ANZ Bank in $100m phase out of National Bank brand

Article – BusinessDesk

Sept. 26 (BusinessDesk) – Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, the biggest lender in New Zealand, will phase out is National Bank brand over the next two years and merge adjacent branches in an exercise it estimates will cost $100 million.

ANZ Bank in $100m phase out of National Bank brand

Sept. 26 (BusinessDesk) – Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, the biggest lender in New Zealand, will phase out is National Bank brand over the next two years and merge adjacent branches in an exercise it estimates will cost $100 million.

National Bank’s black horse and green branding are licensed from the UK’s Lloyds TSB under an arrangement that expires in 2014. Dumping the National Bank brand will see the bank reduce total branches to 280 from 300 in New Zealand, ANZ Bank said today. ANZ will adopt National Bank’s technology system and the majority of its products, it said.

“ANZ bought the National Bank in 2003 and after almost 10 years of reducing duplication, the next logical step is to combine them into one,” said chief executive David Hisco.

The merged brand will be known as ANZ Bank New Zealand and will be “the best of both banks” with ANZ’s strength across the Asia Pacific region and National Bank’s reputation for customer service, Hisco said.

The lender has dubbed the exercise the NZ Simplification project. While the group has made cost savings in recent years by streamlining management and processes, there will be “more savings to come in the future from eliminating duplicated information technology costs.

There would be workers such as technology contractors whose role would come to an end as the project winds up. No frontline jobs would be affected, it said.

“For most National Bank customers it will be business as usual – they will see the same people, just wearing a different uniform,” it said.

Dryden Spring stepped down as chairman and board members of ANZ National Bank on June 22, to be replaced by former Accident Compensation Corp chairman John Judge. ANZ National’s chief financial officer Peter Marriott left in May.

In May, the lender reported a 13 percent gain in first-half underlying earnings as net interest income grew 6 percent to $1.63 billion.

The $100 million cost of the exercise will mostly be recognised in the bank’s 2012 annual results, it said.

(BusinessDesk)

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