ANZ profits plunge amid restructure

ANZ has reported its half-year profits dipped by more than 20 per cent, following a restructure that was implemented to ensure the bank is "future ready".

In a statement, ANZ said its statutory profit after tax was $2.7 billion for the half-year ending on 31 March 2016, down 22 per cent from the previous corresponding period.

The bank's cash profit clocked in at $2.8 billion, down 24 per cent. These results followed a $717 million net charge primarily related to repositioning the bank, the statement said.

ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott said: "This result reflects a challenging period for banking and we have taken the opportunity to move decisively and adapt to the changing environment by building a simpler, better capitalised and more balanced bank."

"Banking is, however, continuing to experience rapid shifts in technology, customer expectations and regulation against a backdrop of low economic growth, volatile financial markets and rising credit costs. Our priority is to take bold action to ensure ANZ is fit and ready for this future."

As for the immediate future, the bank is in a period of "consolidation, simplification and transition", Mr Elliott said.

ANZ announced in March that it would restructure its wealth management business, with changes that included the departure of group executive for wealth, Joyce Phillips.

The bank said the move is designed to "simplify" its approach to wealth management and align its wealth products and services with its retail and commercial business.

Mr Elliott later rejected notions that the change came because the bank's wealth division had fallen in value, saying that industry regulation and increased compliance obligations are part of what led to the restructure. 

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