UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 20-F

 

o

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

Or

 

x

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2019

 

Or

 

o

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

Or

 

o

 

SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

Commission File Number: 1-10167

 

WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION
Australian Business Number 33 007 457 141
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

New South Wales, Australia
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

 

275 Kent Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
(Address of principal executive offices)

 

Westpac Banking Corporation, New York branch,

575 Fifth Avenue, 39th Floor, New York, New York 10017-2422,
Attention: Branch Manager, telephone number: (212) 551-1800

(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)

 

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Ordinary shares

 

Listed on the New York Stock Exchange, not for trading, but only in connection with the registration of related American Depositary Shares, pursuant to the requirements of the New York Stock Exchange.

American Depositary Shares, each representing the right to receive one ordinary share

 

New York Stock Exchange

 

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:  None

 

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: 4.875% Notes due November 19, 2019, 2.150% Notes due March 6, 2020, Floating Rate Notes due March 6, 2020, 3.050% Notes due May 15, 2020, Floating Rate Notes due May 15, 2020, 2.30% Notes due May 26, 2020, 2.600% Notes due November 23, 2020, 2.650% Notes due January 25, 2021, Floating Rate Notes due January 25, 2021, 2.100% Notes due May 13, 2021, Floating Rate Notes due May 13, 2021, 2.000% Notes due August 19, 2021, Floating Rate Notes due August 19, 2021, 2.800% Notes due January 11, 2022, Floating Rate Notes due January 11, 2022, 2.500% Notes due June 28, 2022, Floating Rate Notes due June 28, 2022, 2.750% Notes due January 11, 2023, Floating Rate Notes due January 11, 2023, 3.650% Notes due May 15, 2023, Floating Rate Notes due May 15, 2023, 3.300% Notes due February 26, 2024, Floating Rate Notes due February 26, 2024, 2.850% Notes due May 13, 2026, 2.700% Notes due August 19, 2026, 3.350% Notes due March 8, 2027, 3.400% Notes due January 25, 2028, 4.322% Subordinated Notes due November 23, 2031, 4.110% Subordinated Notes due July 24, 2034, 4.421% Subordinated Notes due July 24, 2039 and 5.000% Fixed Rate Resetting Perpetual Subordinated Contingent Convertible Securities

 

Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.

 

Ordinary shares

 

3,489,928,773 fully paid

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Yes x     No o

 

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Yes o      No x

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

Yes x     No o

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).

Yes x     No o (not currently applicable to registrant)

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer x

Accelerated filer o

Non-accelerated filer o

Emerging growth company o

 

If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o

 

† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.

 

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

U.S. GAAP o   International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board x

Other o

 

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company.

Yes o      No x

 

 

 


 

 

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

1

 

 

 

 

Table of contents

 

 

 

 

Annual Report

 


Form 20-F cross-reference index

2

 

 

Guide 3 cross-reference index

4

 

 

Section 1

5

 

 

Information on Westpac

6

 

 

Significant developments

7

 

 

Corporate governance

17

 

 

Directors’ report

39

 

 

Remuneration Report

57

 

 

Section 2

87

 

 

Five year summary

88

 

 

Reading this report

89

 

 

Review of Group operations

91

 

 

Income statement review

93

 

 

Balance sheet review

101

 

 

Capital resources

104

 

 

Commitments

107

 

 

Divisional performance

108

 

 

Consumer

111

 

 

Business

112

 

 

Westpac Institutional Bank

113

 

 

Westpac New Zealand

114

 

 

Group Businesses

116

 

 

Risk and risk management

120

 

 

Risk factors

120

 

 

Risk management

131

Credit risk

132

 

 

Funding and liquidity risk

133

 

 

Market risk

134

 

 

Operational risk

134

 

 

Conduct and compliance risk

134

 

 

Governance risk

135

 

 

Risk culture

135

 

 

Strategic risk

135

 

 

Capital adequacy

136

 

 

Cyber risk

136

 

 

Reputation risk

136

 

 

Sustainability risk

136

 

 

Westpac’s approach to sustainability

140

 

 

Sustainability performance

140

 

 

Five year non-financial summary

149

 

 

Other Westpac business information

151

 

 

Section 3

153

 

 

Financial statements

154

 

 

Notes to the financial statements

160

 

 

Statutory statements

297

 

 

Section 4

305

 

 

Shareholding information

306

 

 

Additional information

319

 

 

Information for shareholders

323

 

 

Glossary of abbreviations and defined terms

326

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this Annual Report a reference to ‘Westpac’, ‘Group’, ‘Westpac Group’, ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’ is to Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 and its subsidiaries unless it clearly means just Westpac Banking Corporation.

For certain information about the basis of preparing the financial information in this Annual Report see ‘Reading this report’ in Section 2. In addition, this Annual Report contains statements that constitute ‘forward-looking statements’ within the meaning of Section 21E of the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934. For an explanation of forward-looking statements and the risks, uncertainties and assumptions to which they are subject, see ‘Reading this report’ in Section 2.

Information contained in or accessible through the websites mentioned in this Annual Report does not form part of this report unless we specifically state that it is incorporated by reference and forms part of this report. All references in this report to websites are inactive textual references and are for information only.

 


 

2

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

Form 20-F cross-reference index

 

 

 

20-F item number and description

Page

Part I

 

 

Item 1.

Identity of directors, senior management and advisers

Not applicable

Item 2.

Offer statistics and expected timetable

Not applicable

Item 3.

Key information

 

 

Selected financial data

88, 93, 101-102, 322

 

Capitalisation and indebtedness

Not applicable

 

Reasons for the offer and use of proceeds

Not applicable

 

Risk factors

120-131

Item 4.

Information on Westpac

 

 

History and development of Westpac

6-16, 50-51

 

Business overview

6-16

 

Organisational structure

6-7, 281-282

 

Property, plants and equipment

151

Item 4A.

Unresolved staff comments

Not applicable

Item 5.

Operating and financial review and prospects

 

 

Operating results

91-106, 108-119

 

Liquidity and capital resources

104-107, 133-139

 

Research and development, patents and licences, etc.

Not applicable

 

Trend information

93-105, 108-119

 

Off-balance sheet arrangements

138

 

Tabular disclosure of contractual obligations

107

 

Safe harbor

89

Item 6.

Directors, senior management and employees

 

 

Directors and senior management

39-47, 53

 

Compensation

57-84, 290-292

 

Board practices

19-47

 

Employees

151

 

Share ownership

53-54, 290-293, 306

Item 7.

Major shareholders and related party transactions

 

 

Major shareholders

306-313

 

Related party transactions

152, 291-292

 

Interests of experts and counsel

Not applicable

Item 8.

Financial information

 

 

Consolidated statements and other financial information

153-303

 

Significant changes

7-14, 295

Item 9.

The offer and listing

 

 

Offer and listing details

313

 

Plan of distribution

Not applicable

 

Markets

17, 323-324

 

Selling shareholders

Not applicable

 

Dilution

Not applicable

 

Expenses of the issue

Not applicable

 


 

 

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

3

 

 

 

 

Form 20-F cross-reference index

 

 

 

20-F item number and description

Page

Part I (continued)

 

 

Item 10.

Additional information

 

 

Share capital

Not applicable

 

Memorandum and articles of association

319-321

 

Material contracts

152

 

Exchange controls

315-316

 

Taxation

316-318

 

Dividends and paying agents

Not applicable

 

Statements by experts

Not applicable

 

Documents on display

321

 

Subsidiary information

Not applicable

Item 11.

Quantitative and qualitative disclosures about market risk

133-134, 251-252

Item 12.

Description of securities other than equity securities

 

 

Debt securities

Not applicable

 

Warrants and rights

Not applicable

 

Other securities

Not applicable

 

American depositary shares

314

Part II

 

 

Item 13.

Defaults, dividend arrearages and delinquencies

Not applicable

Item 14.

Material modifications to the rights of security holders and use of proceeds

Not applicable

Item 15.

Controls and procedures

139, 298, 299

Item 16A.

Audit committee financial expert

29

Item 16B.

Code of ethics

24-28

Item 16C.

Principal accountant fees and services

30, 290

Item 16D.

Exemptions from the Listing Standards for audit committees

Not applicable

Item 16E.

Purchases of equity securities by Westpac and affiliated purchasers

107, 276-278

Item 16F.

Changes in Westpac’s certifying accountant

Not applicable

Item 16G.

Corporate governance

17

Item 16H.

Mine safety disclosure

Not applicable

 

 

 

Part III

 

 

Items 17. & 18.

Financial statements

153-303

Item 19.

Exhibits

 

Consolidated income statements for the years ended 30 September 2019, 2018 and 2017

154

Consolidated balance sheets as at 30 September 2019 and 2018

156

Consolidated statements of comprehensive income for the years ended 30 September 2019, 2018 and 2017

155

Consolidated statements of cash flows for the years ended 30 September 2019, 2018 and 2017

159

Notes to the financial statements

160-296

Management’s report on the internal control over financial reporting

298

Report of independent registered public accounting firm

299-303

 


 

4

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

Guide 3 cross-reference index

 

 

 

 

Page

Part I Distribution of assets, liabilities and stockholders’ equity;
interest rates and interest differential

 

Average balance sheets

101, 187-189

Analysis of net interest earnings

94-95, 187-189

Volume and rate movement

94, 187-189

Part II Investment portfolio

 

Book value of investments

192

Maturity profile

193, 249-251

Book value and market value > 10% of shareholders

192

Part III Loan portfolio

 

Types of loans

195-197

Maturities and sensitivities of loans to changes in interest rates

198

Risk elements

 

Non-accrual, past due and restructured loans

103-104, 240-244

Potential problem loans

103-104

Foreign outstandings

133

Loan concentrations

133

Other interest bearing assets

190-194

Part IV Summary of loan loss experience

 

Analysis of the allowance for loan losses

199-210

Allocation of the allowance for loan losses

199-210

Part V Deposits

213-214

Part VI Return on equity and assets

88, 102

Part VII Short-term borrowings

216-217

 


 

 

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Information on Westpac

 

Corporate Governance

 

Directors’ report
(including Remuneration Report)

 


 

6

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

Information on Westpac

 


Westpac is one of the four major banking organisations in Australia and one of the largest banking organisations in New Zealand. We provide a broad range of banking and financial services in these markets, including consumer1, business and institutional banking and wealth management services.

 

We have branches, affiliates and controlled entities2 throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia and in the Pacific region, and maintain branches and offices in some of the key financial centres around the world.

 

We were founded in 1817 and were the first bank established in Australia. In 1850, we were incorporated as the Bank of New South Wales by an Act of the New South Wales Parliament. In 1982, we changed our name to Westpac Banking Corporation following our merger with the Commercial Bank of Australia. On 23 August 2002, we were registered as a public company limited by shares under the Australian Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act).

 

At 30 September 2019, our market capitalisation was $103 billion3 and we had total assets of $907 billion.

 

Organisational structure

Our business is focused in Australia and New Zealand, operating under multiple brands. The Group operates through an extensive branch and ATM network, significant online capability, and call centres supported by specialist relationship and product managers. Our operations comprise the following key divisions:

 

Consumer is responsible for sales and service to consumer customers in Australia. Consumer is also responsible for the Group’s insurance business which covers the manufacture and distribution of life, general and lenders mortgage insurances. The division also uses a third party to manufacture certain general insurance products. Banking products are provided under the Westpac, St.George, BankSA, Bank of Melbourne, and RAMS brands, while insurance products are provided under Westpac and BT brands. Consumer works with Business and WIB in the sales, service, and referral of certain financial services and products including superannuation, platforms, auto lending and foreign exchange. The revenue from these products is mostly retained by the product originators.

 

Business provides business banking and wealth facilities and products for customers across Australia. Business is responsible for manufacturing and distributing facilities to SME and Commercial business customers (including Agribusiness) generally for up to $150 million in exposure. SME customers include relationship managed and non-relationship managed SME customers (generally between $100k-$250k facilities). The division offers a wide range of banking products and services to support their borrowing, payments and transaction needs. In addition, specialist services are provided for cash flow finance, trade finance, automotive and equipment finance and property finance. The division is also responsible for Private Wealth and the manufacture and distribution of investments (including margin lending and equities broking), superannuation and

 

1.                A consumer is defined as a person who uses our products and services. It does not include business entities.

2.                Refer to Note 31 to the financial statements for a list of our material controlled entities as at 30 September 2019.

3.                Based on the closing share price of our ordinary shares on the ASX as at 30 September 2019.

retirement products as well as wealth administration platforms. Business operates under the Westpac, St.George, BankSA, Bank of Melbourne, and BT brands. Business works with Consumer and WIB in the sale, referral and service of select financial services and risk management products (including corporate superannuation, foreign exchange and interest rate hedging). The revenue from these products is mostly retained by the product originators.

 

Westpac Institutional Bank (WIB) delivers a broad range of financial products and services to commercial, corporate, institutional and government customers operating in, or with connections to Australia and New Zealand. WIB operates through dedicated industry relationship and specialist product teams, with expert knowledge in transactional banking, and financial and debt capital markets. Customers are supported throughout Australia and via branches and subsidiaries located in New Zealand, the US, UK and Asia. WIB is also responsible for Westpac Pacific providing a full range of banking services in Fiji and PNG. WIB works with all the Group’s divisions in the provision of markets related financial needs including foreign exchange and fixed interest solutions.

 

Westpac New Zealand is responsible for sales and service of banking, wealth and insurance products for consumer, business and institutional customers in New Zealand. Westpac conducts its New Zealand banking business through two banks: Westpac New Zealand Limited, which is incorporated in New Zealand and Westpac Banking Corporation (New Zealand Branch), which is incorporated in Australia. Westpac New Zealand operates via an extensive network of branches and ATMs across both the North and South Islands. Business and institutional customers are also served through relationship and specialist product teams. Banking products are provided under the Westpac brand while insurance and wealth products are provided under Westpac Life and BT brands, respectively. New Zealand also maintains its own infrastructure, including technology, operations and treasury.

 

Group Businesses include:

 

·                   Treasury, which is responsible for the management of the Group’s balance sheet including wholesale funding, capital and the management of liquidity. Treasury also manages the interest rate risk and foreign exchange risks inherent in the balance sheet, including managing the mismatch between Group assets and liabilities. Treasury’s earnings are primarily sourced from managing the Group’s balance sheet and interest rate risk, (excluding Westpac New Zealand) within set risk limits;

 

·                   Group Technology, which is responsible for technology strategy and architecture, infrastructure and operations, applications development and business integration in Australia;

 

·                   Core Support, which comprises functions performed centrally, including Australian banking operations, property services, strategy, finance, risk, compliance, legal, human resources, and customer and corporate relations; and

 

·                   Following the Group’s decision to restructure its wealth operations and exit its Advice business in March 2019, the residual Advice operations (including associated remediation) and certain support functions of BTFG Australia have been transferred to Group Businesses.


 


 

 

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

7

 

 

 

 

Information on Westpac

 


Group Technology costs are fully allocated to other divisions in the Group. Core Support costs are partially allocated to other divisions, while Group Head Office costs are retained in Group Businesses. Group Businesses also includes earnings on capital not allocated to divisions, certain intra-group transactions that facilitate the presentation of the performance of the Group’s divisions, gains/losses from most asset sales, earnings and costs associated with the Group’s Fintech investments, and certain other head office items such as centrally raised provisions.

 

Significant developments

 

Westpac significant developments

 

Customer remediation

Through the Group’s ‘get it right, put it right’ initiative we have continued to review products, processes and policies to identify where we may not have got it right for our customers. Where problems have been identified, the Group has committed to fix them and refund customers. These initiatives identified a number of issues that require ongoing remediation.

 

The Group has undertaken steps designed to accelerate the processing of customer refunds and centralise oversight of certain remediation under the Chief Operating Officer.

 

Further information in relation to compliance, reputation and remediation provisions is included in Note 27 to the financial statements.

 

Changes to wealth strategy

During the course of the year, Westpac reset its wealth strategy and made a number of changes to its wealth business. This resulted in the realignment of our major BT Financial Group businesses into the Consumer and Business divisions from 1 April 2019.

 

During the financial year ended 30 September 2019, Westpac also completed the exit of its personal financial advice business, which included completing a sale with Viridian Advisory on 1 July 2019 and moving to a referral model for financial advisers utilising a panel of adviser firms.

 

First strike against remuneration report

On 12 December 2018 at Westpac’s Annual General Meeting of shareholders, Westpac incurred a first strike against its remuneration report. A strike occurs where a company’s remuneration report receives a ‘no’ vote of 25% or more. If Westpac receives a second strike at its 2019 Annual General Meeting, a spill resolution will be put to shareholders. If 50% or more of votes cast are in favour of that spill resolution, a spill meeting is required to be held within 90 days. At that spill meeting, certain directors will be required to stand for re-election.

 

In response to the first strike and other feedback received Westpac has made changes to both the structure of remuneration and outcomes. Further detail is included in the Remuneration Report included in the Directors’ Report.

 

Financial crime

In an environment of ongoing legislative reform, regulatory change and increased industry focus, Westpac continues to progress a program of work to improve its management of financial crime risks (including Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF), sanctions, Anti-Bribery and Corruption, FATCA and Common Reporting Standards). This work includes a review of our AML/CTF policies, the completeness of data feeding into our AML/CTF systems and our AML/CTF processes and controls. Westpac has been regularly updating AUSTRAC on progress and continues to implement a number of improvements to its AML/CTF Program, governance, policies, systems and controls together with related remediation work in respect of certain controls and reporting practices. These efforts relate to matters such as customer on-boarding, customer and payment screening; ongoing customer due diligence, transaction monitoring and regulatory reporting (including in relation to International Funds Transfer Instructions (IFTIs), Suspicious Matter Reports and Threshold Transaction Reports).

 

As reported in the Group’s 2018 Annual Report, the Group self-reported to AUSTRAC a failure to report a large number of IFTIs (as required under Australia’s AML/CTF Act). Under the Act, the ‘sender’ financial institution of an IFTI transmitted out of Australia, or the ‘recipient’ financial institution of an IFTI transmitted into Australia, is required to report the IFTI to AUSTRAC within 10 business days of the instruction being sent or received. The majority of the IFTIs which are the subject of the Group’s engagement with AUSTRAC, concern batch instructions received by Westpac through one WIB product between 2009 and 2018 from a small number of correspondent banks for payments made predominantly to beneficiaries living in Australia in Australian dollars, on behalf of clients of those correspondent banks. The majority of the payments were low value, recurring and made by foreign government pension funds and corporates.

 

AUSTRAC has issued a number of detailed statutory notices over the last year requiring information relating to the Group’s processes, procedures and oversight. These notices relate to a range of matters including these IFTI reporting failures and associated potential failings related to record keeping and obligations to obtain and pass on certain data in funds transfer instructions, as well as correspondent banking due diligence, risk assessments and transaction monitoring. Westpac has not yet received an indication from AUSTRAC about the nature of any enforcement action it may take. The Group is continuing to work with AUSTRAC in relation to these matters.

 

Any enforcement action against Westpac may include civil penalty proceedings and result in the payment of a significant financial penalty, which Westpac is currently unable to reliably estimate. Previous enforcement action by AUSTRAC against other institutions has resulted in a range of outcomes, depending on the nature and severity of the relevant conduct and its consequences.

 

Further information about these matters is set out in Note 27 to the financial statements. Details about the consequences of failing to comply with financial crime obligations is set out in ‘Risk Factors’ in section 2.


