December 16, 2002

As chief operating office of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, one of Asia's largest financial institutions, David Boyles is responsible for overseeing technology initiatives throughout the enterprise. Boyles recently spoke to BS&T about the issues that will impact ANZ Group technology going into 2003.

BS&T: How are you preparing for Basel II?

BOYLES: I'm heavily involved in that. One of my senior project managers is running with that in cooperation with the head of group risk and the business unit heads, because that affects all of the business and corporate arenas.

I don't want to say we're relaxed about it, but it's moving along well. We tend to do a lot of planning around these things, and hopefully spend less time on the actual build. There's a serious amount of detailed planning going on for that, and some of the projects associated with Basle has kicked off, but most of the work will be done next year.

BS&T: I imagine you're developing that around the portal.

BOYLES: Right. That's exactly what we're doing. The key thing around Basel II is the impaired asset system, and that's going to be done on a single system in the bank.

BS&T: What are some of your cost-cutting goals for 2003?

BOYLES: If you look at our cost-to-income ratio, we're currently running at about 46 percent. We'll do at least that good in the future, if not better, so you should expect to see that number get smaller. We think it's one of our competitive advantages, to run at a lower cost-to-income ratio than our competitors.

We have an ongoing program in the bank around technology rationalization and componentization. We also recently appointed a very senior MD whose sole focus is major cost-cutting projects. So some of these really big projects that cross business lines, he's spending all of his time on.

BS&T: You also mentioned anti-money laundering as one of your main concerns.

BOYLES: I think all the major banks in the world have taken a very hard look at how they protect against money laundering, and that's been a big focus out here in our shops. There are a number of projects underway, even though we're pretty good at this, to further tighten up policies and systems and so on to make sure that we're cooperating in that effort.

It's not only "know your customer," but also systems that help you track transactions. Even if you know your customer you also want some of these systems that allow you the capability to look for patterns of transaction.

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