Commonwealth Bank AGM 2022: CEO Address
As the President mentioned, the past year has continued to test our nation.
Our goal – build a better future for all – has never been so important.
We remain committed to being there for our country, both in good times and when we need it most.
Supporting our customers
We continued to focus on supporting our customers in the face of natural disasters, the continued impacts of COVID, and growing economic uncertainty.
This included providing natural disaster assistance to more than 2.7 million customers, contacting 5 million customers about government benefits and discounts, and helping to initiate more than 2.2 million claims in Benefits Finder, saving nearly $500 million since 2019.
We are also very aware that a number of our retail and corporate clients are feeling very concerned about rising inflation and rising interest rates.
As always, we will be here to support customers during this time of uncertainty and to help them understand the different options and support available to them.
We also share the community’s concern about the increase in scams and fraud and the increase in cyber threats occurring across Australia.
To help you, we have increased our efforts to keep customers’ accounts and personal information secure. We have a range of security services and features in place to help protect customers, including real-time monitoring and fraud prevention technology.
We recently sent emails to 8.5 million customers, along with 5 million personalized messages through our CommBank app, to raise awareness and educate them on actions they and their loved ones can take to stay safe. online security.
We have seen a very significant increase in response rates and activity, including over 60,000 new customers signing up for the Credit Savvy app. Thanks to the application, there have been more than 55,000 requests to deny access to credit files.
Additionally, over 240,000 unique visitors have visited our CommBank Safe webpage to learn more about what they can do to protect themselves.
Deliver our strategy
This year, we continued to implement our strategy to build the bank of tomorrow for our customers today. We are committed to playing an important role in helping Australia become a more modern, resilient and sustainable economy.
As the President mentioned, this year we released our first Climate Report, outlining our position and approach to climate change, as well as our progress and commitments.
Since June 2020, we’ve provided more than $30 billion in capital and financing to help our customers operate more sustainably. We have also offered innovative financing options such as sustainability-linked loans, green and social bonds.
With one in four home loans in Australia with Commonwealth Bank, we also offer our customers accessible solutions to reduce their environmental footprint. This includes developing partnerships, products and services that help households understand and reduce their own carbon footprint and save money on renewable energy.
Businesses are a key enabler of economic growth and jobs, and as Australia’s largest financial institution, we have a clear role to play in supporting Australian businesses at this time.
After helping businesses during the pandemic, we are now supporting their growth as they face the current environment.
At the same time, we continued to focus on growing our relationships with our business customers, and now have over 1 million business transaction accounts and increased business lending by $15 billion.
This year, we continued to reinvent banking services for our retail and business customers with new services and products based on the world’s best digital technology.
For our retail customers, we launched Unloan, a simple, fast and mobile digital home loan, and Kit, a money app to help improve children’s financial capability. For our business customers, we launched CommBank Smart Health, which enables real-time healthcare payments and claims.
Through our CommBank app, we are also connecting and integrating more and more features such as shopping discounts and offers, loyalty and rewards, perks and discounts. With 8 million digitally active customers, our CommBank app has been ranked #1 by Canstar and Forrester for the 13th and sixth consecutive years, respectively.
Support our communities
Building a better future for all also means being at the forefront of the support we provide to our communities. For East Coast flood-affected communities, CommBank’s CanGive Appeal and CommBank’s Flood Relief Fund helped raise $2.8 million to provide immediate relief and support recovery. Classes.
The Relief Fund has also provided an additional $2 million to support community organizations in affected areas, and more than 200 community organizations have received $10,000 grants to help with their recovery efforts.
And our dedicated community wellbeing team supported more than 17,000 interactions with customers in vulnerable situations, providing confidential assistance, secure banking, resources and external referrals.
Engage our people
I have the privilege of working alongside the dedicated people of Commonwealth Bank.
Record engagement results show our employees can see the meaningful difference they are making to their customers and communities, with 90% also saying they are proud to work for CBA. This is also reflected in the Bank being named LinkedIn’s Top Company in Australia for 2022.
The CommBank Staff Foundation, our people’s charity, has awarded $3 million to local community organizations nationwide through its Community Grants Program. Directly nominated by Foundation members, 300 organizations received $10,000 grants to support their important work.
Our people have once again demonstrated our values of care, courage and commitment to serving our customers and our communities. I thank them for their hard work and commitment.
Deliver strong financial performance
Thanks to our continued focus on our clients and disciplined execution, the Bank delivered another year of strong financial and operational performance.
This translated into strong financial results and, as the president mentioned, an 11% increase in our net profit after tax.
By serving customers exceptionally well and strengthening our relationships with them, we have been able to grow our franchise of retail and corporate transactions and deposits above the system.
Being the leader in transactional deposit banking is particularly important in an environment of rising interest rates.
This deposit growth also funded higher loan volumes to retail, business and institutional clients.
During the year, we processed a record number of home loan applications to provide $157 billion in new loans to households.
Combined with the good credit quality of our portfolio and lower provisions, our operating performance increased by 4%.
The continued strength of our balance sheet and the strength of our capital mean that the Bank is well positioned to continue to support our customers and the broader Australian economy, while delivering consistent and sustainable returns to our shareholders.
And we thank you, dear shareholders, for your continued trust and support.
In this uncertain environment, we remain more focused than ever on supporting our customers and our communities.
We are also committed to playing our part in supporting the economy, promoting financial stability and encouraging growth.
Overall, we remain fundamentally optimistic about the medium to long-term opportunities for Australia, as well as our ability to provide immediate support to customers who need us.
Going forward, we will continue to invest in the Bank’s core retail, corporate and institutional banking franchises, to strengthen our offering and extend our digital leadership.
We are confident that strong customer engagement and deeper relationships will continue to support our continued positive performance.
On behalf of everyone at Commonwealth Bank, I would like to thank Catherine Livingstone AO, who retired as Chair in August 2022, for her contribution to our organization and the clear direction she has set for the Board of directors, the management team and everyone at the Bank.
As Paul noted, we are a much better organization thanks to Catherine’s dedication and leadership, and we wish her the best for the future.
As we look to the year ahead, we remain more committed than ever to delivering positive results for all of our stakeholders:
- The 16 million customers who consider us their trusted financial partner;
- The nearly one million businesses that trust us to help them keep operating and growing for the future;
- The 870,000 direct shareholders, and millions more through pension funds, who rely on us to deliver sustainable returns; and
- The 45,000 people who are proud to work for us and who come to work every day to serve our customers and our communities.
I would like to thank our customers, our staff and you, our shareholders, for your continued support of Commonwealth Bank.