 


 

8

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

Information on Westpac

 


Regulatory and Government focus

 

Royal Commission into the banking, superannuation and financial services industries

On 14 December 2017, the Australian Government established a Royal Commission into potential misconduct in Australia’s banks and other financial services entities. The Royal Commission’s Final Report was released on 4 February 2019 and contained 76 express recommendations. In light of Westpac’s wealth strategy reset and the Government’s signalled approach to implementation, 49 of those recommendations presently apply to Westpac. Of these 49 recommendations, 11 recommendations have now been implemented, with Westpac either establishing new practices and procedures to meet the recommendations or having existing practices consistent with the recommendation, and a further 11 recommendations are in the process of being implemented. Some of these recommendations will require legislative or regulatory action before implementation can be completed.

 

The remaining 27 recommendations require legislative or regulatory action before implementation work can commence. Westpac is undertaking preparatory work where possible, including through participation in Government consultation.

 

The recommendations are broadly aimed at protecting consumers against misconduct, providing adequate redress and addressing asymmetries of power and information between financial services entities and their customers. Implementation of the recommendations is likely to continue to have a significant impact on banking and financial services entities and their regulators. Some of the most significant recommendations include those concerning the regulation of mortgage brokers, the prohibition of unsolicited sales of insurance and superannuation products and removal of grandfathered commissions.

 

The Government has stated that it will take action on all of the recommendations contained within the Final Report. On 19 August 2019, the Government released its Royal Commission implementation roadmap which sets out a timeline for consultation and the introduction of legislation which will implement the recommendations. The implementation roadmap foreshadows that a large number of legislative changes will be enacted into law or introduced before Parliament by mid-2020.

 

Other impacts arising from the Royal Commission include a number of claims being brought against financial institutions in relation to certain matters considered during the Royal Commission, and the referral of several cases of misconduct to the financial regulators by Commissioner Hayne.

 

APRA self-assessment

On 29 November 2018, Westpac submitted to APRA its self-assessment on its frameworks and practices in relation to governance, culture and accountability. A copy of Westpac’s self-assessment is available on our website.

 

On 22 May 2019, APRA released a report analysing self-assessments carried out by 36 banks, insurers and superannuation licensees. APRA noted a wide variation in the quality of the self-assessments, however consistent findings in the self-assessments included:

 

·                   non-financial risk management requires improvement;

 

·                   accountabilities are not always clear, cascaded and effectively enforced;

 

·                   acknowledged weaknesses are well-known and some have been long-standing; and

 

·                   risk culture is not well understood, and therefore may not be reinforcing the desired behaviours.

 

Westpac has a program of work underway to address the recommendations identified in the self-assessment report which has oversight of the Westpac Board. Westpac has implemented 40% of the recommendations identified in the self-assessment and expects to complete its program of work by March 2021.

 

Regulatory reviews and inquiries

 

Provision of credit - reviews by and engagement with regulators

The provision and availability of credit for residential mortgage holders, property investors and businesses has continued to be a key area of Government, regulator and industry focus throughout the financial year ended 30 September 2019. Regulatory focus on credit from APRA has primarily been related to serviceability at an industry level, while ASIC has continued to consult on proposed changes to its regulatory guide on responsible lending. Judicial guidance on the extent of responsible lending obligations was also obtained from the Federal Court in its judgment in ASIC’s responsible lending test case against Westpac (with the judgment currently under appeal). More information on these proceedings is set out in this section below.

 

APRA has also been engaging with Westpac on the adequacy of our credit risk management framework including our controls, policies and operating systems. Following feedback from APRA, the Group is making a number of changes to its systems and controls to improve its end-to-end approach in relation to its mortgage and business lending portfolios, as well as other key processes. This includes enhancing portfolio management practices, systems upgrades (including data collection and rationalisation), strengthening collateral management processes and improving assurance and oversight over our credit management frameworks. This program of work also addresses issues identified by Westpac’s internal assurance and audit teams.

 

Westpac will continue its work to improve its end to end credit processes and expects engagement with APRA in this regard to continue throughout Full Year 2020.


 


 

 

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

9

 

 

 

 

Information on Westpac

 


Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) inquiry into home loan pricing

On 14 October 2019, the ACCC was directed by the Treasurer of Australia to conduct an inquiry into home loan pricing since 1 January 2019. The inquiry has been established to:

 

·                   investigate the prices charged for home loans across the sector;

 

·                   consider how banks make pricing decisions, including their approach to passing on movements in the official cash rate;

 

·                   examine differences in the prices paid by new and existing customers;

 

·                   examine differences between the interest rates published by suppliers and the interest rates paid by customers; and

 

·                   investigate barriers that may prevent consumers from switching lenders.

 

An interim report is due by 30 March 2020 and a final report is due by 30 September 2020.

 

ACCC residential mortgage products price inquiry in relation to the Bank Levy

The ACCC undertook a specific inquiry into the pricing of residential mortgages by those banks affected by the Bank Levy (including Westpac), which included monitoring the extent to which the Bank Levy was passed on to customers. The final report was published in December 2018 and made a number of findings about the pricing or residential mortgages, including that the banks that were the subject of the inquiry did not change residential mortgage prices specifically to recover the costs of the Bank Levy.

 

AFCA look back review

On 4 February 2019, the Australian Government announced that, in response to the recommendations contained in the Royal Commission’s Final Report, it would expand the remit of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) for 12 months so that it can consider customer claims dating back to 1 January 2008 and award compensation where appropriate. AFCA has expanded its jurisdiction to consider these legacy complaints for an additional 12 month period to 30 June 2020.

 

Increased regulatory powers and oversight

 

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Enforcement Review Taskforce

On 16 April 2018, the Australian Government agreed to implement all of the recommendations made by the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce in its review of the suitability of ASIC’s existing regulatory tools.

 

Progress continues to be made in implementing these recommendations, including:

 

·                   the Australian Treasury releasing five draft Bills on 11 September 2019 for consultation which, if enacted, would further strengthen ASIC’s enforcement and supervision powers by implementing certain recommendations relating to search warrants, access to telecommunications interception information, licensing and banning orders; and

 

·                   the Taskforce releasing a report on 2 October 2019. The report sets out ASIC’s observations on director and officer oversight of non-financial risk, how directors and officers of large and complex financial services companies are discharging their duties in relation to oversight and monitoring of non-financial risk, and ways that governance practices could be improved.

 

Enhanced penalties for corporate and financial sector misconduct

On 12 March 2019, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Strengthening Corporate and Financial Sector Penalties) Act 2019 (Cth) received royal assent. The Act strengthens penalties for corporate and financial sector misconduct consistent with the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce recommendations.

 

Key aspects of the Act are to:

 

·                   update the penalties for certain criminal offences in legislation administered by ASIC, including tripling the maximum imprisonment penalties for certain criminal offences (from 5 to 15 years), introducing a formula to calculate financial penalties for contraventions of civil penalty provisions by individuals and companies, and removing imprisonment as a penalty but increasing the financial penalties for all strict and absolute liability offences;

 

·                   introduce ordinary criminal offences that sit alongside strict and absolute liability offences;

 

·                   expand the civil penalty regime by making a wider range of offences subject to civil penalties, such as failures by Australian financial services licensees to act efficiently, fairly and honestly, and failures to report significant breaches within 10 days of becoming aware of the breach or of circumstances where they are likely to breach;

 

·                   introduce a new test that applies to all dishonesty offences under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth); and

 

·                   ensure the Courts prioritise compensating victims over ordering the payment of financial penalties.

 

ASIC’s close and continuous monitoring program

ASIC has continued to use a supervisory approach in which ASIC officers are embedded in major financial institutions, including Westpac, in order to actively limit future financial harm to consumers, investors and markets and to catalyse positive, consumer oriented, behavioural change.

 

To date, the model adopted by ASIC is for officers to make extended onsite visits to major financial institutions. ASIC’s program is examining culture and processes in major financial institutions through three streams: Breach Reporting, Corporate Governance and Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR). ASIC’s onsite on Breach Reporting and engagement on Corporate Governance is now complete. The IDR onsite for Westpac commenced on 15 October 2019.


 


 

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Product design and distribution obligations and product intervention power

On 5 April 2019, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Powers) Act 2019 (Cth) received royal assent. The Act amends the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) and grants ASIC a product intervention power and introduces a new ‘principles-based’ product design and distribution obligation on issuers and distributors.

 

Regulatory enforcement approach

On 15 April 2019, APRA released its Enforcement Approach with immediate effect. The new Enforcement Approach follows the results of its Enforcement Review, released on the same day. The Enforcement Review made seven recommendations which were designed to help APRA better leverage its enforcement powers to achieve prudential outcomes.

 

In response to the Enforcement Review, APRA stated it would implement all recommendations including increasing APRA’s enforcement appetite from a ‘last resort’ to a ‘constructively tough’ approach. The new enforcement approach sets out how APRA will use its enforcement powers to prevent and address serious prudential risks, and to hold entities and individuals to account. APRA’s approach states that it may do this well before the risks (whether financial, operational or behavioural) present an immediate threat to financial viability. Further, where entities or individuals are failing to meet prudential obligations, APRA will act quickly and forcefully, and will be willing to set public examples to deter unacceptable practices from occurring in the future.

 

On 26 February 2019, the ACCC outlined its compliance and enforcement priorities in its annual Compliance and Enforcement Policy refresh. The ACCC’s competition enforcement approach and objectives are supported by increased budget support from the Government announced at the end of 2018.

 

In October 2018, ASIC committed to accelerating enforcement activities, conducting more civil and criminal enforcement actions against large financial institutions and adopting a ‘why not litigate?’ enforcement stance. Following the release of the Royal Commission’s Final Report, ASIC has established a separate Office of Enforcement within ASIC.

 

Review into corporate criminal responsibility regime

On 10 April 2019, the Australian Government commissioned the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) to undertake a comprehensive review of the corporate criminal responsibility regime. The review is to consider reforms to the Criminal Code and other relevant legislation to provide a simpler, stronger and more cohesive regime for corporate criminal responsibility. The ALRC’s report is to be provided to the Australian Government by 30 April 2020.

 

General regulatory changes affecting our business

 

Banking Code of Practice

On 31 July 2018, ASIC approved the Banking Code of Practice (the Code) with an implementation date of 1 July 2019 for each bank that has adopted the Code (including Westpac). The Code introduces a range of new measures including a commitment to take extra

 

care with vulnerable customers and train staff to help, simplified loan contracts for small business written in plain English, better protection for guarantors and stronger enforcement of the Code.

 

The Code will be further updated with key amendments in response to the recommendations contained in the Royal Commission’s Final Report, which recommended changes in relation to the protection of small businesses and having a greater focus on customers in remote areas and those with limited English. These changes include banning informal overdrafts on basic accounts without prior express agreement with the customer, abolishing dishonour fees on basic bank accounts and following AUSTRAC’s guidance on the identification  and verification of persons of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage. Subject to regulatory approvals, it is expected that these updates will be effective from 1 March 2020.

 

Open banking regime

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Act 2019 (Cth) (CDR Act) received royal assent on 12 August 2019. The CDR Act amends the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 (Cth) to introduce a consumer data right. The banking sector is the first sector to which the consumer data right will apply.

 

The introduction of a consumer data right in the Australian economy signifies a shift in how data is regulated. It will give customers in Australia a right to direct that their data (starting with banking data) be shared with accredited third parties and follows a growing global trend to give consumers control over their data. Data sharing is expected to facilitate competition through easier product comparison and switching. This will have significant implications for consumers and banks.

 

On 2 September 2019, the ACCC released the final Competition and Consumer (Consumer Data Right) Rules 2019 (CDR Rules). The CDR Rules outline how the consumer data right is to be implemented in the banking sector. A revised timetable for the introduction of open banking was included as part of the CDR Rules.

 

Both the CDR Act and CDR Rules contain new, detailed privacy protections under 13 Privacy Safeguards. The Privacy Safeguards deal with the disclosure, collection, use, accuracy, storage, security and deletion of consumer data right data. There are also 58 civil penalty provisions under the CDR Rules. A breach of the Privacy Safeguards or the CDR Rules could attract civil penalties of up to the greater of $10 million, 3 times any benefit obtained or 10% of 12 month annual turnover for corporations.

 

Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR)

On 15 August 2019, an updated version of the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Mandatory Comprehensive Credit Reporting) Bill 2018 (Cth) was released for consultation by the Australian Treasury, following the prior introduction of the Bill into the House of Representatives in March 2018. It is expected that this updated Bill will be introduced into Parliament in late 2019.


 


 

 

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Litigation

 

ASIC’s responsible lending litigation against Westpac

On 1 March 2017, ASIC commenced Federal Court proceedings against Westpac in relation to certain home loans entered into between December 2011 and March 2015, which were automatically approved by Westpac’s systems as part of its broader processes. The proceedings were heard in May 2019. On 13 August 2019, the Court handed down its judgment in the proceedings, and dismissed ASIC’s case. On 10 September 2019 ASIC filed an appeal in relation to the decision.

 

Outbound scaled advice division proceedings

On 22 December 2016, ASIC commenced Federal Court proceedings against BT Funds Management Limited (BTFM) and Westpac Securities Administration Limited (WSAL) in relation to a number of superannuation account consolidation campaigns conducted between 2013 and 2016. ASIC has alleged that in the course of some of these campaigns, customers were provided with personal advice in contravention of a number of Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) provisions, and selected 15 specific customers as the focus of their claim. In December 2018 the primary Court handed down a judgment in which it held that no personal advice had been provided and that BTFM and WSAL did not contravene the relevant personal advice provisions although it did make a finding that BTFM and WSAL had each contravened section 912A(1)(a) of the Corporations Act. In February 2019, ASIC filed an appeal against this decision. On 28 October 2019, the Full Federal Court handed down its decision in ASIC’s favour and made findings that BTFM and WSAL each provided personal advice on the relevant calls. Once formal declarations of contravention are made, the matter will be remitted for penalty.

 

ASIC’s proceedings against Westpac for poor financial advice by a financial planner

On 14 June 2018, ASIC commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against Westpac in relation to alleged poor financial advice provided by a former financial planner, Mr Sudhir Sinha. Mr Sinha was dismissed by Westpac in November 2014 and subsequently banned by ASIC. Westpac has proactively initiated remediation to identify and compensate affected customers and has completed remediation activities. ASIC’s proceedings relate to advice provided by Mr Sinha in respect of four specific customer files. The matter was heard by the Court on 15 April 2019 and judgment has been reserved.

 

Class action against Westpac Banking Corporation and Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited

On 12 October 2017, a class action was filed in the Federal Court of Australia on behalf of customers who, since February 2011, obtained insurance issued by Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited (WLIS) on the recommendation of financial advisers employed within the Westpac Group. The plaintiffs have alleged that aspects of the financial advice provided by those advisers breached fiduciary and statutory duties owed to the advisers’ clients, including the duty to act in the best interests of the client, and that WLIS was knowingly involved in those alleged breaches. Westpac and WLIS are defending the proceedings.

 

These proceedings are currently stayed by order of the Court, pending the outcome of an appeal concerning a procedural issue unrelated to the substantive claims made in the class action.

 

BBSW proceedings

Following ASIC’s investigations into the interbank short-term money market and its impact on the setting of the bank bill swap reference rate (BBSW), on 5 April 2016, ASIC commenced civil proceedings against Westpac in the Federal Court of Australia, alleging certain misconduct, including market manipulation and unconscionable conduct. On 24 May 2018, Justice Beach found that Westpac had not engaged in market manipulation or misleading or deceptive conduct under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). His Honour also found that there was no ‘trading practice’ of manipulating the BBSW rate. However, the Court found that Westpac engaged in unconscionable conduct on 4 occasions and that Westpac breached certain of its duties as a financial services licensee. On 9 November 2018, the Court ordered Westpac to pay a penalty of $3.3 million and 50% of ASIC’s costs, and have an independent expert review particular aspects of Westpac’s compliance arrangements. Westpac has complied with these orders. The amount of costs recoverable by ASIC is still in the process of being determined.

 

In August 2016, a class action was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Westpac and large number of Australian and international banks alleging misconduct in relation to the bank bill swap reference rate. In April 2019, an amended claim was filed by the Plaintiffs. Westpac is defending the proceedings with a Motion to Dismiss filed in May 2019.

 

Responsible lending class action

On 21 February 2019, a class action against Westpac was filed in the Federal Court of Australia. As directed by the Court, the Plaintiffs filed a Statement of Claim on 22 May 2019 and an amended statement of claim on 18 October 2019. The claims allege that Westpac did not comply with its responsible lending obligations and entered into certain home loans that it should otherwise have assessed as unsuitable. The allegations include that, during the period from 1 January 2011 to 17 February 2018, Westpac failed to: conduct reasonable inquiries about the customers’ financial situation, requirements and objectives; verify customer’s financial situation; conduct assessments of suitability; and act efficiently and fairly. Westpac is defending the proceedings.

 

Cash in super class action

On 5 September 2019, a class action against BT Funds Management Limited (BTFM) and Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited (WLIS) was commenced in relation to aspects of BTFM’s BT Super for Life cash investment option. The claim follows other industry class actions as part of Slater and Gordon’s ‘Get your super back’ campaign.

 

It is alleged in the proceedings that BTFM failed to adhere to a number of obligations under the general law, the relevant trust deed and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth), and that WLIS was knowingly concerned with BTFM’s alleged contraventions. The damages sought by the claim are unspecified. BTFM and WLIS are defending the proceedings.


 


 

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Regulatory capital transactions

 

Capital raising

On 4 November 2019, Westpac announced that it will be undertaking an underwritten placement of fully paid ordinary shares in Westpac to institutional investors to raise $2 billion. As further announced, following the placement, Westpac will make a share purchase plan available to shareholders to raise approximately $500 million, subject to scaleback, and with the ability to raise less or more.

 

Issue of Westpac Capital Notes 6

On 18 December 2018, Westpac issued approximately $1.42 billion of securities known as Westpac Capital Notes 6 which qualify as Additional Tier 1 capital under APRA’s capital adequacy framework.

 

Transfer and redemption of Westpac Capital Notes

On 18 December 2018, approximately $722 million of Westpac Capital Notes were transferred to the Westpac Capital Notes nominated party for $100 each pursuant to the Westpac Capital Notes 6 reinvestment offer. Those Westpac Capital Notes were subsequently redeemed by Westpac.

 

On 8 March 2019, being the optional redemption/transfer date of the Westpac Capital Notes, the remaining $662 million of Westpac Capital Notes were transferred to the Westpac Capital Notes nominated party for $100 each. Those Westpac Capital Notes were subsequently redeemed by Westpac.

 

Adoption of new accounting standards

 

Adoption of AASB 9 and AASB 15

The Group adopted the classification and measurement, and impairment requirements of AASB 9: Financial Instruments (AASB 9) on 1 October 2018. AASB 9 includes a forward looking ‘expected credit loss’ impairment model, revised classification and measurement model and modifies the approach to hedge accounting.

 

The adoption of AASB 9 reduced the Group’s retained earnings at 1 October 2018 by $722 million (net of tax) primarily due to the increase in impairment provisions under the new standard.

 

The Group also adopted AASB 15: Revenue from Contracts with Customers (AASB 15) on 1 October 2018. AASB 15 provides a systematic approach to revenue recognition by introducing a five-step model governing revenue measurement and recognition. The adoption of AASB 15 reduced the Group’s retained earnings at 1 October 2018 by $5 million (net of tax).

 

Further details of the changes from the adoption of AASB 9 and AASB 15 as well as details of accounting standards that have been issued but are not yet effective for the Group are included in Note 1 to the financial statements.

 

Transition to AASB 16

AASB 16: Leases (AASB 16) replaced AASB 117: Leases from 1 October 2019. AASB 16 requires all leases of greater than 12 months duration to be presented on balance sheet by the lessee as a right-of-use asset and a lease liability. The application of AASB 16 is expected to result in the recognition of a right-of-use asset of $3.4 billion with a corresponding lease liability, with no impact on retained earnings.

