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ANZ announces… well, we have no idea

Australian lender serves up word soup along with first-half results.


At Euromoney, we like to think we’re more attuned to corporate doublespeak than most.

We receive 1,000 award pitches at this time of year, and many of them make redoubtable efforts to torture the English language.

We’d like to raise a glass to ANZ, though, for this line in its first-half results, announced on Wednesday.

“Our focused approach ensures a systematic cadence that adds velocity to benefit realization.”

That’s not buried away in a footnote. It is a highlight, a 20-point font line of concluding text to summarize a similarly baffling slide.

Normally, doublespeak is intended to disguise some deeper malaise

The next page headline, “Change the bank investments reorient back towards growth,” isn’t much better, and we’re not entirely sure the headline on the page after that, “Substantial accelerated strategy initiatives in-flight”, is going to trouble Hemingway for clarity of expression either.

It is a bit odd; all of these things appear in the section ‘CEO presentation’ credited to Shayne Elliott, but Elliott is a capable and precise communicator.

Still, normally, doublespeak is intended to disguise some deeper malaise; in this case, ANZ was announcing a 45% half-on-half net profit fall, albeit largely because of a credit-provision release.