassing one billion transactions.
Over the past 180 years ANZ, with foresight, some good luck and, at times, necessity has reinvented itself, evolved and adapted. This resilience and adaptation has allowed the bank to mature into a workforce of 51,000 staff worldwide, servicing around nine million customers.
A willingness to embrace the opportunity has allowed ANZ to enjoy significant success over the past 18 decades and will ensure the bank has a bright future for many years to come.