 

Further details of the changes under the new standard are included in Note 1 to the financial statements.

 

APRA regulatory changes

 

APRA’s proposed changes to capital standards

On 19 July 2017, APRA released an Information Paper titled ‘Strengthening Banking System Resilience - Establishing Unquestionably Strong Capital Ratios’. In its release, APRA concluded that the four major Australian banks, including Westpac, need to have a common equity tier 1 (CET1) capital ratio of at least 10.5%, as measured under the existing capital framework, to be considered ‘unquestionably strong’. Banks are expected to meet this new benchmark by 1 January 2020.

 

APRA has commenced consultation on revisions to the capital framework which includes proposals on changes to risk weighted assets, including in relation to residential mortgages as well as improving the transparency, comparability and flexibility of the framework.

 

As part of the proposals, APRA has proposed a minimum Leverage Ratio requirement of 3.5% for ADIs, such as Westpac, that use the internal ratings-based approach to determine capital adequacy.

 

APRA has indicated that it expects to finalise the suite of prudential standards to give effect to the ‘unquestionably strong’ benchmark in 2020-21, with the revised prudential standards likely to come into effect from 1 January 2022. In regards to the proposed revisions to the capital treatment of operational risk, APRA has proposed an earlier implementation date of 1 January 2021 for advanced IRB banks, such as Westpac.

 

APRA has announced that its revisions to the capital framework are not intended to necessitate further capital increases for the industry above the 10.5% benchmark. However, given the proposals include higher risk weights for certain mortgage products, such as interest only loans and loans for investment purposes, the impact on individual banks may vary. The proposals are currently under consultation and final details remain unclear, and it is therefore too soon to determine the impact on Westpac.

 

APRA’s additional capital requirements

On 11 July 2019, Westpac received APRA’s response to its self-assessment. In its response, APRA decided to apply an additional $500 million to Westpac’s operational risk capital requirement. This follows APRA concluding that Westpac was required to improve its management and oversight of non-financial risk. The additional capital requirement will remain in place until APRA is satisfied that Westpac has completed its action plan.

 

The $500 million requirement, applied through an increase in risk weighted assets, took effect from 30 September 2019. The change reduced Westpac’s Level 2 CET1 capital ratio by 16 basis points. Westpac’s CET1 capital ratio at 30 September 2019 was 10.67%.


 


 

 

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APRA’s proposed revisions to subsidiary capital investment treatment

On 15 October 2019, APRA released a discussion paper on proposed changes to APS 111 Capital Adequacy: Measurement of Capital. The key proposal is in relation to a parent ADI’s treatment of its equity investments in banking and insurance subsidiaries (Level 1). Westpac’s largest investment in banking and insurance subsidiaries is Westpac New Zealand Limited (WNZL). There is no impact from this proposal on the calculation of the Group’s reported regulatory capital ratios on a Level 2 basis. On a Level 1 basis, on a proforma basis as at 30 September 2019, it is estimated that applying APRA’s proposed approach would reduce Westpac’s Level 1 CET1 ratio by approximately 40bps ($1.6 billion). APRA has indicated that the updated standard will come into effect from 1 January 2021.

 

Associations with Related Entities

On 20 August 2019, APRA released the finalised prudential standard APS 222: Associations with Related Entities. The revised standard is intended to strengthen the ability of ADIs to monitor, limit and control risks arising from transactions and other associations with related entities. Key changes include revisions to the limit for exposure to ADIs from 50% of Total Capital to 25% of Tier 1 capital. The revised standard is effective from 1 January 2021.

 

Westpac’s largest exposure to a related entity is WNZL. As at 30 September 2019, Westpac would remain within the revised limits based on the current level of exposure to WNZL.

 

Additional loss absorbing capacity

In response to the Financial System Inquiry recommendations, the Australian Government agreed to further reforms regarding crisis management and establishing a framework for minimum loss-absorbing and recapitalisation capacity.

 

On 9 July 2019, APRA announced a requirement for the Australian major banks (including Westpac) to increase their total capital requirements by three percentage points of risk weighted assets (RWA) as measured under the current capital adequacy framework. This increase in total capital will take full effect from 1 January 2024.

 

Based on Westpac’s RWA of $429 billion at 30 September 2019, this represents around $13 billion of additional capital over the four year transition period. The additional capital is expected to be raised through Tier 2 Capital and is likely to be offset by a decrease in other forms of long term wholesale funding. Westpac has commenced progress towards the new requirements and in the financial year ended 30 September 2019 issued a total of $4.2 billion in Tier 2 capital.

 

APRA is still targeting an additional four to five percentage points of loss-absorbing capacity. Over the next four years, APRA will consider feasible alternative methods for raising the remaining 1-2 percentage points.

 

APRA intends to consult on a prudential framework covering both recovery and resolution planning in 2020.

 

APRA’s proposed amendment to guidance on mortgage lending

On 5 July 2019, APRA announced that it no longer required ADIs to assess home loan applications using a minimum interest rate of at least 7%. Instead, ADIs are permitted to review and set their own minimum interest rate floor for use in serviceability assessments and utilise a revised interest rate buffer of at least 2.5% over the loan’s interest rate. Also on 5 July 2019, APRA also released its final version of Prudential Practice Guide APG 223 – Residential Mortgage Lending.

 

APRA Prudential Standard CPS 234: Information Security Management

On 1 July 2019, APRA’s Prudential Standard CPS 234: Information Security came into effect, except for information assets managed by a third party which will come into effect from the earlier of the next contract renewal date or 1 July 2020. The standard is aimed at improving the ability of APRA-regulated entities to detect cyber adversaries, ensure appropriate security capabilities are in place commensurate to the risk of the information assets including responding swiftly and effectively in the event of an information security incident. Westpac continues to enhance its systems and processes to further mitigate cybersecurity risks.

 

APRA Prudential Standard CPS 511: Remuneration

On 23 July 2019, APRA released for consultation a new draft prudential standard and supporting discussion paper on remuneration. It is aimed at clarifying and strengthening remuneration arrangements in APRA-regulated entities. The new standard will replace existing remuneration requirements under CPS/SPS 510 Governance with a proposed implementation date of 1 July 2021.

 

International developments affecting Westpac

 

Brexit

There continues to be uncertainty on the timing and process for the United Kingdom’s (UK) withdrawal from the European Union (EU).

 

As Westpac’s business and operations are based predominantly in Australia and New Zealand, Westpac expects that the direct impact of the UK’s departure from the EU is unlikely to be material to Westpac. However, it remains difficult to predict the impact that Brexit may have on financial markets, the global economy and the global financial services industry. Westpac has contingency planning in place and has been active in dialogue with affected customers.

 

OTC derivatives reform

International regulatory reforms relating to over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives continue to be implemented across the globe, with a current focus on initial margin and risk mitigation practices for non-centrally cleared derivatives.

 

As of 1 September 2019, Westpac is required to post and collect collateral on a gross basis, held at third party custodians. Global initial margin requirements will continue to be introduced in phases until 1 September 2021.


 


 

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New Zealand

 

Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) - Revised Outsourcing Policy

As at 30 September 2019, WNZL is compliant with the requirement in the RBNZ’s revised Outsourcing Policy (BS11) (Revised Outsourcing Policy) to maintain a compendium of outsourcing arrangements and work is underway to comply with the other aspects of the Revised Outsourcing Policy by 30 September 2022 in line with the regulatory timeline.

 

As a result of complying with the Revised Outsourcing Policy, the ongoing cost of operating the WNZL business will increase, in addition to the costs of implementing the changes.

 

RBNZ Capital Review

On 14 December 2018, the RBNZ released a consultation paper to seek the public’s view on a proposal to set a Tier 1 capital requirement equal to 16% of risk weighted assets for banks deemed systemically important, such as WNZL. The proposal of a Tier 1 ratio of 6% of risk weighted assets as a regulatory minimum is unchanged, and of this no more than 1.5% of risk weighted assets can be contributed by Additional Tier 1 capital or redeemable preference shares. The RBNZ has also proposed changes to risk weighted asset measurements. The RBNZ has proposed a five year transition period.

 

The proposed changes aim to further strengthen the New Zealand banking system to protect the economy and depositors from bank failure. WNZL would be required to hold a further estimated NZ$2.3 – 2.9 billion of Tier 1 capital (assuming a WNZL Tier 1 capital ratio of 16-17%) if the proposals were applied at 30 September 2019. WNZL is already strongly capitalised with a Tier 1 capital ratio of 13.9% at 30 September 2019.

 

On a pro-forma basis this change would also increase Westpac’s Level 1 capital requirements by NZ$1.2-$1.8 billion if the proposals were applied at 30 September 2019, assuming that some of WNZL’s supplementary capital can be issued externally over time and that APRA’s proposed revisions to subsidiary capital investment treatment are implemented (more information on these proposed revisions is set out above). Further clarity on the proposals is expected from the RBNZ in December 2019 with implementation of any new rules starting from April 2020.

 

RBNZ - Review under section 95 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989

In June 2019, in response to a review under section 95 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989 of WNZL’s compliance with advanced internal rating based aspects of the RBNZ’s ‘Capital Adequacy Framework (Internal Models Based Approach)’ (BS2B), WNZL presented the RBNZ with a submission providing an overview of its credit risk rating system and activities undertaken to address compliance issues and enhance risk management practices.

 

On 30 October 2019, the RBNZ informed WNZL that it had accepted the submission and measures undertaken by WNZL to achieve satisfactory compliance with BS2B, and that WNZL would retain its accreditation to use internal models for credit risk in the calculation of its regulatory capital requirements. It also advised WNZL that, with effect from 31 December 2019, the RBNZ will remove the requirement imposed on WNZL since 31 December 2017 to maintain minimum regulatory capital ratios which are two percentage points higher than the ratios applying to other locally incorporated banks.

 

Review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act

In November 2017, the New Zealand Government announced it would undertake a review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989 (RBNZ Review). The RBNZ Review will consist of two phases. The legislation for the recommended Phase 1 related changes to New Zealand’s monetary policy framework received royal assent on 20 December 2018, and came into force on 1 April 2019.

 

The terms of reference for Phase 2 were released in June 2018 and will consider the overarching objectives of the RBNZ’s institutional governance and decision-making, the macro-prudential framework, the current prudential supervision model, trans-Tasman coordination, supervision and enforcement and resolution and crisis management. Final policy decisions on all components of the review are expected to be made in 2020.

 

RBNZ/Financial Markets Authority (FMA) - Financial Services Conduct & Culture Review

In May 2018, the RBNZ and FMA commenced a review in respect of New Zealand’s 10 major banks and 15 life insurers, including WNZL and Westpac Life-NZ-Limited, to explain why conduct issues highlighted by the Australian Royal Commission are not present in New Zealand. An industry thematic review report for the banks was released on 5 November 2018. WNZL submitted a plan responding to recommendations in the review report and in WNZL’s individual feedback letters to the regulators on 29 March 2019.

 

The industry thematic review report into life insurers, including Westpac Life-NZ-Limited, was released on 29 January 2019. The report identified extensive weaknesses in life insurers’ systems and controls, governance and management of conduct risks. Westpac Life-NZ-Limited provided its plan to address the findings to the regulators in June 2019.

 

Conduct of Financial Institutions Review

Following the developments and findings of the Financial Services Conduct and Culture Review and the Australian Royal Commission, the Minister of Commerce announced a proposal to introduce a conduct licensing regime for banks, insurers and non-bank deposit takers in respect of their conduct in relation to retail customers. The regime will require licensed institutions to meet a fair treatment standard, and implement effective policies, processes, systems and controls to meet this standard. The regime will also create obligations relating to remuneration and sales incentives. Legislation is expected to be introduced to parliament by the end of 2019.

 

Reform of Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Legislation

In April 2019, the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill was introduced to parliament and is currently before the select committee. The Bill introduces a number of changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act, including new duties for directors and senior managers and increased penalties and statutory damages. The Bill also introduces stricter requirements around suitability and affordability assessments as well as a cap for interest and fees of ‘high cost’ loans (being loans with annualised interest exceeding 50%). The intention is that the Bill will come into effect in March 2020.


 


 

 

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Supervision and regulation

 

Australia

Within Australia, we are subject to supervision and regulation by six principal agencies and bodies: the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA); the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA); the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC); the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX); the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC); and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

 

APRA is the prudential regulator of the Australian financial services industry. It oversees banks, credit unions, building societies, general insurance, re-insurance, life insurance and private health insurance companies, friendly societies and most of the superannuation (pension) industry. APRA’s role includes establishing and enforcing prudential standards and practices designed to ensure that, under all reasonable circumstances, financial promises made by the institutions it supervises are met within a stable, efficient and competitive financial system. APRA has recently received new and strengthened powers under the Banking Executive Accountability Regime.

 

As an ADI, we report prudential information to APRA, including information in relation to capital adequacy, large exposures, credit quality and liquidity. Our controlled entities in Australia that are authorised insurers and trustees of superannuation funds are also subject to the APRA regulatory regime. Reporting is supplemented by consultations, on-site inspections and targeted reviews. Our external auditor also has an obligation to report on compliance with certain statutory and regulatory banking requirements and on any matters that in their opinion may have the potential to materially prejudice the interests of depositors and other stakeholders.

 

Australia’s risk-based capital adequacy guidelines are based on the approach agreed upon by the BCBS. National discretion is then applied to that approach, which has resulted in Australia’s capital requirements being more stringent. Refer to ‘Capital resources – Basel Capital Accord’ in Section 2.

 

The RBA is responsible for monetary policy, maintaining financial system stability and promoting the safety and efficiency of the payments system. The RBA is an active participant in the financial markets, manages Australia’s foreign reserves, issues Australian currency notes and serves as banker to the Australian Government.

 

ASIC is the national regulator of Australian companies and consumer protection within the financial sector. Its primary responsibility is to regulate and enforce company, consumer credit, financial markets and financial products and services laws that protect consumers, investors and creditors. With respect to financial services, it promotes fairness and transparency by providing consumer protection, using regulatory powers to enforce laws relating to deposit-taking activities, general insurance, life insurance, superannuation, retirement savings accounts, securities (such as shares, debentures and managed investments) and futures contracts and financial advice. ASIC has responsibility for supervising trading on Australia’s domestic licensed markets and of trading participants. ASIC has recently had its existing powers strengthened to provide ASIC with a product intervention power. For further information, refer to ‘Significant developments’ above.

 

The ASX operates Australia’s primary national market for trading of securities issued by listed companies. Some of our securities (including our ordinary shares) are listed on the ASX and we therefore have obligations to comply with the ASX Listing Rules, which have statutory backing under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). The ASX has responsibility for the oversight of listed entities under the ASX Listing Rules and for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the ASX Operating Rules by its market, clearing and settlement participants. ASX is now also the benchmark administrator of BBSW.

 

The ACCC is the regulator responsible for the regulation and prohibition of anti-competitive and unfair market practices and mergers and acquisitions in Australia. Its broad objective is to administer the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and related legislation to bring greater competitiveness, fair trading, consumer protection and product safety to the Australian economy. The ACCC’s role in consumer protection complements that of ASIC (for financial services) and Australian state and territory consumer affairs agencies that administer the unfair trading legislation of their jurisdictions.

 

The Australian Government’s present policy, known as the ‘four pillars policy’, is that there should be no fewer than four major banks to maintain appropriate levels of competition in the banking sector. Under the Financial Sector (Shareholdings) Act 1998 (Cth), the Australian Government’s Treasurer must approve an entity acquiring a stake of more than 15% in a particular financial sector company.

 

Proposals for foreign acquisitions of a stake in Australian banks are subject to the Australian Government’s foreign investment policy and, where required, approval by the Australian Government under the Australian Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth). For further details refer to ‘Limitations affecting security holders’ in Section 4.

 

AUSTRAC oversees the compliance of Australian reporting entities (including Westpac) with the requirements under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth) and the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 (Cth). These requirements include:

 

·                   implementing programs for identifying and monitoring customers, and for managing the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing;

 

·                   reporting suspicious matters, threshold transactions and international funds transfer instructions; and

 

·                   submitting an annual compliance report.

 

AUSTRAC provides financial information to Australian federal law enforcement, national security, human services and revenue agencies, and certain international counterparts.

 

New Zealand

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) is responsible for supervising New Zealand registered banks and protects the financial stability of New Zealand through the application of minimum prudential obligations. The New Zealand prudential supervision regime requires that registered banks publish disclosure statements, which contain information on financial performance and risk positions as well as attestations by the directors about the bank’s compliance with its conditions of registration and certain other matters.


 


 

16

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

Information on Westpac

 


The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and the New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC) are the two primary conduct and enforcement regulators. The FMA and NZCC are responsible for ensuring that markets are fair and transparent and are supported by confident and informed investors and consumers. Regulation of markets and their participants is undertaken through a combination of market supervision, corporate governance and licensing approvals.

 

In New Zealand, other relevant regulator mandates include those relating to taxation, privacy and foreign affairs and trade.

 

Banks in New Zealand are also subject to a number of self- regulatory regimes. Examples include Payments NZ, the New Zealand Bankers’ Association and the Financial Services Council (FSC). Examples of industry agreed codes include the New Zealand Bankers’ Association’s Code of Banking Practice and FSC’s Code of Conduct.

 

United States

Our New York branch is a US federally licensed branch and therefore is subject to supervision, examination and regulation by the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the US Federal Reserve) under the US International Banking Act of 1978 (IBA) and related regulations.

 

A US federal branch must maintain, with a US Federal Reserve member bank, a capital equivalency deposit as prescribed by the US Comptroller of the Currency, which is at least equal to 5% of its total liabilities (including acceptances, but excluding accrued expenses, and amounts due and other liabilities to other branches, agencies and subsidiaries of the foreign bank).

 

In addition, a US federal branch is subject to periodic onsite examination by the US Comptroller of the Currency. Such examination may address risk management, operations, asset quality, compliance with the record-keeping and reporting, and any additional requirements prescribed by the US Comptroller of the Currency from time to time.

 

A US federal branch of a foreign bank is, by virtue of the IBA, subject to the receivership powers exercisable by the US Comptroller of the Currency.

 

As of 22 June 2016, we elected to be treated as a financial holding company in the US pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 and Federal Reserve Board Regulation Y. Our election will remain effective so long as we meet certain capital and management standards prescribed by the US Federal Reserve.

 

Westpac and some of its affiliates are engaged in various activities that are subject to regulation by other US federal regulatory agencies, including the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the National Futures Association.

 

Anti-money laundering regulation and related requirements

 

Australia

Westpac has a Group-wide program to manage its obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter- Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth). We continue to actively engage with the regulator, AUSTRAC, on our activities.

 

Our Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Policy (AML/CTF Policy) sets out how the Westpac Group complies with its legislative obligations.

 

The AML/CTF Policy applies to all business divisions and employees (permanent, temporary and third party providers) working in Australia, New Zealand and overseas.

 

United States

The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 requires US financial institutions, including the US branches of foreign banks, to take certain steps to prevent, detect and report individuals and entities involved in international money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The required actions include verifying the identity of financial institutions and other customers and counterparties, terminating correspondent accounts for foreign ‘shell banks’ and obtaining information about the owners of foreign bank clients and the identity of the foreign bank’s agent for service of process in the US. The anti-money laundering compliance requirements of the USA PATRIOT Act include requirements to adopt and implement an effective anti-money laundering program, report suspicious transactions or activities, and implement due diligence procedures for correspondent and other customer accounts. Westpac’s New York branch and Westpac Capital Markets LLC maintain an anti-money laundering compliance program designed to address US legal requirements.

