Westpac Banking Corporation Resets Its Wealth Strategy

Westpac Banking Corporation Resets Its Wealth Strategy

Australia’s leading bank, Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC) is resetting its wealth strategy to support its customer’s insurance, investment and superannuation needs.

In an announcement made on 19 March 2019, the bank revealed that it is moving its wealth businesses into the Consumer and the Business divisions, realigning its capabilities into the lines of business where it makes most sense based on customer needs.  The bank also announced about the exit of its Advice Business which will remove the cash earnings loss from the Advice business. It is expected that these changes will result in $20 million (pre-tax) of productivity savings for the bank.

While commenting on the realignment of the BTFG businesses, the group’s Chief Executive, Mr. Brian Hartzer told that the bank is “realigning its capabilities into the lines of business where it makes most sense based on customer needs”. According to him, these changes will allow the bank to pay more attention to areas where Westpac is having a competitive advantage.

While commenting on the exit of face-to-face personal financial advice in BT Financial Group (BTFG) Mr. Brian Hartzer told that this decision reflects the changing external environment under which financial advisers are operating independently.

The bank has also announced regarding the re-organization of Group Executive responsibilities. The bank has announced that its Consumer division will be led by the current Business Bank Chief Executive, Mr. David Lindberg who is an experienced banking executive and has been an outstanding leader of the Business Bank in the past few years. He is also an experienced retail banker who has worked across three Australian banks in various operational and strategic positions including as Westpac’s Chief Product Officer, responsible for product and digital across the Group.

The bank’s business division will now be led by General Manager of Commercial Banking, Mr. Alastair Welsh who is an experienced business banker and has held senior roles across the Group for the past 26 years.

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Currently, Mr. Brad Cooper is in charge of ensuring the smooth transition of BT’s businesses into their new divisions, however, he has recently indicated that he will soon leave the bank to seek a new leadership role outside the Group.

Now, let’s have a glance at the bank’s stock performance and how it has performed in the past few months. The stock traded at a price of $26.420, down by 0.377% during the day’s trade with a market capitalization of ~$91.43 billion as on 19 March 2019. The counter opened the day at $26.600 and reached the day’s high of $26.770 and touched a day’s low of $26.400 with a daily volume of ~ 6,856,327. The stock has provided a year till date return of 8.17% & also posted returns of -5.09%, 7.42% & 0.91% over the past six months, three & one-months period respectively. It had a 52-week high price of $30.440 and touched 52 weeks low of $23.300, with an average volume of ~ 6,422,017.


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