Westpac NZ consolidating three business arms into two in move to 'reduce duplication'

Westpac NZ consolidating three business arms into two in move to 'reduce duplication'

Westpac NZ says "less than" 100 staff will be laid off as a restructure takes effect at the bank.

The restructure comes with Westpac NZ having combined its business bank with its corporate and institutional banking operations, effectively merging three distribution units into two.

"Following on, we are now looking at strengthening our capability and reducing duplication. It’s an ongoing process to ensure our resources are focused in the right areas to support our customer facing staff effectively. Any final figure regarding jobs is expected to be less than three figures," a Westpac NZ spokesman told interest.co.nz.

The restructure has seen the dis-establishment of some jobs with staff having to reapply for new ones. Westpac NZ currently has 4,513 staff.

Changes at senior executive level, reported by interest.co.nz a month ago in our subscriber email here and here  foreshadowed what was to come. These have seen the bank establish what it calls two key distribution units headed by Karen Silk and Simon Power.

Former Cabinet Minister Power absorbed oversight of retail banking with Westpac NZ's head of retail banking, Ian Blair, leaving the bank. Power also has oversight of Westpac NZ's consumer banking and wealth, including KiwiSaver, arms.  Silk now oversees commercial, agriculture, corporate and institutional banking.

The Westpac NZ changes come after similar moves were announced at the bank's Australian parent in June. These also saw the creation of two new divisions under group CEO Brian Hartzer with ex-Westpac NZ CEO George Frazis heading the group Consumer Bank overseeing all consumer banking products and services. The second unit is Commercial and Business Bank, which covers small and medium enterprises, commercial and agri-business customers, as well as asset and equipment finance.

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Oh, only less than 100 families affected. I guess that's ok then.

not nothing to see

1 NZ job cuts

Westpac, Australia’s second largest bank, has implemented a 2. hiring freeze across its operations..... The hiring freeze comes amid a period of rapid change for Australian banks with companies increasing interest rates on investor loans and re-examining their capital requirements following a period of intense scrutiny from the banking regulator, APRA.

Westpac announced this morning it would be 3. bolstering its capital reserves with a $750 million corporate note issue.

The increase in capital holding requirements – essentially a risk-reduction exercise by the regulator – means banks’ profit margins could be squeezed in the coming months, so banks will be looking for ways to defend their profitability and shareholder returns.

APRA has been known to be concerned about some investor lending in the Australian market, especially to people looking to invest in the searing hot property markets of Sydney and, to a lesser extent, Melbourne.


I should imagine there will be some squawking of the rank and file. During the recent massive promotion of their new Air Pts card the staff were well upset that no additional crew were recruited. They are still bedding in those new cards with all the usual hiccups so prepare for a frosty reception if your status points are wrong by a small margin or Bob down the road got a better offer.

Then of course there's the other possibility, they might actually know what they're doing ?