 

US economic and trade sanctions, as administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), prohibit or significantly restrict US financial institutions, including the US branches and operations of foreign banks, and other US persons from doing business with certain persons, entities and jurisdictions. Westpac’s New York branch and Westpac Capital Markets LLC maintain compliance programs designed to comply with OFAC sanctions programs, and Westpac has a Group-wide program to ensure adequate compliance.

 

Legal proceedings

Our entities are defendants from time to time in legal proceedings arising from the conduct of our business. Material legal proceedings, if any, are described in Note 27 to the financial statements and under ‘Significant developments’ above. Where appropriate as required by the accounting standards, a provision has been raised in respect of these proceedings and disclosed in the financial statements.

 

Principal office

Our principal office is located at 275 Kent Street, Sydney, New South Wales, 2000, Australia. Our telephone number for calls within Australia is (+61) 2 9155 7713 and our international telephone number is (+61) 2 9155 7700.


 


 

 

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

17

 

 

 

 

Corporate governance

 


Introduction

This Corporate Governance Statement, which has been approved by the Board, describes our corporate governance framework, policies and practices as at 4 November 2019.

 

Framework and our approach to governance

Corporate governance is the framework of systems, policies and processes by which we operate, make decisions and hold people to account. The framework establishes the roles and responsibilities of Westpac’s Board and management. It also establishes the systems, policies and processes for monitoring and evaluating Board and management performance and the practices for corporate reporting, disclosure, remuneration, risk management and engagement of security holders.

 

Our approach to corporate governance is based on a set of values and behaviours that underpin our day-to-day activities, provide transparency and fair dealing and seek to protect stakeholder interests. It includes a commitment to maintaining the highest standards of corporate governance, which Westpac sees as fundamental to the sustainability of our business and our performance.

 

We regularly review local and global developments in corporate governance to assess their implications and to respond to changes in the operating environment. We also improve our systems, processes and policies and look to strengthen our frameworks to reflect changing expectations where appropriate.

 

We have equity securities quoted on securities exchanges in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

 

Australia

The principal listing of Westpac ordinary shares is on the ASX, trading under the code WBC. Westpac also has hybrid securities, capital notes, senior notes and subordinated notes listed on the ASX.

 

We comply with the ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations (third edition) (ASXCGC Recommendations) published by the ASX Limited’s Corporate Governance Council (ASXCGC). In addition, we already comply with a number of the recommendations contained in the fourth edition of the ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations.

 

We must also comply with the Corporations Act, the Banking Act, including Part IIAA – The Banking Executive Accountability Regime amongst other laws, and, as an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution, with governance requirements prescribed by APRA under Prudential Standard CPS 510 Governance.

 

This Corporate Governance Statement addresses each of the ASXCGC Recommendations with an explanation of our corporate governance practices, demonstrating our compliance with each Recommendation.

 

Further details about the ASXCGC Recommendations can be found on the ASX website www.asx.com.au.

 

New Zealand

Westpac’s ordinary shares are also quoted on the NZX, which is the main board equity security market operated by NZX Limited. Westpac also has subordinated notes quoted on the NZX Debt Market. As an overseas listed issuer in New Zealand, we are deemed to satisfy and comply with the NZX Listing Rules, provided that we remain listed on the ASX and comply with the ASX Listing Rules.

 

The ASX, through the ASXCGC Recommendations and the NZX, through the NZX Corporate Governance Code, have adopted similar ‘comply or explain’ approaches to corporate governance. The ASXCGC Recommendations may, however, materially differ from the corporate governance rules and the principles of NZX’s Corporate Governance Code.


 


 

18

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate governance
 
 
United States

 

Westpac has American Depositary Shares (ADS) representing its ordinary shares quoted on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), trading under the symbol WBK. Under the NYSE Listing Rules, foreign private issuers (like Westpac) are permitted to follow home country practice in respect of corporate governance in lieu of the NYSE Listing Rules. However, we are still required to comply with certain audit committee and additional notification requirements.

 

We comply in all material respects with all NYSE Listing Rules applicable to us.

 

Under the NYSE Listing Rules, foreign private issuers are required to disclose any significant ways in which their corporate governance practices differ from those followed by domestic US companies. We have compared our corporate governance practices to the corporate governance requirements of the NYSE Listing Rules and note the significant differences below.

 

The NYSE Listing Rules require that, subject to limited exceptions, shareholders be given the opportunity to vote on equity compensation plans and material revisions to those plans. In Australia, there are no laws or ASX Listing Rules that require shareholder approval of equity based incentive plans or individual grants under those plans (other than for Directors, including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)).

 

Westpac’s employee equity plans have been disclosed in the Remuneration Report in Section 10 of the Directors’ report, which is subject to a non-binding shareholder vote at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and grants to our CEO are approved by shareholders. The details of grants under our equity-based incentive plans have been disclosed in Note 33 of our financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2019.

 

The NYSE Listing Rules set out specific requirements for determining whether a director will be regarded as independent. While these requirements are broadly consistent with Westpac’s criteria for independence (described below under ‘Board, Committees and oversight of management’), under Australian independence requirements, the Board is able to apply discretion in its determination of a director’s independence that differs from the NYSE Listing Rules.

 

The NYSE Listing Rules also provide that the Board Nominations Committee’s responsibilities should include selecting, or recommending that the Board select, the Director nominees for the next annual meeting for shareholders, and overseeing the evaluation of the Board. The Board, rather than the Board Nominations Committee, reviews and recommends the Director nominees for election at the AGM and undertakes an annual review of its performance.

 

Board and Board Committee Structure

 

 

The diagram above shows Westpac’s Board and current Board Committee structure. The structure comprises a Board with five Board Committees that oversee Westpac’s business. The Board’s responsibilities include approving and overseeing the implementation of Westpac’s strategy, approving the Group’s risk management framework, risk management strategy and risk appetite statement, and overseeing the three lines of defence model.

 

From time to time, the Board may form other Committees or request Directors to undertake specific extra duties. In addition, from time to time, the Board participates (either directly or through representatives) in due diligence committees in relation to strategic decisions and capital and funding activities.

 

The Board has delegated to the CEO, and through the CEO to the Executive Team, responsibility for the day-to-day management of Westpac’s business.

 

The key functions of the Board and each of the Board Committees are outlined in this Corporate Governance Statement. All Board Committee Charters are available on our website at www.westpac.com.au/corpgov.

 


 

 

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

19

 

 

 

 

Corporate governance
 
 

How the Board and Committees work including oversight of management

 

Board of Directors

 

Roles and responsibilities

 

The role of the Board is to provide leadership and strategic guidance for Westpac and its related bodies corporate.

 

The Board Charter outlines the roles and responsibilities of the Board. Key responsibilities are:

 

·              approving, and overseeing management’s implementation of, the strategic direction of Westpac Group, its business plan and significant corporate strategic initiatives;

 

·              evaluating Board performance and determining Board size and composition;

 

·              approving the Westpac Board Renewal Policy and the Westpac Group Remuneration Policy;

 

·              selecting, appointing and determining the duration, remuneration and other terms of appointment of the CEO and Chief Financial Officer (CFO);

 

·              approving individual remuneration levels for Group Executives, other executives who report directly to the CEO, any other accountable persons under the Banking Executive Accountability Regime, and any other person the Board determines;

 

·              evaluating the performance of the CEO;

 

·              succession planning for the CEO and Group Executives;

 

·              approving the appointment of Group Executives and the General Manager Group Audit and monitoring the performance of Group Executives;

 

·              approving the annual targets and financial statements and monitoring performance against forecast and prior periods;

 

·              determining our dividend policy;

 

·              considering and approving our overall risk management framework, approving our Group Risk Management Strategy and Group Risk Appetite Statement and monitoring the effectiveness of risk management by the Group;

 

·              forming a view of our risk culture and identifying any desirable changes;

 

·              considering the social, ethical and environmental impact of our activities and monitoring compliance with our sustainability policies and practices;

 

·              overseeing and monitoring Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) issues in the Group and considering appropriate WHS reports and information;

 

·              maintaining an ongoing dialogue with Westpac’s external auditor and, where appropriate, principal regulators;

 

·              overseeing internal governance, including delegated authorities and approving policies for appointments to our controlled entity boards; and

 

·              overseeing and monitoring customer complaints.

 

Governance and conduct focus areas

 

In addition to the roles and responsibilities outlined in the Board Charter, this year the Board has also focused on addressing the recommendations, observations and findings of Westpac’s Culture, Governance and Accountability (CGA) self-assessment and the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (Royal Commission). These areas of focus include Board and executive governance, risk and compliance, customer experience, remuneration and accountability and culture.

 

The Board has continuing oversight over the implementation of both Westpac’s Royal Commission and CGA response plans.

 

The Board also met with representatives from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre and the Australian Financial Complaints Authority during the course of the year.

 

Delegated authority

 

The Constitution and the Board Charter enable the Board to delegate to Committees and management.

 

The roles and responsibilities delegated to the Board Committees are captured in the Charters of each of the five established Committees, namely:

 

·              Audit;

 

·              Risk & Compliance;

 

·              Nominations;

 

·              Remuneration; and

 

·              Technology.

 

The Board Charter, Board Committee Charters and the Constitution are available on our website at www.westpac.com.au/corpgov.

 

The Delegated Authority Policy Framework outlines principles to govern decision-making within the Westpac Group, including appropriate escalation and reporting to the Board. The scope of, and limitations to, authority delegated by the Board to the CEO and through the CEO to other Group Executives, is clearly documented and covers areas such as operating and capital expenditure, funding and securitisation, and lending. These delegations balance effective oversight with appropriate empowerment and accountability of management. Any matters or transactions outside the delegations of authority given to management are required to be referred to the appropriate Board or relevant Board Committee for approval.

 

The Executive team, Disclosure Committee and Executive Risk Committee are not Board Committees (that is, they have no delegation of authority from the Board) but sit beneath the CEO and the Board Committees to implement Board-approved strategies, policies and manage risk across the Group.


 


 

20

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate governance
 
 
Independence

 

Together, the Board members have a broad range of relevant financial and other skills and knowledge, combined with the extensive experience necessary to guide our business. Details are set out in Section 1 of the Directors’ report. A skills matrix for the Board appears in this statement.

 

All of our Non-executive Directors satisfy our criteria for independence, which align with the guidance provided in the ASXCGC Recommendations and the criteria applied by the NYSE and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

 

The Board assesses the independence of our Directors on appointment and annually. Each Director provides an annual attestation of his or her interests and independence.

 

Directors are considered independent if they are independent of management and free from any business or other relationship that could materially interfere with, or reasonably be perceived to materially interfere with, the exercise of their unfettered and independent judgement. Materiality is assessed on a case by case basis by reference to each Director’s individual circumstances rather than by applying general materiality thresholds.

 

Each Director is expected to disclose any business or other relationship that he or she has directly, or as a partner, shareholder or officer of a company or other entity that has an interest in Westpac or a related entity. The Board considers information about any such interests or relationships, including any related financial or other details, when it assesses the Director’s independence.

 

Size and membership of Board Committees as at 30 September 2019

 

Committee Composition1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name of Committee

 

Board Audit
Committee

Board Risk &
Compliance
Committee

Board Nominations
Committee

Board Remuneration
Committee

Board Technology
Committee

Number of Members

 

Minimum three
members

Minimum three
members

Composed of all
Board Committee
Chairs, Board
Chairman and such
other members as
determined by the
Board

Minimum three
members

Minimum three
members

Composition

 

All members are
Independent Non-
executive Directors

All members are
Non-executive
Directors

 

Majority of members
are Independent
Non-executive
Directors

All members are
Independent Non-
executive Directors

All members are
Independent Non-
executive Directors

Maximum one
Executive Director

 

All other members
are Independent
Non-executive
Directors

Committee Chair

 

Chair is Independent
Non-executive
Director, who is not
the Board Chairman

Chair is Independent
Director, who is not
the Board Chairman

Chair determined by
the Board

Chair determined by
the Board

Chair determined by
the Board

Lindsay Maxsted

Chairman,

 

 

 

 

 

Non-executive,

 

 

Chair

 

 

Independent

ü

ü

ü

 

 

Brian Hartzer

CEO,

 

 

 

 

 

Executive

 

 

 

 

ü

Nerida Caesar

Non-executive,

 

 

 

 

 

Independent

 

ü

 

 

ü

Ewen Crouch

Non-executive,

 

Chair

 

 

 

Independent

ü

ü

ü

ü

 

Alison Deans

Non-executive,

 

 

 

 

Chair

Independent

 

ü

ü

ü

ü

Craig Dunn

Non-executive,

 

 

 

Chair

 

Independent

 

ü

ü

ü

 

Anita Fung

Non-executive,

 

 

 

 

 

Independent

 

ü

 

 

 

Steven Harker2

Non-executive,

 

 

 

 

 

Independent

 

ü

 

 

 

Peter Marriott

Non-executive,

Chair

 

 

 

 

Independent

ü

ü

ü

 

ü

Peter Nash

Non-executive,

 

 

 

 

 

Independent

ü

ü

 

 

 

Margaret Seale3

Non-executive,

 

 

 

 

 

Independent

 

ü

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.           Composition requirements for each Committee are set out in the relevant Committee Charter.

 

2.           Steven Harker was appointed as a Member of the Board Audit Committee effective from 1 October 2019.

 

3.           Margaret Seale was appointed as a Member of the Board Remuneration Committee effective from 1 October 2019.

 


 

 

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

21

 

 

 

 

Corporate governance
 
 

Chairman

 

The Board elects one of the independent Non-executive Directors as Chairman. Our Chairman is Lindsay Maxsted, who became Chairman on 14 December 2011. The Chairman’s role includes:

 

·              providing effective leadership to the Board in relation to all Board matters;

 

·              guiding the agenda and conducting all Board meetings to facilitate discussions, challenge and decision-making;

 

·              in conjunction with the Company Secretaries, arranging regular Board meetings throughout the year, confirming that minutes of meetings accurately record decisions taken and, where appropriate, the views of individual Directors;

 

·              overseeing the process for appraising Directors and the Board as a whole;

 

·              overseeing Board succession;

 

·              acting as a conduit between management and the Board, and being the primary point of communication between the Board and CEO;

 

·              representing the views of the Board to the public; and

 

·              taking a leading role in creating and maintaining an effective corporate governance system.

 

CEO

 

Our CEO is Brian Hartzer. The CEO’s role includes:

 

·              leadership of the management team;

 

·              developing strategic objectives for the business and achievement of planned results; and

 

·              the day-to-day management of the Westpac Group’s operations, subject to the specified delegations of authority approved by the Board.

 

Board meetings

 

The Board had 11 scheduled meetings for the financial year ended 30 September 2019, with additional meetings held as required. In addition to the Board considering strategic matters at each Board meeting, the Board also discusses our strategic plan and approves our overall strategic direction on an annual basis. The Board also conducts a half year review of our strategy. The Board conducts workshops on specific subjects relevant to our business and the Board throughout the year. Board meetings are characterised by robust exchanges of views between Board and management, with Directors bringing their experience and independent judgement to bear on the issues and decisions.

 

Non-executive Directors regularly meet without management present, so that they can discuss issues appropriate to such a forum. In all other respects, senior executives are invited, where considered appropriate, to participate in Board meetings. They are also available to be contacted by Directors between meetings.

 

Meetings attended by Directors for the financial year ended 30 September 2019 are reported in Section 9 of the Directors’ report.

 

Nomination and appointment

 

As set out in its Charter, key responsibilities of the Board Nominations Committee are:

 

·              assessing the skills required to discharge competently the Board’s duties having regard to Westpac’s performance, financial position and strategic direction;

 

·              developing, reviewing, assessing and recommending to the Board policies on Director tenure, Board composition and size;

 

·              reviewing and making recommendations to the Board annually on diversity generally within the Group, measurable objectives for achieving diversity and progress in achieving those objectives;

 

·              developing and implementing succession planning for Non-executive Directors;

 

·              reviewing the process for the orientation and education of new Directors and any continuing education for existing Directors;

 

·              reviewing eligibility criteria for appointing Directors;

 

·              considering and recommending candidates for appointment as Directors to the Board and determining the terms and conditions (excluding remuneration) on which Non-executive Directors are appointed and hold office;

 

·              considering and recommending candidates for appointment to the Boards of significant subsidiaries (including Westpac New Zealand Limited and our insurance and superannuation businesses); and

 

·              reviewing and where necessary, developing the Group’s corporate governance policies to provide reasonable assurance that they meet international corporate governance standards.

 

Board skills, experience and attributes

 

Westpac seeks to maintain a Board of Directors with a broad range of financial and other skills, experience and knowledge necessary to guide the business of the Group. In addition, Westpac seeks to maintain a diverse Board, which at a minimum, collectively has the skills and experience detailed in Figure 1 overleaf. Figure 1 also illustrates Board tenure and gender diversity.


 


 

22

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate governance
 
 

Figure 1 – Board skills, experience and attributes as at 30 September 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of Directors

 

STRATEGIC AND COMMERCIAL ACUMEN

 

11 out of 11

 

An ability to define strategic objectives, constructively question business plans and implement strategy using commercial judgement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINANCIAL SERVICES EXPERIENCE

 

9 out of 11

 

 

Experience working in, or advising the banking and financial services industry (including wealth management), with strong knowledge of its economic drivers and global business perspectives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINANCIAL ACUMEN

 

9 out of 11

 

 

Highly proficient in accounting or related financial management and reporting for businesses of significant size

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RISK

 

9 out of 11

 

 

Experience in anticipating, recognising and managing risks, including regulatory, financial and non-financial risks, and monitoring risk management frameworks and controls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TECHNOLOGY

 

7 out of 11

 

 

Experience in developing or overseeing the application of technology in large complex businesses, with particular reference to innovation and the Group’s digital transformation strategic priority

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOVERNANCE

 

11 out of 11

 

Commitment to, and knowledge of, governance, environmental and social issues, with particular reference to the legal, compliance, regulatory and voluntary frameworks applicable to listed entities and highly regulated industries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PEOPLE, CULTURE AND CONDUCT

 

10 out of 11

 

 

Experience in people matters including workplace cultures, morale, management development, succession and remuneration, with particular reference to the Group’s talent retention and development initiatives and the ability to consider and respond to matters relating to inclusion and diversity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP

 

10 out of 11

 

 

Being appointed as CEO or a similar senior leadership role in a large complex organisation, and having experience in that position in managing the business through periods of significant change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LISTED COMPANY EXPERIENCE

 

8 out of 11

 

 

Held two or more Non-executive Directorships on Australian or international listed companies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL

 

7 out of 11

 

 

Senior leadership experience involving responsibility for operations across borders, and exposure to a range of political, cultural, regulatory and business environments in that position

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CUSTOMER FOCUS

 

7 out of 11

 

 

Experience in developing and overseeing the embedding of a strong customer-focused culture in large complex organisations, and a demonstrable commitment to achieving customer outcomes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.    Chart does not add to 100% due to rounding.

 


 

 

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

23

 

 

 

 

Corporate governance
 
 

The Board Nominations Committee considers and makes recommendations to the Board on candidates for appointment as Directors. Such recommendations pay particular attention to the mix of skills, experience, expertise, diversity, independence and other qualities of existing Directors, and how the candidate’s attributes will balance and complement those qualities and address any potential skills gaps in relation to the current composition of the Board. External consultants are used to access a wide base of potential Directors.

 

Board appointments are also made with regard to the Group’s Service Revolution vision and three strategic priorities of:

 

·              building our customer franchise;

 

·              digital transformation; and

 

·              strengthening performance disciplines.1

 

Prior to a Director’s appointment or consideration for election or re-election by shareholders, Westpac conducts due diligence and provides shareholders with all material information relevant to a decision on whether or not to elect or re-elect a Director.

