(Adds ANZ comment, detail; changes dateline, reporting credits)
By Sethuraman N R
BENGALURU, March 17 (Reuters) - Australia and New Zealand Banking Group is scaling back its commodities market exposure by quitting trading activity in base metals, coal and iron ore and electricity, the bank confirmed on Friday, citing higher regulatory and capital costs.
In a statement issued after Reuters reported the move, ANZ, Australia’s third-largest lender by assets, said 11 staff across Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore, London and Shanghai will be leave the bank as a result of exiting trading in those commodities.
The bank said it will maintain its focus on precious metals, agriculture and energy. “These changes are in line with what is happening at other banks globally with their commodities businesses due to unfavourable regulatory and capital requirements,” ANZ said.
The changes come as ANZ chief Shayne Elliott - in charge since the start of last year - presses ahead with a review of operations. Last year it shut down lending to small and mid-sized enterprises in five Asian countries, cutting around 100 jobs.
Last month ANZ reported a 31 percent rise in first-quarter cash profit driven in part by lower-than-expected bad debts.
Reporting by Sethuraman NR in BENGALURU; Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in MELBOURNE and Jamie Freed in SYDNEY; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell