The Bank We’re Building: Kevin Corbally

Kevin Corbally

ANZ Chief Risk Officer Kevin Corbally

The Bank We’re Building brings together the things that collectively define ANZ – our purpose, our strategy and our culture. Over the past five years, we’ve made great strides, simplifying the bank and helping customers take advantage of opportunities as well as supporting them through challenges.


In this new series, hear directly from ANZ’s Executive Leadership team their thoughts on building culture, living our purpose and building a better bank for the future.


You can browse the full series here.


When I think about the bank we're building, I first look at what we are trying to achieve. And ultimately, we're trying to build an ANZ to help improve the financial wellbeing of our customers. And to help deliver on that there are three key areas we are going to focus on. They are financial risk, non-financial risk and reporting and modelling. In terms of financial risk, what we're trying to do in risk is streamline the customer journey by simplifying a lot of the work we do. On non-financial risk, we want to help the organisation have much clearer end-to-end accountability and understanding of responsibilities supported by efficient, effective, and integrated data driven solutions. From a reporting and modeling perspective we want to provide highly trusted, relevant, easily accessible data and intelligent insights.


To enable these three objectives we need to  move to a more simplified, scaled, progressive data and technology infrastructure and capability and equip our people with the right tools and skills to anticipate and navigate the bank through that changing environment. So if we can do all of those things, ultimately, I think we will deliver a better customer experience, a better banker experience, better employee engagement. We’ll be more effective from a risk perspective and more efficient as well.


And so in the context of the bank we're building, there’s a different frame on these goals. Some may argue we would have been working towards those goals anyway, but one of our ultimate goals would be faster decisioning. And we've made significant progress over the last couple of years in shifting the number of decisions that are automated to try improve on that decisioning. So if we can get to that point, we'll ultimately deliver a better experience for our customers.


Another theme which is going to become a bigger risk for all of us than it is today is climate risk. So the work we've been doing building out models, looking at what the trajectory is for certain industry segments - energy, power, transport, property etc. And what a path over the next 20, 30 years is for those industry segments. That's using data, modeling, technology that ultimately means you make better decisions. The investment we’ve made, and will continue to make, in analytics and algorithms over the last few years means we can extract data better, we can have better insights, and in turn deliver better outcomes. This makes the bank a safer place for everyone. So the bank that we're building not only helps our customers get to where they want to go, but they have confidence and trust in us and our ability to do the right things for them.


And people often joke that the role of Risk is to say “no” but I see the function as being much more engaged and proactive. Of course, the easiest decision for anyone is to say no to something. The hardest decision is to say yes. There are more repercussions for saying yes then there are for saying no, right? So as a function, we are trying to communicate clearly with staff that if they make a decision and it turns out not to be the right call, but they made that decision based on the information available to them and it was a reasonable decision to make. Well, you know what, that's life. That's what happens. And it’s about being prepared to back people when those situations occur. There's a realisation that our role is to figure out how we can make something work . So if you want to anticipate risk and help navigate the bank to where it wants to go, you've got to be more nuanced. So that's essentially what we’re trying to do including by adjusting policies and adjusting approaches.


We are very fortunate to have some really, really good people in Risk today. And pleasingly we've also added some individuals with different skills. So we have  a combination of  very strong risk specialists but then we've supplemented those skills by bringing in people with technology and data skills. So if you can combine the two, then you get some really powerful groups of people. But those type of skills don't grow on trees, they're very hard to find. And it's really important when you do get them that you hang on to them.


Kevin Corbally is Chief Risk Officer of ANZ


Find conversations with ANZ’s Executive Committee on the Bank We’re Building series page


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