Wealth contributes to ANZ result

Gains within its Wealth business have helped propel ANZ to a 15 per cent increase in statutory profit after tax of $7.3 billion for the full year to 30 September.

ANZ chief executive, Mike Smith specifically referenced the performance of the bank's Global Wealth division, while the more detailed analysis pointed to it having increased cash profit by 11 per cent.

"More customers are choosing ANZ Wealth Solutions, with a 13 per cent increase in the number of wealth solutions being sold through ANZ channels," the company's announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) said.

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"This has been driven by innovations in physical and digital distribution and in advice, including ANZ Smart Choice Super, the new ANZ Grow Centres and the Grow by ANZ app."

The announcement said that Private Wealth profit had grown by 62 per cent, excluding the sale of ANZ Trustees and that the strong performance hd been driven by a new investment led model with deposits and investment Funds Under Management up 20 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.

"Insurance cash profit grew 16 per cent excluding the impact of the exit of one group life insurance plan with retail and direct life inforce premiums up 10 per cent," it said. Australian Retail Life lapse rates are outperforming the industry average at 12.4 per cent, an improvement of 130 basis points."

Discussing the outlook for 2014, Smith pointed to continuing regulatory uncertainty and the impact of the Financial System Inquiry.

"It is perhaps not widely understood that Australia's financial system has been strengthened significantly since the global financial crisis and our major banks are now stronger and safer than ever," he said. "While everyone benefits from a well-capitalised, well-managed banking system — consumers, shareholders and taxpayers — there is a real cost to the economy of ever more restrictive regulation and policy settings."

"It is not in Australia's interest for its financial system to be globally uncompetitive," Smith said.

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