Westpac Banking Corporation

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Westpac Banking Corporation
Wbc-westpac-group-logo 288x117.png
Founded 1817
Headquarters Sydney, Australia
Key People Peter King, Chief Executive; John McFarlane, Chairman
Employees 40,000
Products Financial and Investment Services
LinkedIn Profile
Website www.westpac.com.au

Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) was the first bank established in Australia, and is one of Australia's biggest banks. The Westpac Group provides financial and investment services to retail customers, multi-national corporate, institutional and government clients.

Its business comprises four customer-facing divisions which operate a portfolio of brands including Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne, BankSA, BT and RAMS. The four divisions are: Consumer, Business, Westpac Institutional Bank and Westpac New Zealand.

It serves more than 13 million customers.


Westpac Banking Corporation was founded in 1817 as the Bank of New South Wales. It changed its name to Westpac Banking Corporation in 1982.

After acquiring the Commercial Bank of Australia in 1982, Westpac expanded rapidly in the 1980s. As a result of the economic downturn at the end of the decade, however, Westpac declared a loss of $1.6 billion for the financial year ending September 30, 1992.

From 1993 to 1999, under the leadership of Robert (Bob) Joss, Westpac underwent a substantial rejuvenation program and then expanded its retail footprint with a number of acquisitions in Australia and New Zealand.

Westpac was a principal sponsor of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

In 2002, the bank began to reshape itself, beginning with the sale of its longstanding iconic finance company, Australian Guarantee Corporation Limited (AGC) to GE Australia. That same year it also expanded its wealth management business by acquiring Rothschild Australia Asset Management, Parts of BT Financial Group, and 51% of Hastings Funds Management Limited, moving to 100% ownership in 2005.

In 2008 Westpac merged with St.George Bank Limited, resulting in a larger multi-brand group.[1]

In November of 2019, the company's chief executive, Brian Hartzer, and chairman, Lindsay Maxsted, said they would step down following a money-laundering scandal, in which it emerged the Australian lender might have facilitated child exploitation by paedophiles, the bank said.

Hartzer was replaced by Chief Financial Officer Peter King.

In September of 2020, Westpac agreed to pay a record-breaking penalty to the regulator AUSTRAC of nearly 1 billion Australian dollars for systematically allowing money laundering on its watch. As part of that deal, Westpac admitted that it broke anti-money laundering and terrorism financing laws more than 23 million times.[2]

Products and Services[edit]

Westpac's debt capital markets team offers issuers an alternative to bank funding by using public market avenues to raise capital. The company is a market leader in Australian and New Zealand debt markets, and has an emerging presence in Asia, Europe and the U.S. In particular, it is a lead manager of AUD- and NZD-denominated domestic issues, Kangaroo and Kauri bonds, AUD and NZD denominated offshore EMTN transactions. [3]

The company also provides spot, forward and swaps capability in most legally exchangeable deliverable currencies and provide access to non-deliverable forward markets where they exist for those currencies with regulatory restrictions, and also offers a range of options. [4]

Westpac’s equity derivatives trading desk in June of 2011 adopted Orc Group’s technology to scale up their options trading and warrants market making business. The solution provides Westpac with non-membership DMA trading access to the ASX.[5]

Key People[edit]