 

New Directors receive an induction pack which includes a letter of appointment setting out the expectations of the role, conditions of appointment including the expected term of appointment, and remuneration. This letter conforms to the ASXCGC Recommendations.

 

Term of office

 

The Board may appoint a new Director, either to fill a casual vacancy or as an addition to the existing Directors, provided the total number of Directors does not exceed fifteen Non-executive Directors and three Executive Directors. Except for the CEO, a Director appointed by the Board holds office only until the close of the next AGM but is eligible for election by shareholders at that meeting.

 

Our Constitution states that at each AGM, one-third of eligible Directors, and any other Director who has held office for three or more years since their last election, must retire. In determining the number of Directors to retire by rotation, no account is to be taken of Directors holding casual vacancy positions or of the CEO. The Directors to retire by rotation are those who have been the longest in office. A retiring Director holds office until the conclusion of the meeting at which he or she retires but is eligible for re-election by shareholders at that meeting. The Board makes recommendations concerning the election or re-election of any Director by shareholders. In considering whether to support a candidate, the Board takes into account the results of the Board performance evaluation conducted during the year.

 

The Westpac Board Renewal Policy limits the maximum tenure of office that any Non-executive Director other than the Chairman may serve to nine years, from the date of first election by shareholders. The maximum tenure for the Chairman is twelve years (inclusive of any term as a Director prior to being elected as Chairman), from the date of first election by shareholders. The Board, on its initiative and on an exceptional basis, may exercise discretion to extend the maximum terms specified above where it considers that such an

 

extension would benefit the Group. Such discretion will be exercised on an annual basis and the Director concerned will be required to stand for re-election annually.

 

Director induction and continuing education

 

All new Directors participate in an induction program to familiarise themselves with our business and strategy, culture and values and any current issues before the Board. The induction program includes meetings with the Chairman, the CEO, the Board Committee Chairs and each Group Executive.

 

The Board encourages Directors to undertake continuing education and training to develop and maintain the skills and knowledge needed to perform their role as Directors effectively, including by participating in workshops held throughout the year, attending relevant site visits and undertaking relevant external education.

 

Access to information and advice

 

All Directors have unrestricted access to company records and information, and receive regular detailed financial and operational reports from senior management. Each Director also enters into an access and indemnity agreement, which among other things, provides for access to documents for up to seven years after his or her retirement as a Director.

 

The Chairman and other Non-executive Directors regularly consult with the CEO, CFO and other senior executives, and may consult with, and request additional information from, any of our employees.

 

All Directors have access to advice from senior internal legal advisors including the Group Executive, Legal & Secretariat.

 

In addition, the Board collectively, and all Directors individually, have the right to seek independent professional advice, at our expense, to help them carry out their responsibilities. While the Chairman’s prior approval is needed, it may not be unreasonably withheld.

 

Company Secretaries

 

Westpac has two Company Secretaries:

 

·                   The Senior Company Secretary is our Group Executive, Legal & Secretariat. The Senior Company Secretary attends Board and Board Committee meetings and is responsible for providing Directors with advice on legal and corporate governance issues.

 

·                   The Group Company Secretary also attends Board and Board Committee meetings and is responsible for the operation of the secretariat function, including advising the Board on governance and, in conjunction with management, giving practical effect to the Board’s decisions. The Group Company Secretary is accountable to the Board, through the Chairman, on all matters to do with the proper functioning of the Board.

 

Profiles of our Company Secretaries for the financial year ended 30 September 2019 are set out in Section 1 of the Directors’ report.

 


 

1.           For further information about the Service Revolution and our strategic priorities please refer to Section 3 in the Directors’ Report.

 


 

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2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate governance
 
 

Board Committees

 

Composition and independence

 

Board Committee members are chosen for the skills and experience they can contribute to the respective Board Committees and their qualifications are set out in Section 1 of the Directors’ report. The membership of each Board Committee is set out in the table entitled ‘Size and membership of Board Committees as at 30 September 2019’ in this Corporate Governance Statement. All of the Board Committees are comprised of independent Non-executive Directors, except for the Board Technology Committee, of which the CEO is a member.

 

Operation and reporting

 

Scheduled meetings of the Board Committees occur at least quarterly. Each member’s attendance at Board Committee meetings held during the financial year ended 30 September 2019 is reported in Section 9 of the Directors’ report. All Board Committees are able to meet more frequently as necessary. Each Board Committee is entitled to the resources and information it requires and has direct access to our employees and advisers. The CEO attends all Board Committee meetings, except where he has a material personal interest in a matter being considered. Senior executives and other selected employees are invited to attend Board Committee meetings as required. All Directors can receive all Board Committee papers and can attend any Board Committee meeting, provided there is no conflict of interest.

 

Performance

 

Board, Board Committees and Directors

 

The Board undertakes ongoing self-assessment as well as commissioning an annual performance review by an independent consultant.

 

The review process conducted in 2019 included an assessment of the performance of the Board, the Board Committees and each Director, with outputs collected, analysed and presented to the Board. The Board discussed the results and agreed follow up actions on matters relating to Board composition, process, priorities and continuing education.

 

The Chairman also discusses the results with individual Directors and Board Committee Chairs. The full Board (excluding the Chairman) reviews the results of the performance review of the Chairman and results are then privately discussed by the Chairman of the Board Risk & Compliance Committee with the Chairman.

 

Management

 

The Board, in conjunction with its Board Remuneration Committee, is responsible for:

 

·              determining the goals and objectives relevant to the remuneration of the CEO, and the performance of the CEO in light of these goals and objectives; and

 

·              approving individual remuneration for Group Executives, other executives who report directly to the CEO, any other accountable persons under the Banking Executive Accountability Regime, and any other person the Board determines.

 

The Board Risk & Compliance Committee and the Board Audit Committee also refer to the Board Remuneration Committee any matters that come to their attention that are relevant, including with respect to risk adjusted remuneration.

 

Management performance evaluations for the financial year ended 30 September 2019 were conducted following the end of the financial year.

 

There is a further discussion on performance objectives and performance achieved in the Remuneration Report in Section 10 of the Directors’ report.

 

All new senior executives receive a letter of appointment setting out the conditions and expectations of the role, together with an extensive briefing on our strategies and operations and the respective roles and responsibilities of the Board and senior management.

 

Advisory Boards

 

Westpac has established Advisory Boards for its operations in Asia, the Pacific, Victoria and for BankSA, to advise management on the strategies and initiatives of those businesses within the overall Group strategy.

 

Responsibilities of the Advisory Boards include:

 

·              providing advice to management on management’s strategies and initiatives to continue to strengthen the position and identity of the business;

 

·              providing advice to management of the relevant business so as to promote and preserve its distinct position and identity and align business values with those of the relevant communities served;

 

·              considering and assessing reports provided by management on the health of the relevant business;

 

·              acting as ambassadors for the business, including by supporting community and major corporate promotional events to assist in building relationships with the bank’s customers, local communities and the business and government sector, and advising senior management on community matters relevant to the provision of financial services in the community it serves; and

 

·              alerting management to local market opportunities and issues of which Advisory Board members are aware that would enhance the provision of services to customers and potential customers and the position of the bank in its local communities.

 

Ethical and responsible decision-making

 

At Westpac, our vision is to become one of the world’s great service companies, helping our customers, communities and people to prosper and grow. One of the ways we seek to achieve this vision is through our core values.

 

Westpac is also focused on the impact of its organisational culture on the Group’s operations, including its management of risk. We take an integrated approach to sustainably embedding a strong risk culture, including through leadership and communication, risk appetite and governance, risk awareness and transparency, accountability and reinforcement, and behaviours and relationships.


 


 

 

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

25

 

 

 

 

Corporate governance
 
 

Our Values

 

Our Values support our customer-focused strategy and are embedded in our culture. These are:

 

·              integrity – we earn trust by demonstrating the highest standards of honesty and ethical behaviour;

 

·              service – we are here to help and delight our customers;

 

·              one team – we collaborate to deliver the best outcomes for our customers and the company overall;

 

·              courage – we challenge the status quo and find a way to make things better; and

 

·              achievement – we strive for excellence and deliver results.

 

Our values guide our behaviour and reflect our commitment to our customers, communities and each other.

 

Our Compass

 

Our Compass helps us navigate the world of banking, capturing Our Vision, Values, Behaviours and the non- negotiables of our Code of Conduct, to consistently guide us in everything we do.

 

Together the four points of the Compass provide direction and support by guiding our behaviour and outlining where to turn if we need help:

 

·              Our Vision – why we are here

 

·              Our Values – how we behave

 

·              Our Service Promise – how we serve

 

·              Our Code of Conduct – how we deliver

 

Code of Conduct and Principles for Doing Business

 

Our Code of Conduct (Code) describes the standards of conduct expected of our people, both employees and contractors. The seven principles making up the Code are:

 

·              we act with honesty, integrity, and due skill, care and diligence;

 

·              we comply with laws and with our policies;

 

·              we do the right thing by our customers;

 

·              we respect confidentiality and do not misuse information;

 

·              we value and maintain our professionalism;

 

·              we work as a team; and

 

·              we manage conflicts of interest responsibly.

 

The Code’s guiding principles help us make the right decisions, ensuring we uphold the reputation of the Group. As employees of the banking and finance industry, we are also committed to creating greater accountability, transparency and trust with our customers and the broader community. With that in mind, the principles within our Code also reflect the community’s expectations of us, such as those outlined in the Banking and Finance Oath. The Code has the full support of the Board and the Executive Team and we take compliance with the Code very seriously.

 

Our commitment to sustainable business practice and behaviours against which we expect to be judged in pursuit of our vision to be one of the world’s great service companies, helping our customers, communities and people to prosper and grow, is set out in our Principles for Doing Business (Principles).

 

The Principles apply to all Directors, employees and contractors.

 

We also have the frameworks in place which apply to support both our Code and Principles, internally and externally across our value chain, including:

 

·              a range of internal guidelines, policies, frameworks, communications and training processes and tools, including an online learning module entitled ‘Doing the Right Thing’; and

 

·              a range of externally-facing codes, frameworks, operating principles, policies, and position statements, addressing issues such as human rights, climate change and the environment.

 

The Principles are available on our website.

 

Key policies

 

We have a number of key policies to manage our regulatory compliance and human resource requirements. We also subscribe to a range of external industry codes, such as the Banking Code of Practice and the ePayments Code.

 

Code of Ethics for Senior Finance Officers

 

The Code of Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting complements our own Code. The Code of Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting is designed to assist our CEO, CFO and other principal financial officers in applying the highest ethical standards to the performance of their duties and responsibilities with respect to accounting practice and financial reporting by requiring those officers to:

 

·              act honestly and ethically, particularly with respect to conflicts of interest;

 

·              provide full, fair, accurate and timely disclosure in reporting and other communications;

 

·              comply with applicable laws, rules and regulations;

 

·              promptly report violations of the Code of Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting; and

 

·              be accountable for adherence to the Code of Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting.

 

The Code of Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting is available on our website at www.westpac.com.au/corpgov.

 

Conflicts of interest

 

The Group has a detailed conflicts of interest framework, which includes a Group policy supported by specific divisional policies and guidelines aimed at identifying and managing actual, potential or apparent conflicts of interest.

 

The conflicts of interest framework includes a separate Westpac Group Gifts and Hospitality Policy. This Policy provides employees with guidance to manage their obligations relating to the giving and receiving of gifts or hospitality.

 

The Board

 

All Directors are required to disclose any actual, potential or apparent conflicts of interest upon appointment and are required to keep these disclosures to the Board up to date.

 

Any Director with a material personal interest in a matter being considered by the Board must declare their interest and, unless the Board resolves otherwise, may not be present during the boardroom discussions or vote on the relevant matter.


 


 

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2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate governance
 
 

Our employees and contractors

 

We expect our employees and contractors to:

 

·              have in place adequate arrangements for the management of actual, potential or apparent conflicts of interest;

 

·              obtain consent from senior management before accepting a directorship on the board of a non-Westpac Group company;

 

·              disclose any material interests they have with our customers or suppliers to their manager and not be involved with customer relationships where they have such an interest;

 

·              not participate in business activities outside their employment with us (whether as a principal, partner, director, agent, guarantor, investor or employee) without approval or when it could adversely affect their ability to carry out their duties and responsibilities; and

 

·              not solicit, provide facilitation payments, accept or offer money, gifts, favours or entertainment that might influence, or might appear to influence, their business judgement.

 

Fit and Proper Person assessments

 

We have a Board-approved Westpac Group Fit and Proper Policy that meets the requirements of the related APRA Prudential Standards and covers the requirements of Part IIAA of the Banking Act 1959 – The Banking Executive Accountability Regime, which applies to ADIs and their subsidiaries. In accordance with that Policy, we assess the fitness and propriety of our Directors and also of individuals who perform specified statutory roles required by APRA Prudential Standards or ASIC licensing requirements. The Chairman of the Board (and in the case of the Chairman, the Board) is responsible for assessing the Directors and Non- executive Directors of the Westpac and subsidiary Boards, Group Executives, external auditors and actuaries. A Fit and Proper Committee is responsible under delegated authority of the Westpac Board for undertaking fit and proper assessments of all other employees who hold statutory roles. In all cases, the individual is asked to provide a detailed declaration and background checks are completed.

 

Concern reporting and whistleblower protection

 

Under the Westpac Group Speaking Up Policy, we encourage our employees, contractors, secondees, former employees, brokers, service providers (such as auditors, accountants and consultants) and our suppliers to raise any concerns about our activities or behaviours that may be unlawful or unethical. Our attitude is ‘when in doubt report’ and our senior management are committed to protecting the dignity, well-being, career and good name of anyone reporting wrongdoing, as well as providing them with the necessary support. Westpac does not tolerate retaliation or adverse action related to a whistleblowing disclosure.

 

The Speaking Up Policy sets out how someone can raise a concern using the whistleblowing channels, including our concern reporting system ‘Concern Online’ and our Whistleblower Hotline. Both channels enable reporting on an anonymous basis. Concerns may include suspected breaches of our Code, Westpac policies or regulatory requirements.

 

When a whistleblower raises a concern they may choose to involve the Whistleblower Protection Officer, who is responsible for protecting the whistleblower against personal disadvantage as a result of making a report.

 

We investigate reported concerns in a manner that is confidential, fair and objective. If the investigation shows that wrongdoing has occurred, we are committed to changing our processes and taking action in relation to those parties who have behaved incorrectly. Outcomes may also involve reporting the matter to relevant authorities and regulators.

 

Relevant Board Committees are charged with overseeing Westpac’s whistleblower program and the Westpac Group Executive Risk Committee is provided with quarterly reporting on whistleblowing. These reports include a number of metrics, including statistics about concerns raised.

 

Westpac’s Speaking Up Policy is available on our website at https://www.westpac.com.au/about- westpac/westpac-group/corporate-governance/ principles-policies/.

 

Securities trading

 

Under the Westpac Group Securities Trading Policy, Directors, employees, secondees and contractors are prohibited from dealing in any securities and other financial products if they possess inside information. They are also prohibited from passing on inside information to others who may use that information to trade in securities. In addition, Directors and any employees, secondees or contractors (and their ‘associates’) who, because of their seniority or the nature of their position, may have access to material non-public information about Westpac (known as Prescribed Employees) are subject to further restrictions, including prohibitions on trading prior to and immediately following annual and half year results announcements.

 

We manage and monitor these obligations through:

 

·              the insider trading provisions of our Policy, which prohibit any dealing in any securities where a Director or employee has access to inside information that may affect the price of those securities;

 

·              restrictions limiting the periods in which the Directors and Prescribed Employees can trade in Westpac securities and other Westpac financial products (Blackout Periods);

 

·              a prohibition on short-selling Westpac securities by Directors and Prescribed Employees;

 

·              requiring Directors and Prescribed Employees to either obtain approval or notify their intention to trade outside Blackout Periods and confirm that they have no inside information;

 

·              monitoring the trading of Westpac securities by Directors and Prescribed Employees;

 

·              maintaining a register of Prescribed Employees, which is regularly updated;

 

·              notifying ASX of trades of Westpac securities by Directors of Westpac as required under the ASX Listing Rules; and

 

·              forbidding employees from entering into hedging arrangements in relation to their unvested employee shares or securities, whether directly or indirectly.

 

The Westpac Group Securities Trading Policy is available in the Corporate Governance section of our website.


 


 

 

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

27

 

 

 

 

Corporate governance
 
 

Customer Advocate

 

Westpac’s Customer Advocate provides an avenue of escalated review for complaints outcomes in relation to personal and small business customers, which is separate to our standard internal dispute resolution processes. The Customer Advocate has the power to review and make independent and binding decisions about these complaints, where customers are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal dispute resolution process.

 

Further details on our Customer Advocate are available on our website.

 

Anti-Bribery and Corruption

 

The Westpac Group has an Anti-Bribery and Corruption (ABC) Policy, an ABC Standard, and bribery prevention procedures and systems. They comprise the Westpac ABC Framework.

 

Westpac has zero tolerance for any form of bribery and corruption. This includes a ban on facilitation payments.

 

Westpac is committed to preventing, detecting and deterring bribery and corruption by managing its bribery and corruption risk and complying with relevant ABC legislation in all jurisdictions in which it operates, not simply because it is required to, but it is the right thing to do. This includes compliance with the Australian Criminal Code Act 1995, the UK Bribery Act 2010 and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977.

 

Under the ABC Policy, Westpac expects that its officers, employees, agents, contractors, subsidiaries and third parties acting for or on behalf of Westpac will comply with all applicable ABC laws and will not offer, provide, authorise, request or receive a bribe or anything which may be viewed as a bribe.

 

Westpac is also required to design and maintain a system of internal controls, keep accurate books and records and put in place adequate procedures to prevent bribery, which are set out in the Westpac ABC Framework.

 

Slavery and Human Trafficking

 

Westpac publishes its Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement in accordance with the Transparency in Supply Chains provision (section 54) of the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 on an annual basis. The statement outlines the Group’s commitment to sustainable business practices and advancing human rights, and the steps we have taken to prevent modern slavery in our business and supply chains globally during the financial year.

 

The statement is available on our website.

 

Diversity

 

Westpac has an Inclusion & Diversity Policy that sets out the inclusion and diversity initiatives for the Group. This is coupled with a comprehensive Inclusion & Diversity strategy to help deliver on our key priorities and actions. In this context, diversity covers both the visible and invisible differences that make our employees unique, whether that be gender, gender identity, age, ethnicity, accessibility requirements, cultural background, sexual orientation or religious beliefs, or the differences we have based on our experiences, insights and perspectives.

 

The objectives of the policy and the 2018-20 Inclusion & Diversity strategy are to ensure that the Group:

 

·              has a workforce profile that delivers competitive advantage through the ability to garner a deep understanding of customer needs;

 

·              has a truly inclusive workplace where every individual can shine regardless of gender, cultural identity, age, work style or approach; and

 

·              leverages the value of diversity for all our stakeholders to deliver the best customer experience, improved financial performance and a stronger corporate reputation.

 

To achieve these objectives, the Group:

 

·              has set Board-determined, measurable objectives for achieving gender diversity. The Board assesses annually both the objectives and progress in achieving them;

 

·              assesses pay equity on an annual basis;

 

·              encourages and supports the application of flexibility policies across the business;

 

·              is committed to proactively assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians wishing to access employment across our brands;

 

·              implements our Accessibility Action Plan for employees and customers with accessibility requirements, including ensuring employment opportunities are accessible for people with a disability; and

 

·              actively promotes an environment of inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) employees.

 

The implementation of these objectives is overseen by the Westpac Group Inclusion & Diversity Council, which is chaired by the CEO and meets bi-annually.

