ANZ - 2021 Annual Report

Our operating environment The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the external environment across the geographies in which we operate. A summary of the key external challenges currently affecting our business and our response to them is outlined below. CHALLENGE OUR RESPONSE Social and economic impacts of COVID-19 • Many customers continue to be financially impacted by the pandemic, and need to adapt to a new environment • Changed employment proposition due to continued stay-at- home restrictions and employees moving to ‘blended’models of working where restrictions allow a return to office. • Responding to customer circumstances, by providing financial support and information • Working cooperatively with government on policies to see our customers through the COVID-19 pandemic and into a period of growth • Providing targeted wellbeing and safety support to employees. Limited growth • The economic contraction expected as a consequence of prolonged lockdowns in New South Wales and Victoria will impact households and many businesses. It could push unemployment higher and cause more customers to defer loan repayments. Further pandemic-related disruptions are possible over the coming year across our markets of operation. • Maintaining our focus on core banking services to improve customer outcomes, together with efficient allocation of capital and resources. Increased public and regulatory scrutiny • Challenges arising from regulatory expectations and changing community standards and expectations • Failure to meet our ESG commitments and related social expectations could lead to customer and community impacts and reduced shareholder value. • Supporting our customers, employees and the community through the pandemic and ensuing recovery period • Building trust by ‘doing what we say’ • Working cooperatively with regulators, government and NGOs • Strengthening our ESG policies and processes and ensuring we implement effectively – transparently disclosing our progress. Increased competition • Increased competition from digitally enabled competitors. • Deploying new and improved digital services, products and processes to help meet customer needs for efficient and accessible banking. Cyber security threats • Increased cyber-attacks, scams and attempted fraud. • Meeting customer needs for safe, secure and reliable banking through investing in our cyber security capabilities. Climate change • Increasing regulatory, political and societal focus on the transition risks associated with climate change • Potential financial risks associated with lending to business and retail customers impacted by climate change. • Providing sustainable finance products and services, such as green and sustainability-linked loans and bonds, that drive the transition to a low carbon economy • Strengthening our policies, processes, products and services to manage the risks and opportunities associated with climate change. Globalisation and geopolitical changes • The COVID-19 pandemic and changing geopolitical environment has hurt global prosperity and cooperation, threatening flows of trade, investment and people. This may challenge supply chains and productivity across our geographies. • Developing new markets to leverage business opportunities in Australia and the region as economies recover from the pandemic. 14 OVERVIEW HOW WE CREATE VALUE PERFORMANCE OVERVIEW REMUNERATION REPORT DIRECTORS’ REPORT FINANCIAL REPORT SHAREHOLDER INFORMATION