ANZ Bank's tech spend jumps $200m to $1.4bn

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ANZ Bank's tech spend jumps $200m to $1.4bn

Costs rise for outsourcing, data storage.

ANZ Bank increased its annual technology spend by almost $200 million to $1.46 billion in 2015, a significant jump on the approximately $1.2 billion it spends each year on tech initiatives.

At its annual results announcement today - in which the bank reported a record $7.2 billion profit - ANZ posted a 15 percent jump in technology expenditure for the fiscal year ended September 30.

The bulk of the increased spend - $166 million - related to increased outsourcing and use of managed services, higher data storage and software license costs, as well as increased depreciation and amortisation on key infrastructure projects.

The bank spent 6 percent less on its technology infrastructure in FY15 than it did last year, forking out $997 million.

The bank said it was able to save money from greater utilisation of ousourcing partners and hubs. It also completed some major programs of infrastructure work in the year prior, such as building the foundation of a new HR platform, it said.

Around 30 percent of ANZ's tech investment over the year went towards digital initiatives, such as improving the online customer experience, enterprise-wide data management, and customer insight and analytics, the bank said.

"Digitisation is becoming central to ANZ’s business operations, reshaping how ANZ works, not just how technology enables better solutions for customers," the bank wrote.

"The group’s aim is to create a digital bank; one that allows us to stream operations such that we deliver fast, easy and innovative solutions for our customers while also reducing the operational complexity of the organisation and thereby improving productivity and reducing risk."

Digital initiatives over the year included the release of the Wealth 'Advice on Grow' tool for planning, as well as work on the impending 'Insurance on Grow' tool.

The bank said digital sales had increased 30 percent in FY15. It is also now processing 66 percent of transactions via digital channels, a 5 percent increase on last year.

The cost of acquiring and developing software for these digital and technology efforts over the year saw its total capitalised software balance jump 14 percent to $2.9 billion.

During the year, the bank signed a deal with IBM to access its portfolio of software products and work with the software giant in an 'innovation lab' where ANZ developers will build new products and services.

ANZ also appointed a panel of technology executives to advise its board on how the bank can utilise new technologies.

This year's results will be the last for ANZ Bank CEO Mike Smith, who is stepping down and handing the reins for CFO Shayne Elliott on January 1.

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