 

The Board, or an appropriate Board Committee, receives regular updates from the Inclusion & Diversity Council on inclusion and diversity initiatives.

 

The creation of the Inclusion & Diversity Governance Framework has resulted in the establishment of:

 

·              Inclusion & Diversity Business Unit Councils, chaired by the relevant Group Executive of that business unit; and

 

·              the Inclusion & Diversity Working Group, consisting of appointed general manager representatives across each business unit and chaired by the Head of Inclusion & Diversity.

 

We continue to listen to the needs of our employees through our employee action groups and our periodic employee survey (which includes questions that constitute an ‘Inclusion Index’).

 

Our Inclusive Leadership program ensures we are investing in the right capabilities for an inclusive culture. The majority of senior leaders and Group Executives have already completed the program and our focus is now on completion by our broader people leader group.

 

In October 2010, the Board set an objective to increase the proportion of women in leadership roles (over 5,000 leaders from our Executive Team through to our bank managers) from 33% to 40% by 2014, which was achieved in September 2012, two years ahead of schedule. Since November 2017, Westpac has maintained 50% women in leadership roles. We continue focussing our efforts on maintaining this equality.


 


 

28

2019 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate governance
 
 

At 30 September 2019, the proportion of women employed by the Group was as follows:

 

·              Board of Directors: 36%;

 

·              leadership1 roles: 50%; and

 

·              total Westpac workforce: 58%.

 

In addition to the Group’s commitment to achieving its targets, in 2015 our CEO signed up as a Pay Equity Ambassador through the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

 

Westpac offers a range of flexible working options for our people based on their needs, work preferences and the needs of the business. These include:

 

·              flexible work hours;

 

·              mobile working;

 

·              working part-time; and

 

·              job sharing.

 

In addition, Westpac offers a variety of leave options that support flexibility, including parental leave, wellbeing and lifestyle leave and domestic violence support leave. In 2018 Westpac introduced new policies on Gender Transition leave, ‘Sorry Business’ Indigenous bereavement leave and extended Domestic and Family Violence leave.

 

Sustainability

 

We view sustainable and responsible business practices as important for our business and shareholder value. Sustainability is about managing risks and opportunities in a way that best balances the long term needs of all our stakeholders – our customers, employees, suppliers, investors and community partners – as well as the wider community and the environment at large.

 

Our management of sustainability aims to address the matters that we believe are the most material for our business and stakeholders, now and in the future. We also understand that this is an evolving agenda and seek to progressively embed the management of sustainability matters into business practice, while also anticipating and shaping emerging social issues where we have the skills and experience to make a meaningful difference and drive business value.

 

Reporting

 

We report on the most material sustainability matters to Westpac, details of how we manage the associated risks and opportunities and our performance against our sustainability strategy in the Annual Review and Sustainability Report, this Annual Report, the Sustainability Performance Report and the full year and half year ASX results.

 

Our sustainability reporting is subject to independent limited assurance, performed in accordance with the Australian Standard on Assurance Engagements 3000 Assurance Engagements Other Than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information (Revised) (‘ASAE 3000’). The assurance provider also assesses whether our sustainability reporting is prepared in accordance with AA1000 AccountAbility Principles Standard (2008) and the GRI Standards.

 

Financial reporting

 

Approach to financial reporting

 

Our approach to financial reporting reflects three core principles:

 

·              that our financial reports present a true and fair view;

 

·              that our accounting methods comply with applicable accounting standards and policies; and

 

·              that our external auditor is independent and serves security holders’ interests.

 

The Board, through the Board Audit Committee, monitors Australian and international developments relevant to these principles, and reviews our practices accordingly.

 

The Board delegates oversight responsibility for the integrity of financial statements and financial reporting systems to the Board Audit Committee. The Board Risk & Compliance Committee provide periodic assurances and reports (as appropriate) to the Board Audit Committee. Similarly, the Board delegates oversight responsibility for the preparation of remuneration reports and disclosures to the Board Remuneration Committee, who recommend and provide relevant assurances through the Board Audit Committee to the Board for approval.

 

Board Audit Committee

 

As set out in its charter, key responsibilities of the Board Audit Committee are:

 

·              overseeing the integrity of the financial statements and financial reporting systems of Westpac and its related bodies corporate;

 

·              overseeing the external audit engagement, including the external auditor’s qualifications, performance, independence and fees;

 

·              overseeing the performance of the internal audit function;

 

·              overseeing the integrity of the Group’s corporate reporting, including the Group’s financial reporting and compliance with prudential regulatory reporting and professional accounting requirements; and

 

·              reviewing and approving policies and procedures for the receipt, retention and treatment of information submitted confidentially by employees and third parties about accounting, internal control, compliance, audit or other matters about which an employee has concerns, and monitoring employee awareness of these policies and procedures.

 

The Board Audit Committee reviews, discusses with management and the external auditor, and assesses:

 

·              any significant financial reporting issues and judgements made in connection with the preparation of the financial reports;

 

·              the processes used to monitor and comply with laws and regulations over financial information, reporting and disclosure; and

 

·              the process surrounding the disclosures made by the CEO and CFO in connection with their personal certifications of the Group’s half year and full year financial statements.

 


 

1.           Women in Leadership refers to the proportion of women (permanent and maximum term) in leadership roles across the Group. It includes the CEO, Group Executives, General Managers, senior leaders with significant influence on business outcomes (direct reports to General Managers and their direct reports), large (3+) team people leaders three levels below General Manager, and Bank and Assistant Bank Managers.

 


 

 

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Corporate governance
 
 

In addition, the Board Audit Committee maintains an ongoing dialogue with management, the external auditor and Group Audit, including  regarding those matters that are likely to be designated as Critical Audit Matters in the external auditor’s report. Critical Audit Matters are those matters which, in the opinion of the external auditor, are of the most significance in their audit of the financial report.

 

As part of its oversight responsibilities, the Board Audit Committee also conducts discussions with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders including:

 

·              the external auditor, about our major financial reporting risk exposures and the steps management has taken to monitor and control such exposures;

 

·              Group Audit and the external auditor concerning their audits and any significant findings, and the adequacy of management’s responses;

 

·              management and the external auditor concerning the half year and full year financial statements;

 

·              management and the external auditor regarding any correspondence with regulators or government agencies, and any published reports which raise material issues or could impact on matters regarding the Westpac Group’s financial statements or accounting policies; and

 

·              the Group Executive, Legal & Secretariat regarding any legal matters that may have a material impact on, or require disclosure in, the financial statements.

 

Periodically, the Board Audit Committee consults with the external auditor without the presence of management about internal controls over financial information, reporting and disclosure and the fullness and accuracy of the Group’s financial statements. The Board Audit Committee also meets with the General Manager Group Audit without other members of management being present.

 

The Board Audit Committee also refers to the Board or any other Board Committees any matters that come to the attention of the Board Audit Committee that are relevant for the Board or the respective Board Committees.

 

Financial knowledge

 

The Board Audit Committee comprises five independent, Non-executive Directors and is chaired by Peter Marriott.

 

All Board Audit Committee members have appropriate financial experience, an understanding of the financial services industry and satisfy the independence requirements under the ASXCGC Recommendations, the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (as amended) and its related rules, and the NYSE Listing Rules.

 

The Board has determined that Mr Marriott is an ‘audit committee financial expert’ and independent in accordance with US securities law.

 

The designation of Mr Marriott as an audit committee financial expert does not impose duties, obligations or liability on him that are greater than those imposed on him as a Board Audit Committee member, and does not affect the duties, obligations or liability of any other Board Audit Committee member or Board member.

 

Audit committee financial experts are not deemed as an ‘expert’ for any other purpose.

 

CEO and CFO assurance

 

The Board receives regular reports from management about our financial condition and operational results, as well as that of our controlled entities. Before the Board approves the financial statements for a financial period, the CEO and the CFO provide formal statements to the Board, and have done so for the financial year ended 30 September 2019, that state that in all material respects:

 

·              Westpac’s financial records have been properly maintained in that they:

 

             correctly record and explain its transactions, and financial position and performance;

 

             enable true and fair financial statements to be prepared and audited; and

 

             are retained for seven years after the transactions covered by the records are completed;

 

·              the financial statements and notes comply with the appropriate accounting standards;

 

·              the financial statements and notes give a true and fair view of Westpac’s and its consolidated entities’ financial position and of their performance;

 

·              any other matters that are prescribed by the Corporations Act and regulations as they relate to the financial statements and notes are satisfied; and

 

·              the declarations provided in accordance with section 295A of the Corporations Act are founded on a sound system of risk management and internal control, and that the system is operating effectively in all material respects in relation to financial reporting risks.

 

External auditor

 

The role of the external auditor is to provide an independent opinion that our financial reports are true and fair, and comply with applicable regulations.

 

Our external auditor is PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), appointed by shareholders at the 2002 Annual General Meeting (AGM). Prior to 2002, individuals who were partners of PwC or its antecedent Firms were our external auditors from 1968. Our PwC lead audit partner is Lona Mathis and the quality review partner is Wayne Andrews. Ms Mathis and Mr Andrews assumed responsibility for these roles in June 2017 and January 2015, respectively.

 

The external auditor receives all Board Audit Committee, Board Risk & Compliance Committee and Board Technology Committee papers, attends all meetings of these committees and is available to Committee members at any time. The external auditor also attends the AGM to answer questions from shareholders regarding the conduct of its audit, the audit report and financial statements and its independence.

 

As our external auditor, PwC is required to confirm its independence and compliance with specified independence standards on a semi-annual basis (at half and full year), however in practice it confirms its independence on a quarterly basis.

 

We strictly govern our relationship with the external auditor, including restrictions on employment, business relationships, financial interests and use of our financial products by the external auditor.


 


 

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Corporate governance
 
 

Engagement of the external auditor

 

To avoid possible independence or conflict issues, the external auditor is not permitted to carry out certain types of non-audit services for Westpac and may be limited as to the extent to which it can perform other non-audit services as specified in our ‘Pre-approval of engagement of PwC for audit and non-audit services’ (Guidelines). Use of the external audit firm for any non-audit services must be assessed and approved in accordance with the pre-approval process determined by the Board Audit Committee and set out in the Guidelines.

 

The breakdown of the aggregate fees billed by the external auditor in respect of each of the two most recent financial years for audit, audit-related, tax and other services is provided in Note 35 to our financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2019. A declaration regarding the Board’s satisfaction that the provision of non-audit services by PwC is compatible with the general standards of auditor independence is provided in Section 11 of the Directors’ report.

 

Group Audit (internal audit)

 

Group Audit is Westpac’s internal third line assurance function that provides the Board and Senior Executives with independent and objective evaluation of the adequacy and effectiveness of the Group’s governance, risk management and internal controls for the Westpac consolidated group.

 

Group Audit is governed by a charter approved by the Board Audit Committee that sets out the purpose, role, scope and high level standards for the function. The General Manager Group Audit has a direct reporting line to the Chairman of the Board Audit Committee and an administrative line to the Chief Financial Officer. Group Audit also has unrestricted and private access to the Chief Executive Officer.

 

Group Audit’s responsibilities include regularly reporting to the Board.

 

Market disclosure

 

We maintain a level of disclosure that seeks to provide all investors with equal, timely, balanced and meaningful information. Consistent with these standards, the Group maintains a Board-approved Market Disclosure Policy, which governs how we communicate with our shareholders and the investment community.

 

The policy reflects the requirements of the ASX, NZX and other offshore stock exchanges where we have disclosure obligations, as well as relevant securities and corporations legislation. Under our policy, information that a reasonable person would expect to have a material effect on the price or value of our securities must first be disclosed via the ASX unless an exception applies under regulatory requirements.

 

Our Disclosure Committee is responsible for determining what information should be disclosed publicly under the policy, and for assisting employees in understanding what information may require disclosure to the market on the basis that it is price sensitive. The Disclosure Committee is comprised of the CEO and the Executive Team.

 

The Group Executive, Legal & Secretariat is the Disclosure Officer. The Disclosure Officer is ultimately responsible for all communication with relevant stock exchanges and notifying regulators in any jurisdiction as a result of market disclosure.

 

Once relevant information is disclosed to the market and available to investors, it is also published on our website. This includes investor discussion packs, presentations on and explanations about our financial results. Our website information also includes Annual Review and Sustainability Reports, Annual Reports, results announcements, CEO and executive briefings (including webcasts, recordings or transcripts of all major events), notices of meetings and key media releases.

 

Shareholder communication and participation

 

We seek to keep shareholders fully informed about our strategy, business operations, performance and governance. As part of our investor relations program, we continually review our communications approach, seeking to maintain best practice and effective two-way communication with shareholders. This includes:

 

·              Designing and maintaining the Investor Centre on the Group’s website to make all relevant company information available and to structure that information in a way that makes it easy to find and access;

 

·              Responding to shareholder queries directly via phone, email and mail;

 

·              Preparing company presentations that seek to respond to the questions frequently asked by shareholders along with major industry and company topics of interest; and

 

·              Ensuring appropriate access to all major market briefings and shareholder meetings, including via webcasts and maintaining that information on our website.

 

Shareholders can access our financial calendar which lists all major market briefings and shareholder meetings. Announcements on these events may also be made through ASX announcements.

 

Shareholders are given the option to receive information in print or electronic format from both Westpac and its share registry.

 

Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) is an important opportunity for engaging and communicating with shareholders, and we typically rotate the location of our AGM throughout capital cities to ensure we reach a broad range of shareholders over time. While shareholders are encouraged to attend and actively participate, the AGM is webcast and can also be viewed at a later time from our website. Shareholders who are unable to attend the AGM are able to lodge a direct vote or appoint their proxies through a number of channels, including online. At the time of receiving the Notice of Meeting, shareholders are also invited to put forward questions they would like addressed at the AGM.


 


 

 

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Corporate governance
 
 

Risk management

 

Roles and responsibilities

 

The Board is responsible for approving the Group’s overall risk management framework, the Westpac annual Group Risk Management Strategy and the Westpac Group Risk Appetite Statement and for monitoring the effectiveness of risk management by the Westpac Group. The Board has delegated to the Board Risk & Compliance Committee responsibility to: establish a view of the Group’s current and future risk position relative to its risk appetite and capital strength; review and approve frameworks, policies and processes for managing risk; and review and, where appropriate, approve risks beyond the approval discretion provided to management.

 

The Westpac Group Risk Management Framework, Risk Management Strategy, Risk Taxonomy and Risk Appetite Statement were reviewed by the Board Risk & Compliance Committee and were approved by the Board during the financial year ended 30 September 2019.

 

The Board Risk & Compliance Committee reviews and monitors the risk profile and controls of the Group for consistency with the Group Risk Appetite Statement and reviews and monitors capital levels for consistency with the Group’s risk appetite. The Board Risk & Compliance Committee receives regular reports from management on the effectiveness of our management of Westpac’s material risks. More detail about the role of the Board Risk & Compliance Committee is set out later in this section under ‘Board Risk & Compliance Committee’.

 

The CEO and Executive Team are responsible for implementing our risk management framework and risk management strategy, and for developing frameworks, policies, controls, processes and procedures for identifying and managing risk in all of Westpac’s activities.

 

We have adopted a Three Lines of Defence model to aid in holistic end-to-end management of risk, within which all employees play an active role. This necessitates co-operation between businesses and functions, such that there are no gaps in risk coverage. Effective risk management enables us to:

 

·              accurately measure our risk profile and to balance risk and reward within our risk appetite, optimising financial growth opportunities and mitigating potential loss or damage;

 

·              protect Westpac Group’s depositors, policyholders, investors and counterparts by maintaining a balance sheet with sound credit quality and buffers over regulatory minimums;

 

·              deliver suitable, fair and clear or transparent outcomes for our customers that support market integrity;

 

·              embed adequate controls to guard against excessive risk or undue risk concentration; and

 

·              meet our regulatory and compliance obligations.

 

The 1st Line of Defence – Business and Support: manages the risk they originate

 

The 1st Line proactively identifies, evaluates, owns and manages the risks in their business/domain. It also ensures that business activities are within approved risk appetite and policies. The 1st Line of defence is accountable for ‘self-certification’.

 

In managing its risk, the 1st Line is required to establish and maintain appropriate governance structures, controls, resources and self-assessment processes, including issue identification recording and escalation procedures.

 

The 2nd Line of Defence – Risk: provides oversight, insight and control of First Line activities

 

The 2nd Line sets frameworks, policies, limits and standards for use across the Group.

 

Risk reviews and challenges 1st Line activities and decisions that may materiality affect Westpac’s risk position, and independently evaluates the effectiveness of the 1st Line’s controls, monitoring, compliance, and monitors progress towards mitigating risks. In addition, the 2nd Line provides insight to the 1st Line, assisting in developing, maintaining and enhancing the business’ approach to risk management.

 

The 2nd Line analyses and reports on the aggregated risk profile of the Group to ensure end-to-end oversight of risk, and can accept risks outside of the business’ risk appetite.

 

The 3rd Line of Defence – Provides Independent audit

Group Audit is an independent assurance function that evaluates and opines on the adequacy and effectiveness of both 1st and 2nd Line risk management approaches and tracks remediation progress, with the aim of providing the Board, and Senior Executives, with comfort that the Group’s governance, risk management and internal controls are operating effectively.

 

Our overall risk management governance structure is set out in more detail in the table ‘Risk Management Governance Structure’ included in this Corporate Governance Statement.

 

Westpac distinguishes between different types of risk:

 

·              governance risk – the risk that the right information does not get to the right people or governance fora in the right format and timeframe to empower decision making. It is driven by organisational structures and relationships including between the Board, management, its shareholders and other stakeholders, which leads to deficient decision making, poor accountability and ineffective structures and processes;

 

·              risk culture – is the risk that our culture doesn’t promote and reinforce behavioural expectations or structures to identify, understand, discuss and act on risks. This leads to ineffective risk management, poor risk awareness, risk-taking outside of risk appetite that is tolerated and a culture where key learnings are not integrated into Group-wide and customer outcomes, impeding continuous improvement;


 


 

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Corporate governance
 
 

·              strategic risk – the risks arising from key elements of the strategic objectives and business plans;

 

·              capital adequacy risk – the risk that the firm has an insufficient level or composition of capital to support its normal business activities and to meet its regulatory capital requirements under normal operating environments or stressed conditions (both actual and as defined for internal planning or regulatory testing purposes). This includes the risk from the Group’s pension plans;

 

·              credit risk – the risk of financial loss where a customer or counterparty fails to meet their financial obligations to Westpac;

 

·              funding and liquidity risk – the risk that the Group cannot meet its payment obligations or that it does not have the appropriate amount, tenor or composition of funding and liquidity to support its assets;

 

·              market risk – the risk of an adverse impact on earnings resulting from changes in market factors, such as foreign exchange rates, interest rates, commodity prices or equity prices. This includes interest rate risk in the banking book - the risk to interest income from a mismatch between the duration of assets and liabilities that arises in the normal course of business activities;

 

·              conduct and compliance risk – the risk of failing to abide by compliance obligations required of us or otherwise failing to have behaviours and practices that deliver suitable, fair and clear outcomes for our customers and that support market integrity;

 

·              operational risk – the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people and systems or from external events. This definition includes legal and regulatory risk but excludes strategic risk;

 

·              cyber risk – The potential for loss or harm to the business and stakeholders related to the use of technology;

 

·              reputational risk – the risk that an action, inaction, transaction, investment or event will reduce trust in the Group’s integrity and competence by clients, counterparties, investors, regulators, employees or the public; and

 

·              sustainability risk – the risk of reputation or financial loss due to failure to recognise or address material existing or emerging sustainability related environmental, social or governance issues. This includes climate change related risks.

