sign uplog in
Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here.

Australia's Westpac Banking Corporation to retain ownership of Westpac New Zealand after ownership review

Australia's Westpac Banking Corporation to retain ownership of Westpac New Zealand after ownership review

Australia's Westpac Banking Corporation says, after a review, it's retaining ownership of Westpac New Zealand.

"After a detailed review, we believe a demerger of the Westpac NZ business would not be in the best interests of shareholders," Westpac Group CEO Peter King says.

“Our review identified opportunities to improve service for customers and value across the Westpac NZ business and we will progress these with the Westpac NZ Board and management team."

“Westpac NZ is a strong business that has been serving New Zealand for 160 years. We remain committed to delivering for customers and fulfilling our purpose of helping Australians and New Zealanders succeed,” King says.

King says a priority will be appointing a new Westpac NZ CEO to replace David McLean, who retires on June 25. Westpac NZ's General Manager of Institutional and Business Banking, Simon Power, will act as CEO from Friday, June 25.

In March the Westpac Group announced it was reviewing its ownership of Westpac NZ having had a presence in NZ since 1861. Had Westpac Group pushed ahead with a demerger it was expected to have seen Westpac Group shareholders offered Westpac NZ shares.

Power says although the ownership review created excitement about what being an independent NZ company could potentially mean, there are also benefits from being part of a strong group.

"Australasian banks are looked upon as being some of the most robust globally, and for many of our customers there are real positives in having a Trans-Tasman bank as their bank. In short – there are no changes to the way we currently work with you today, and if you are a customer, there are no changes to our banking relationship with you," Power says.

A Westpac NZ spokesman says the global search for a new CEO is ongoing and doesn't have a deadline.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


Shareholders... mention of staff, customers or other stakeholders? There is an organisation caught in a time warp of shareholder primacy. Westpac clearly needs a strong union to fight the management/executives tooth and nail when the "cost efficiencies" are made and you're offered redundancy.


Not surprised at all - why would you get rid of such a cash cow.

Hats off to the Westpac marketing team.

That was a very successful advertising campaign.

Beautifully played. Last attempt at milking the last drop. Perhaps they might close the branches and fire the tellers and branch managers with a good dose of reduction in IT staff. Maybe they'll morph into 100% online only for retail services. Drawing down on underutilised RBNZ loan facility to dish out more lucrative loans may be on the platter too. All in all, shareholders of Westpac should be celebrating.

They must have looked at the profit they generate from NZ a couple times more. Easy money, why give it up ?

Kiwi Stock Exchange lost a good chance to have a Bank listed here. May be Westpac and other Aussie Banks should pay rent to operate here, even if they are closing branches.

Do they lease or own the branches?

When they are all closed where is their capital physically?

The capital is just a bunch of 1s and 0s hosted by computers and data centres back in Australia.

!s and 0s protected by Raid5 or higher
Flashing lights in dark hot/cold corridors
Access controlled by ServiceNow
Please leave your cellphone at the Door!

Mr Advisor, apart from Land or physical gold, what asset class is not really just 1s and 0s?

Term deposits guaranteed as they are in Australia, or status quo with our ridiculous "Open Banking Resolution?"

Wish they had of gone.
Just as bad as the other Australian banks

Maybe the data analytics showed from social media etc how many customers would exit Westpac to another bank?

Addicted to the $500m+ annual transactions between the bank and the NZ Government. And, or, didn't get a buyer for the price they wanted?