Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. has axed its traditional A$1,000 ($746) share bonus for staff this year, citing the need to cut expenses.
In an intranet post seen by Bloomberg News, management told employees that 2016 had been a “challenging year” and that in an “environment of lower growth and lower returns, ANZ needs to reduce costs.”
Higher funding costs, narrower margins and rising bad-debt charges are putting pressure on profit at Australia’s largest lenders, with ANZ earlier this month reporting its lowest full-year earnings since 2011. Since taking over in January, Chief Executive Officer Shayne Elliott has been winding back the bank’s lower-returning operations in Asia and focusing on the domestic market.
“It’s been a difficult operating environment for ANZ and our shareholders have already felt the impact of this through a reduction in the dividend,” Stephen Ries, a spokesman for the Melbourne-based lender, said in an e-mail confirming the decision.
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