 

Westpac has received advanced accreditation from APRA and the RBNZ under the Basel II capital framework, and uses the Advanced Internal Ratings Based (Advanced IRB) approach for credit risk and the Advanced Measurement Approach (AMA) for operational risk when calculating regulatory capital.

 

Material exposure to economic, environmental and social sustainability risks

 

Westpac’s material exposures to economic, environmental and social sustainability risks are managed in accordance with our risk management strategy and frameworks.

 

Board Risk & Compliance Committee

 

The Board Risk & Compliance Committee comprises all of Westpac’s independent, Non-executive Directors and is chaired by Ewen Crouch.

 

As set out in its charter, the Board Risk & Compliance Committee:

 

·              assists the Board to consider and approve the Group’s overall risk framework for managing risk;

 

·              reviews and recommends the Risk Management Strategy and Westpac Group Risk Appetite Statement to the Board for approval;

 

·              reviews and monitors the risk profile and controls of the Group consistent with the Westpac Group Risk Appetite Statement;

 

·              reviews and approves the frameworks, policies and processes for managing risk;

 

·              reviews and approves the limits and conditions that apply to credit risk approval authority delegated to the CEO, CFO and CRO and any other officers of the Westpac Group to whom the Board has delegated credit approval authority;

 

·              monitors changes anticipated for the economic and business environment including consideration of emerging risks and other factors considered relevant to our risk profile and risk appetite;

 

·              assists the Board to make its annual declaration to APRA on risk management under APRA prudential standard CPS 220 Risk Management;

 

·              reviews and where appropriate approves risks beyond the approval discretion provided to management; and

 

·              assists the Board to oversee compliance management within the Group.

 

From the perspective of specific types of risk, the Board Risk & Compliance Committee’s role as set out in the current Committee charter has included:

 

·              credit risk – approving key policies and limits supporting the Credit Risk Management Framework, and monitoring the risk profile, performance and management of our credit portfolio;

 

·              liquidity risk – approving key policies and limits supporting the Liquidity Risk Management Framework, including our annual funding strategy, recovery and resolutions plans and monitoring the liquidity position and requirements;

 

·              market risk – approving key policies and limits supporting the Market Risk Management Framework, and monitoring the market risk profile;

 

·              conduct risk – reviewing and approving the Westpac Group Conduct Framework and reviewing and monitoring the performance of conduct risk management and controls;

 

·              operational risk – approving key policies supporting the Operational Risk Management Framework and monitoring the performance of operational risk management and controls;


 


 

 

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Corporate governance
 
 

·              compliance risk – reviewing and approving the Westpac Group Compliance Management Framework and Financial Crime Risk Management Framework, supporting policies and standards and monitoring the performance of compliance and financial crime risk management and controls;

 

·              reputation risk – reviewing and approving the Reputation Risk Management Framework and reviewing and monitoring the performance of reputation risk management and controls; and

 

·              sustainability risk – reviewing and approving the Sustainability Risk Management Framework.

 

The Board Risk & Compliance Committee also:

 

·              oversees and approves the Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process and in doing so reviews the outcomes of Westpac Group stress testing, sets the target capital ranges for regulatory capital and reviews and monitors capital levels for consistency with the Westpac Group’s risk appetite;

 

·              provides relevant periodic assurances and reports (as appropriate) to the Board Audit Committee;

 

·              reviews and approves other risk management frameworks and/or the monitoring of performance under those frameworks (as appropriate);

 

·              forms a view of Westpac’s risk culture and oversees the identification of, and steps taken to address, any desirable changes to risk culture and periodically reports to the Board;

 

·              refers to the Board or any other Board Committees any relevant matters that come to the attention of the Board Risk & Compliance Committee; and

 

·              in its capacity as the Westpac Group’s US Risk Committee, oversees the key risks, risk management framework and policies of the Group’s US operations.

 

Compliance Management Framework

 

The Compliance Management Framework sets out our approach to managing compliance with our obligations and mitigating compliance risk. It is an integral part of the broader risk management strategy and is regularly assessed and enhanced as appropriate to ensure it responds to the internal and external environment and supports our strategic compliance direction.

 

To proactively manage our compliance risks, our compliance objective is to:

 

·              comply with our legal obligations, regulatory requirements, voluntary codes of practice to which we subscribe, and Group policies, including the Westpac Code of Conduct;

 

·              establish frameworks, policies and processes designed to manage, monitor and report compliance and to minimise the potential for breaches, fines or penalties, or loss of regulatory accreditations; and

 

·              ensure that appropriate remedial action is taken to address instances of non-compliance.

 

Remuneration

 

The Board Remuneration Committee assists the Board by ensuring that Westpac has coherent remuneration policies and practices that fairly and responsibly reward individuals having regard to performance and that reflect Westpac’s risk management framework, the law and the highest standards of governance.

 

The Board Remuneration Committee has been in place for the whole of the financial year and is comprised of four independent Non-executive Directors and is chaired by Craig Dunn. All members of the Board Remuneration Committee are also members of the Board Risk & Compliance Committee, which assists in the integration of effective risk management into the remuneration framework.

 

As set out in its charter, the Board Remuneration Committee:

 

·              reviews and makes recommendations to the Board in relation to the Westpac Group Remuneration Policy (Group Remuneration Policy) and assesses the Group Remuneration Policy’s effectiveness and its compliance with laws, regulations and prudential standards;

 

·              reviews and makes recommendations to the Board in relation to the individual remuneration levels of the CEO, Non-executive Directors, Group Executives, other Executives who report directly to the CEO, any other Accountable Persons under the Banking Executive Accountability Regime, other persons whose activities in the Board Remuneration Committee’s opinion affect the financial soundness of Westpac, any person specified by APRA, and any other person the Board determines;

 

·              reviews and makes recommendations to the Board in relation to the remuneration structures for each category of persons covered by the Group Remuneration Policy;

 

·              reviews and makes recommendations to the Board on corporate goals and objectives relevant to the remuneration of the CEO, and the performance of the CEO in light of these objectives;

 

·              reviews and makes recommendations to the Board on the short and long-term variable reward plans for Group Executives and any other Accountable Person under the Banking Executive Accountability Regime;

 

·              reviews and makes recommendations to the Board in relation to approving equity based remuneration plans; and

 

·              oversees general remuneration practices across the Group.

 



 

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Corporate governance
 
 

The Board Remuneration Committee reviews and recommends to the Board the size of variable reward pools each year based on consideration of pre-determined business performance indicators and the financial soundness of Westpac. The Board Remuneration Committee also approves remuneration arrangements outside of the Group Remuneration Policy relating to individuals or groups of individuals which are significant because of their sensitivity, precedent or disclosure implications. In addition, the Board Remuneration Committee considers and evaluates the performance of senior executives when making remuneration determinations and otherwise as required.

 

The Board Remuneration Committee also reviews and makes recommendations to the Board for the reduction of variable reward (including to zero) where:

 

·              subsequent information or circumstances indicate that all or part of the grant was not justified; or

 

·              the Board Remuneration Committee determines that an adjustment should be made as a result of risk or compliance failures, poor customer outcomes, where an Accountable Person under the Banking Executive Accountability Regime has failed to comply with their accountability obligations or any other matter it considers relevant.

 

Independent remuneration consultants are engaged by the Board Remuneration Committee to provide information across a range of issues, including remuneration benchmarking, market practices and emerging trends and regulatory reforms.

 

The Board Remuneration Committee seeks feedback from and considers matters raised by the Board Risk & Compliance Committee and Board Audit Committee, including with respect to remuneration outcomes, adjustments to remuneration and alignment of remuneration with the risk management framework.

 

The Board Remuneration Committee refers to the Board and any other Board Committee any matters that come to its attention that are relevant for the Board or the respective Board Committee.

 

Further details of our remuneration framework are included in the Remuneration Report in Section 10 of the Directors’ report. The Board Remuneration Committee reviews and recommends the Remuneration Report through the Board Audit Committee to the Board for approval.

 



 

 

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Corporate governance

 

 

Risk Management Governance Structure

 

Westpac’s risk management governance structure is set out in the table below:

 

Board

·

approves our overall risk management framework, the Westpac Group Risk Management Strategy and the Westpac Group Risk Appetite Statement; and

·

makes an annual declaration to APRA on risk management.

Board Risk & Compliance Committee (BRCC)

·

assists the Board to consider and approve the Group’s overall risk framework for managing risk;

·

reviews and recommends the Westpac Group Risk Management Strategy and Westpac Group Risk Appetite Statement to the Board for approval;

·

reviews and monitors the risk profile and controls of the Group consistent with the Westpac Group Risk Appetite Statement;

·

reviews and approves material frameworks, policies and processes for managing risk;

·

reviews and approves the limits and conditions that apply to credit risk approval authority delegated to the CEO, CFO, CRO and any other officers of the Westpac Group to whom the Board has delegated credit approval authority;

·

monitors changes anticipated for the economic and business environment including consideration of emerging risks and other factors considered relevant to our risk profile and risk appetite;

·

assists the Board to make its annual declaration to APRA on risk management under APRA prudential standard CPS220 Risk Management;

·

reviews and where appropriate approves risks beyond the approval discretion provided to management; and

·

assists the Board to oversee compliance management within the Group.

Other Board Committees with a risk focus

Board Audit Committee

·

oversees the integrity of financial statements and financial reporting systems, and matters relating to taxation risks.

Board Remuneration Committee

·

oversees remuneration policies and practices of the Westpac Group in the context that these policies and practices reflect Westpac’s risk management framework, including making recommendations to the Board for the reduction or lapsing of incentive-based equity grants to employees as a result of risk or compliance failures.

Board Technology Committee

·

oversees the implementation of the Westpac Group’s technology strategy, including risks associated with major technology programs.

Executive Team

·

executes the Board-approved strategy;

·

delivers the Westpac Group’s various strategic and performance goals within the approved risk appetite;

·

approves the position statements that guide the Westpac Group’s response to sustainability issues; and

·

monitors key risks within each business unit, capital adequacy and the Westpac Group’s reputation.

 


 

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Corporate governance

 

 

Executive risk committees

Westpac Group Executive Risk Committee

·

leads the management and oversight of material risks across the Westpac Group within the context of the risk appetite approved by the Board;

·

oversees the effectiveness of the Risk Management Framework and the execution of the Risk Management Strategy;

·

monitors and reviews the Group’s risk profile for all identified material risks;

·

shapes and promotes a strong risk culture; and

·

oversees emerging risks and allocates responsibility for assessing impacts and implementing appropriate actions to address these.

Westpac Group Asset & Liability Committee

·

leads the optimisation of funding and liquidity risk-reward across the Group;

·

reviews the level and quality of capital to ensure that it is commensurate with the Group’s risk profile, business strategy and risk appetite;

·

oversees the Liquidity Risk Management Framework and key policies;

·

oversees the funding and liquidity risk profile and balance sheet risk profile; and

·

identifies emerging funding and liquidity risks and appropriate actions to address these.

Westpac Group Credit Risk Committee

·

reviews and oversees the Credit Risk Management Framework and key supporting policies;

·

oversees Westpac’s credit risk profile; and

·

identifies emerging credit risks, allocates responsibility for assessing impacts, and responds as appropriate.

Westpac Group Market Risk Committee

·

reviews and oversees the Market Risk, Equity Risk and Insurance Risk Management Frameworks and key market risk management policies;

·

reviews policies and limits for managing traded and non-traded market risk; and

·

reviews and overseas the market risk, equity risk and insurance risk profile.

Westpac Group Operational Risk Committee

·

reviews and oversees the Operational Risk Management Frameworks and key supporting policies;

·

oversees Westpac’s operational risk profile; and

·

identifies emerging operational risks, and appropriate actions to address these.

Westpac Group Remuneration Oversight Committee

Some of the key responsibilities of the Westpac Group Remuneration Oversight Committee include:

·

supporting the CEO, Board Remuneration Committee and the Board by reviewing and approving remuneration frameworks, guidelines and short term variable reward plans underpinning the Board-approved Westpac Group Remuneration Policy from a Human Resources, Risk (including Compliance), Finance and Legal perspective and in line with external requirements;

·

assisting the Board Remuneration Committee and the Board in fulfilling its responsibility to oversee remuneration policies and practices of the Group in the context that these policies and practices fairly and responsibly reward individuals having regard to customer and shareholder interests, long term financial soundness and prudent risk management;

·

recommending to the CEO for recommendation to the Board Remuneration Committee remuneration arrangements for Responsible Persons, risk and financial control employees, Material Risk Takers and other individuals whose activities may impact the financial soundness of Westpac below the Group Executive level; and

·

recommending to the CEO for recommendation to the Board Remuneration Committee the criteria and rationale for determining the total quantum of the Group variable reward pool.

Prudential Reporting and Compliance Committee

·

oversees from a Group-wide perspective, the Group’s compliance with prudential requirements and regulatory reporting;

·

oversees the effective management of prudential compliance breaches, incidents and issues including remediation actions; and

·

monitors and reviews ongoing prudential governance activities, including changes to prudential standards.

Reputational Risk Committee

·

reviews issues with material reputation risk that arise in the operations of Westpac’ business to mitigate reputation risk and detrimental customer impacts.

Westpac Group Financial Crime Risk Committee

·

oversees Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing, Anti-Bribery and Corruption, Sanctions and Tax Transparency within the context of the risk appetite approved by the Board;

·

reviews and oversees the Financial Crime Management Framework, key supporting policies, programs and standards;

·

monitors and oversees Westpac’s financial crime risk profile; and

·

identifies emerging financial crime risks, and appropriate actions to address these.

 


 

 

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Corporate governance

 

 

Risk function

Risk Function

·

promotes a strong risk culture;

·

owns the design and content of the Risk Management Framework;

·

defines the structure and coverage of risk appetite;

·

defines the annual risk strategy to execute the Risk Management Framework ensuring the management of risks in alignment with risk appetite and business strategy;

·

establishes risk policies, procedures and limits;

·

measures and reports on risk levels; and

·

provides oversight of and direction on the management of risks.

Independent internal review

Group Audit

·

reviews the adequacy and effectiveness of management controls over risk.

Divisional business units and functions

Business Units and Functions

·

responsible for identifying, evaluating and managing the risks that they originate within approved risk appetite and policies; and

·

establish and maintain appropriate risk management and compliance controls, resources and self-assessment processes.

 


 

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Directors’ report

 

 

 

 

Our Directors present their report together with the financial statements of the Group for the financial year ended 30 September 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Directors

The names of the persons who have been Directors, or appointed as Directors, during the period since 1 October 2018 and up to the date of this report are: Lindsay Philip Maxsted, Brian Charles Hartzer, Nerida Frances Caesar, Ewen Graham Wolseley Crouch, Catriona Alison Deans (Alison Deans), Craig William Dunn, Yuen Mei Anita Fung (Anita Fung), Steven John Harker (Director from 1 March 2019), Peter John Oswin Hawkins (retired as a Director on 12 December 2018), Peter Ralph Marriott, Peter Stanley Nash and Margaret Leone Seale (Director from 1 March 2019).

 

Particulars of the skills, experience, expertise and responsibilities of the Directors at the date of this report, including all directorships of other listed companies held by a Director at any time in the three years immediately before 30 September 2019 and the period for which each directorship has been held, are set out in the following pages.

 

 

 

 

Name: Lindsay Maxsted,

DipBus (Gordon), FCA, FAICD

Age: 65

Term of office: Director since March 2008 and Chairman since December 2011.

Date of next scheduled re-election:

December 2020.

Independent: Yes.

Current directorships of listed entities and dates of office:

Transurban Group (since March 2008 and Chairman since August 2010), BHP Group Limited (since March 2011) and BHP Group plc (since March 2011).

Other principal directorships: Managing Director of Align Capital Pty Ltd and Director of Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute.

Other interests: Nil.

Other Westpac related entities directorships and dates of office: Nil.

Skills, experience and expertise: Lindsay was formerly a partner at KPMG and was the CEO of that firm from 2001 to 2007. His principal area of practice prior to his becoming CEO was in the corporate recovery field managing a number of Australia’s largest insolvency/workout/turnaround engagements including Linter Textiles (companies associated with Abraham Goldberg), Bell Publishing Group, Bond Brewing, McEwans Hardware and Brashs. He is also a former Director and Chairman of the Victorian Public Transport Corporation.

Westpac Board Committee membership: Chairman of the Board Nominations Committee. Member of each of the Board Audit and Board Risk & Compliance Committees.

Directorships of other listed entities over the past three years and dates of office: Nil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name: Brian Hartzer,

BA, CFA

Age: 52

Term of office: Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer since February 2015.

Date of next scheduled re-election:

Not applicable.

Independent: No.

Current directorships of listed entities and dates of office: Nil.

Other principal directorships: The Australian National University Business and Industry Advisory Board (Chairman since March 2017), the Financial Markets Foundation for Children and Australian Banking Association Incorporated.

Other interests: Nil.

Other Westpac related entities directorships and dates of office: Nil.

Skills, experience and expertise: Brian was appointed Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer in February 2015. Brian joined Westpac as Chief Executive, Australian Financial Services in June 2012, encompassing Westpac Retail & Business Banking, St.George Banking Group and BT Financial Group. Prior to joining Westpac, Brian spent three years in the UK as CEO for Retail, Wealth and Ulster Bank at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Prior to that, he spent ten years with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) in Australia in a variety of roles, including his final role as CEO, Australia and Global Segment Lead for Retail and Wealth. Before joining ANZ, Brian spent ten years as a financial services consultant in New York, San Francisco and Melbourne.

Westpac Board Committee membership: Member of the Board Technology Committee.

Directorships of other listed entities over the past three years and dates of office: Nil.

 


 

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Name: Nerida Caesar,

BCom, MBA, GAICD

Age: 55

Term of office: Director since September 2017.

Date of next scheduled re-election:

December 2019.

Independent: Yes.

Current directorships of listed entities and dates of office: Nil.

Other principal directorships: Workplace Giving Australia Limited (Chairman since June 2019) and Spark Investment Holdco Pty Ltd.

Other interests: Member of the Advisory Board of IXUP Limited. Advisor to Equifax Australia and New Zealand.

Other Westpac related entities directorships and dates of office: Nil.

Skills, experience and expertise: Nerida has over 30 years of broad- ranging commercial and business management experience. She was Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Australia and New Zealand, of Equifax (formerly Veda Group Limited) from February 2011 to June 2017. Nerida is also a former director of Genome.One Pty Ltd and Stone and Chalk Limited.

Ms Caesar was formerly Group Managing Director, Telstra Enterprise and Government, responsible for Telstra’s corporate, government and large business customers in Australia as well as the international sales division. Nerida also worked as Group Managing Director, Telstra Wholesale, and, prior to that, held the position of Executive Director Enterprise & Government, where she was responsible for managing products, services, and customer relationships throughout Australia.

Nerida also held several senior management and sales positions with IBM within Australia and internationally over a 20-year period, including as Vice President of IBM’s Intel Server Division for the Asia Pacific region.

Westpac Board Committee membership: Member of each of the Board Risk & Compliance and Board Technology Committees.

Directorships of other listed entities over the past three years and dates of office: Nil.

 

 

 

Name: Ewen Crouch AM,

BEc (Hons.), LLB, FAICD

Age: 63

Term of office: Director since February 2013.

Date of next scheduled re-election:

December 2019.

Independent: Yes.

Current directorships of listed entities and dates of office: Corporate Travel Management Limited (Chairman since March 2019) and BlueScope Steel Limited (since March 2013).

Other principal directorships: Sydney Symphony Orchestra Holdings Pty Limited and Jawun.

Other interests: Member of the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal, Law Committee of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Corporations Committee of the Law Council of Australia and ASIC’s Director Advisory Panel.

Other Westpac related entities directorships and dates of office: Nil.

