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BankDirect And ASB Bank To Become More Aligned


March 8, 2001

BANKDIRECT AND ASB BANK TO BECOME MORE ALIGNED

Statement made by Ralph Norris, Managing Director, ASB Group


BankDirect and ASB Bank are to become more aligned operationally within ASB Group.

Both brands will retain their own identities, but they will share systems and processes, and will draw on the same support services.

ASB Bank will remain the ASB Group’s main banking brand and BankDirect will continue to extend the Group’s market coverage.

The decision to bring the brands closer together operationally is a logical one. Increasingly, BankDirect and ASB Bank customers are demanding similar services and as a consequence the operations of the two banks are beginning to duplicate each other.

Being more closely aligned will enable both banks to increasingly share the development work undertaken within the broader ASB Group.

The closer integration will be managed over the next 12 months.

Internally, some roles will take on a broader ASB Group focus and this will involve some redeployment within the Group. For customers of both banks it will be business as usual.

When BankDirect was launched a little over three years ago electronic and Internet banking were in their infancy. Since then the broader ASB Group has evolved incorporating ASB Securities, the Sovereign and Colonial organisations.

The realignment of both brands will allow all operations within the broader group to take full advantage of emerging technologies and the strength that comes from the diversity of financial services the Group possesses.

Today, 15% of all ASB Bank customers like using the Internet to undertake transactions while for BankDirect 90% of all its transactions are undertaken electronically.

BankDirect has been a success for ASB Group, contributing significantly to our growth. In some product areas as much as a third of our growth has come from BankDirect.

During its three-year history BankDirect has pioneered a number of progressive and efficient practices which will deliver significant value to ASB Bank, and these best practices will now be shared across the Group.


Issued on behalf of ASB Group by Dennis Lynch,
Network Communications, tel 0-9-379 3154


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