Skills, experience and expertise: Ewen was a Partner at Allens from 1988 to 2013, where he was one of Australia’s most accomplished mergers and acquisitions lawyers. He served as a member of the firm’s board for 11 years, including four years as Chairman of Partners. His other roles at Allens included Co-Head Mergers and Acquisitions and Equity Capital Markets, Executive Partner, Asian offices and Deputy Managing Partner. Ewen served as a director of Mission Australia from 1995 and as Chairman from 2009, before retiring in November 2016. From 2010 to 2015, Ewen was a member of the Takeovers Panel. In 2013, Ewen was awarded an Order of Australia in recognition of his significant service to the law as a contributor to legal professional organisations and to the community.

Westpac Board Committee membership: Chairman of the Board Risk & Compliance Committee. Member of each of the Board Audit, Board Nominations and Board Remuneration Committees.

Directorships of other listed entities over the past three years and dates of office: Nil.

 

 

 

Name: Alison Deans,

BA, MBA, GAICD

Age: 51

Term of office: Director since April 2014.

Date of next scheduled re-election:

December 2020.

Independent: Yes.

Current directorships of listed entities and dates of office: Cochlear Limited (since January 2015) and Ramsay Health Care Limited (since November 2018).

Other principal directorships: SCEGGS Darlinghurst Limited, The Observership Program Limited and Deputy Group Pty Ltd.

Other interests: Senior Advisor, McKinsey & Company and Investment Committee member of the CSIRO Innovation Fund (Main Sequence Ventures).

Other Westpac related entities directorships and dates of office: Nil.

Skills, experience and expertise: Alison has more than 20 years’ experience in senior executive roles focused on building digital businesses and digital transformation across e-commerce, media and financial services. During this time, Alison served as the CEO of eCorp Limited, CEO of Hoyts Cinemas and CEO of eBay, Australia and New Zealand. She was the CEO of a technology-based investment company netus Pty Ltd. Alison was an Independent Director of Social Ventures Australia from September 2007 to April 2013 and a director of kikki.K Holdings Pty Ltd from October 2014 to June 2018.

Westpac Board Committee membership: Chairman of the Board Technology Committee. Member of each of the Board Nominations, Board Remuneration and Board Risk & Compliance Committees.

Directorships of other listed entities over the past three years and dates of office: Insurance Australia Group Limited (February 2013 – October 2017).

 


 

 

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Name: Craig Dunn,

BCom, FCA

Age: 56

Term of office: Director since June 2015.

Date of next scheduled re-election:

December 2021.

Independent: Yes.

Current directorships of listed entities and dates of office: Telstra Corporation Limited (since April 2016).

Other principal directorships:

Chairman of The Australian Ballet.

Other interests: Chairman of the International Standards Technical Committee on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (ISO/ TC 307) and consultant to King & Wood Mallesons.

Other Westpac related entities directorships and dates of office: Nil.

Skills, experience and expertise: Craig has more than 20 years’ experience in financial services, including as CEO of AMP Limited from 2008 to 2013. Craig was previously a director of Financial Literacy Australia Limited, a Board member of each of the Australian Japanese Business Cooperation Committee, Jobs for New South Wales, and the New South Wales Government’s Financial Services Knowledge Hub. He is the former Chairman of Stone and Chalk Limited and of the Investment and Financial Services Association (now the Financial Services Council). Craig was also a member of the Financial Services Advisory Committee, the Australian Financial Centre Forum, the Consumer and Financial Literacy Taskforce and a Panel member of the Australian Government’s Financial System Inquiry.

Westpac Board Committee membership: Chairman of the Board Remuneration Committee. Member of each of the Board Nominations and Board Risk & Compliance Committees.

Directorships of other listed entities over the past three years and dates of office: Nil.

 

 

 

Name: Anita Fung,

BSocSc, MAppFin

Age: 58

Term of office: Director since October 2018.

Date of next scheduled re-election:

December 2021.

Independent: Yes.

Current directorships of listed entities and dates of office: Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (since April 2015, Hong Kong listed), China Construction Bank Corporation (since October 2016, Hong Kong Listed) and Hang Lung Properties Limited (since May 2015, Hong Kong listed).

Other principal directorships: Board member of the Airport Authority Hong Kong.

Other interests: Member of the Hong Kong Museum Advisory Committee.

Other Westpac related entities directorships and dates of office: Member of Westpac’s Asia Advisory Board since October 2018.

Skills, experience and expertise: Anita’s career in the banking industry spans over 30 years, including 19 years at HSBC.

During her time at HSBC, Anita held a number of senior management roles including Group General Manager, HSBC Group and most recently as Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong from 2011 to 2015.

Prior to joining HSBC, Anita held various positions at Standard Chartered Bank in its Treasury and Capital markets business.

Westpac Board Committee membership: Member of the Board Risk & Compliance Committee.

Directorships of other listed entities over the past three years and dates of office: Nil.

 

 

 

Name: Steven Harker,

BEc (Hons.), LLB

Age: 64

Term of office: Director since March 2019.

Date of next scheduled re-election:

December 2019.

Independent: Yes.

Current directorships of listed entities and dates of office: Nil.

Other principal directorships: The Banking and Finance Oath Limited, The Hunger Project Australia, ASX Refinitiv Charity Foundation, New South Wales Golf Club Foundation Limited and Ascham School Ltd.

Other interests: Honorary Treasurer of Ascham School.

Other Westpac related entities directorships and dates of office: Nil.

Skills, experience and expertise: Steve has over 35 years of experience in investment banking. Steve was formerly Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Stanley Australia from 1998 to 2016 and then Vice Chairman until February 2019. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, he spent fifteen years with Barclays de Zoete Wedd (BZW, now Barclays Investment Bank).

Steve is a former Chairman and Director of Australian Financial Markets Association Limited and a former Director of Investa Property Group. Steve also previously served on the board of the Centre for International Finance and Regulation. He is also a former Guardian of the Future Fund of Australia.

Westpac Board Committee membership: Member of each of the Board Audit and Board Risk & Compliance Committees.

Directorships of other listed entities over the past three years and dates of office: Nil.

 


 

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Name: Peter Marriott,

BEc (Hons.), FCA

Age: 62

Term of office: Director since June 2013.

Date of next scheduled re-election:

December 2019.

Independent: Yes.

Current directorships of listed entities and dates of office: ASX Limited (since July 2009).

Other principal directorships: ASX Clearing Corporation Limited, ASX Settlement Corporation Limited and Austraclear Limited.

Other interests: Member of Monash University Council and Chairman of the Monash University Council’s Resources and Finance Committee.

Other Westpac related entities directorships and dates of office: Nil.

Skills, experience and expertise: Peter has over 30 years’ experience in senior management roles in the finance industry, encompassing international banking, finance and auditing. Peter joined Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) in 1993 and held the role of Chief Financial Officer from July 1997 to May 2012. Prior to his career at ANZ, Peter was a banking and finance, audit and consulting partner at KPMG Peat Marwick. Peter was formerly a Director of ANZ National Bank Limited in New Zealand and various ANZ subsidiaries.

Westpac Board Committee membership: Chairman of the Board Audit Committee. Member of each of the Board Nominations, Board Technology and Board Risk & Compliance Committees.

Directorships of other listed entities over the past three years and dates of office: Nil.

 

 

 

Name: Peter Nash,

BCom, FCA, F Fin

Age: 57

Term of office: Director since March 2018.

Date of next scheduled re-election:

December 2021.

Independent: Yes.

Current directorships of listed entities and dates of office: Johns Lyng Group Limited (Chairman since October 2017), Mirvac Group (since November 2018) and ASX Limited (since June 2019).

Other principal directorships: Reconciliation Australia Limited and Golf Victoria Limited.

Other interests: Board member of the Koorie Heritage Trust and Migration Council Australia. Member of the University of Melbourne Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies Advisory Board.

Other Westpac related entities directorships and dates of office: Nil.

Skills, experience and expertise: Peter was formerly a Senior Partner with KPMG until September 2017, having been admitted to the partnership of KPMG Australia in 1993. He most recently served as the National Chairman of KPMG Australia from 2011 until August 2017, where he was responsible for the overall governance and strategic positioning of KPMG in Australia. In this role, Peter also served as a member of KPMG’s Global and Regional Boards.

Peter has experience providing advice on a range of topics including business strategy, risk management, internal controls, business processes and regulatory change. He has also provided both financial and commercial advice to many Government businesses at both a Federal and State level. Peter is a former member of the Business Council of Australia and its Economic and Regulatory Committee.

Westpac Board Committee membership: Member of each of the Board Audit and Board Risk & Compliance Committees.

Directorships of other listed entities over the past three years and dates of office: Nil.

 

 

 

Name: Margaret (Margie) Seale,

BA, FAICD

Age: 59

Term of office: Director since March 2019.

Date of next scheduled re-election:

December 2019.

Independent: Yes.

Current directorships of listed entities and dates of office: Telstra Corporation Limited (since May 2012) and Scentre Group Limited (since February 2016).

Other principal directorships: Australian Pacific (Holdings) Pty Limited.

Other interests: Member of the Australian Public Service Commission Centre for Learning and Leadership Advisory Board.

Other Westpac related entities directorships and dates of office: Nil.

Skills, experience and expertise: Margie has more than 25 years’ experience in senior executive roles in Australia and overseas, including in consumer goods, global publishing, sales and marketing, and the successful transition of traditional business models to digital environments. Prior to her non-executive career, Margie was the Managing Director of Random House Australia and New Zealand and President, Asia Development for Random House Inc.

Margie is a former Director and then Chair of Penguin Random House Australia Pty Limited, and a former Director of Ramsay Health Care Limited, Bank of Queensland Limited and the Australian Publishers’ Association. She also previously served on the boards of Chief Executive Women (chairing its Scholarship Committee), the Powerhouse Museum, and the Sydney Writers Festival.

Westpac Board Committee membership: Member of each of the Board Remuneration and Board Risk & Compliance Committees.

Directorships of other listed entities over the past three years and dates of office: Ramsay Health Care Limited (April 2015 to October 2018) and Bank of Queensland Limited (January 2014 to June 2018).

 


 

 

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Directors’ report

 

 

Company Secretary

 

Our Company Secretaries as at 30 September 2019 were Rebecca Lim and Tim Hartin.

 

Rebecca Lim (B Econ, LLB (Hons.)) was appointed Group Executive, Compliance, Legal & Secretariat1 and Company Secretary in October 2016. Rebecca joined Westpac in 2002 and has held a variety of senior leadership roles including General Manager, Human Resources for St.George Bank and General Manager, St.George Private Clients. She was appointed Group General Counsel in November 2011 and Chief Compliance Officer from 2013 to 2017. Rebecca held an in-house role in investment banking at Goldman Sachs in London before returning to Australia and joining Westpac. Rebecca was previously with US firm Skadden Arps where she worked in the Corporate Finance area in both New York and London. Prior to that she worked at Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashurst) as a solicitor.

 

Tim Hartin (LLB (Hons.)) was appointed Group Company Secretary in November 2011. Before that appointment, Tim was Head of Legal - Risk Management & Workouts, Counsel & Secretariat and prior to that, he was Counsel, Corporate Core. Before joining Westpac in 2006, Tim was a Consultant with Gilbert + Tobin, where he provided corporate advisory services to ASX listed companies. Tim was previously a lawyer at Henderson Boyd Jackson W.S. in Scotland and in London in Herbert Smith’s corporate and corporate finance division.

 

2. Executive Team

As at 30 September 2019 our Executive Team was:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name

Position

Year Joined
Group

Year
Appointed
to Position

Brian Hartzer

Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer

2012

2015

Craig Bright

Chief Information Officer

2018

2018

Lyn Cobley

Chief Executive, Westpac Institutional Bank

2015

2015

Peter King

Chief Financial Officer

1994

2014

Rebecca Lim

Group Executive, Legal & Secretariat

2002

2016

David Lindberg

Chief Executive, Consumer

2012

2019

Carolyn McCann

Group Executive, Customer & Corporate Relations

2013

2018

David McLean

Chief Executive Officer, Westpac New Zealand

1999

2015

Christine Parker

Group Executive, Human Resources

2007

2011

David Stephen

Chief Risk Officer

2018

2018

Gary Thursby

Chief Operating Officer

2008

2019

Alastair Welsh

Acting Chief Executive, Business

1992

2019

 

There are no family relationships between or among any of our Directors or Executive Team members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.           From 1 October 2018, Rebecca Lim’s role and title has been Group Executive, Legal & Secretariat.

 


 

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Brian Hartzer

 

BA, CFA.

 

Age: 52

 

Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer

 

Brian was appointed Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer in February 2015. Brian joined Westpac as Chief Executive, Australian Financial Services in June 2012, encompassing Westpac Retail & Business Banking, St.George Banking Group and BT Financial Group.

 

Brian is a Director of the Australian Banking Association and was formerly the Chairman until December 2015. Prior to joining Westpac, Brian spent three years in the UK as CEO for Retail, Wealth and Ulster Bank at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Prior to that, he spent ten years with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) in Australia in a variety of roles, including his final role as CEO, Australia and Global Segment Lead for Retail and Wealth. Before joining ANZ, Brian spent ten years as a financial services consultant in New York, San Francisco and Melbourne.

 

Brian graduated from Princeton University with a degree in European History and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

 

 

 

Craig Bright

 

B.Comp.

 

Age: 54

 

Chief Information Officer

 

Craig was appointed Group Chief Information Officer in December 2018. Craig has more than 30 years’ experience in technology and financial services. He has held divisional CIO roles in retail banking, business banking and investment banking and led complex global scale technology operations.

 

Prior to joining Westpac, Craig was Chief Technology Officer, Global Consumer Bank at Citigroup. He led a division of technology employees executing a cloud and mobile first strategy supporting digital channels and a mix of Citi Smart Banking formats worldwide. Craig has also held senior roles at Barclays in London, National Australia Bank and Ernst & Young.

 

Craig has a Bachelor of Computing from Monash University and a Computer Field Service Certificate from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

 

 

 

 

Lyn Cobley

 

BEc, SF FIN, GAICD.

 

Age: 56

 

Chief Executive, Westpac Institutional Bank

 

Lyn was appointed Chief Executive, Westpac Institutional Bank in September 2015. She has responsibility for Westpac’s global relationships with corporate, institutional and government clients as well as all products across financial and capital markets, transactional banking, structured finance and working capital payments. In addition, Lyn oversees Westpac’s International and Pacific Island businesses.

 

Lyn has over 27 years’ experience in financial services. Prior to joining Westpac, Lyn held a variety of senior positions at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, including serving as Group Treasurer from 2007 to 2013 and most recently as Executive General Manager, Retail Products & Third Party Banking. She also held senior roles at Barclays Capital in Australia and Citibank in Australia and Asia Pacific, and was CEO of Trading Room (a joint venture between Macquarie Bank and Fairfax).

 

Lyn is a Board member of the Australian Financial Markets Association (AFMA), the Banking & Finance Oath and the Westpac Foundation. She is Chairman of Westpac’s Asia Advisory Board and is also a member of Chief Executive Women.

 

Lyn has a Bachelor of Economics from Macquarie University, is a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

 


 

 

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Peter King

 

BEc, FCA.

 

Age: 49

 

Chief Financial Officer

 

Peter was appointed Chief Financial Officer in April 2014. Peter has responsibility for Westpac’s Finance, Tax, Treasury and Investor Relations functions.

 

Prior to this appointment, Peter was the Deputy Chief Financial Officer for three years and has held other senior finance positions across the Group, including in Group Finance, Business and Consumer Banking, Business and Technology Services, Treasury and Financial Markets.

 

Peter commenced his career at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. He has a Bachelor of Economics from Sydney University and completed the Advanced Management Programme at INSEAD. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

 

 

 

Rebecca Lim

 

B Econ, LLB (Hons).

 

Age: 47

 

Group Executive, Legal & Secretariat

 

Rebecca was appointed as a Westpac Group Executive in October 2016 and is responsible for legal and secretariat functions globally. She was appointed Group General Counsel in November 2011 and was Chief Compliance Officer from 2013 to 2017.

 

Rebecca joined Westpac in 2002 and has held a variety of other senior leadership roles including General Manager, Human Resources for St.George Bank and General Manager, St.George Private Clients.

 

Rebecca began her career at Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashurst) before joining the US firm Skadden Arps where she worked in both New York and London. Rebecca then moved into an in-house role in investment banking at Goldman Sachs in London before returning to Australia and joining Westpac.

 

Rebecca is Deputy Chair of the GC100 Executive Committee and a member of Chief Executive Women.

 

 

 

David Lindberg

 

HBA (Hons. Economics).

 

Age: 44

 

Chief Executive, Consumer

 

David was appointed Chief Executive, Consumer in April 2019, responsible for the end to end relationships with consumer customers. This includes all consumer distribution, digital, marketing, banking and insurance products and services under the Westpac, St.George, BankSA, Bank of Melbourne, BT, and RAMS brands. Prior to this appointment, David was Chief Executive, Business Bank from June 2015, managing relationships with business customers for the Westpac, St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne brands.

 

Before this David was Chief Product Officer for the Group’s retail and business products, as well as overseeing the Group’s digital activities. Before joining Westpac in 2012, David was Executive General Manager, Cards, Payments & Retail Strategy at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. David was also formerly Managing Director, Strategy, Marketing & Customer Segmentation at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited and Vice President and Head of Australia for First Manhattan.

 


 

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Carolyn McCann

 

BBus (Com), BA, GradDipAppFin, GAICD.

 

Age: 47

 

Group Executive, Customer & Corporate Relations

 

Carolyn was appointed as Westpac’s Group Executive, Customer & Corporate Relations in June 2018. This division brings together management of the Group’s customer resolution and reporting, alongside our corporate affairs, communications and sustainability functions, recognising the importance of setting high service standards and quickly resolving customer issues in managing the Group’s relationship with its customers. Carolyn joined the Westpac Group in 2013, as General Manager, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, during which time she played an instrumental role in leading the Group’s bicentenary program, including the launch of the $100 million Westpac Scholars Trust (formerly known as the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation).

 

Prior to joining Westpac, Carolyn spent 13 years at Insurance Australia Group in various positions, including Group General Manager, Corporate Affairs & Investor Relations. Carolyn began her career in consulting and has extensive experience in financial services.

 

 

 

David McLean

 

LLB (Hons.).

 

Age: 61

 

Chief Executive Officer, Westpac New Zealand

 

David was appointed Chief Executive Officer, Westpac New Zealand in February 2015. Since joining Westpac in February 1999, David has held a number of senior roles, including Head of Debt Capital Markets New Zealand, General Manager, Private, Wealth and Insurance New Zealand and Head of Westpac Institutional Bank New Zealand, and most recently, Managing Director of the Westpac New York branch.

 

Before joining Westpac, David was Director, Capital Markets at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell from 1994. He also established the New Zealand branch of Deutsche Bank and was New Zealand Resident Branch Manager. In 1988, David joined Southpac/National Bank as a Capital Markets Executive. Prior to this, David worked as a lawyer in private practice and also served as in-house counsel for NatWest NZ from 1985.

 

 

 

Christine Parker

 

BGDipBus (HRM).

 

Age: 59

 

Group Executive, Human Resources

 

Christine was appointed to Westpac Group’s Executive Team in October 2011. As Group Executive, Human Resources, Christine leads the HR function for the Group, responsible for strengthening our service oriented and inclusive culture, attracting and retaining the best talent, developing and helping our workforce to grow skills for the future, rewarding and recognising our people and ensuring the health and wellbeing of our people. Christine also oversees the Group’s Customer Advocate function, corporate communications, and supports the CEO and Board on culture and conduct. Christine also has responsibility for Office of the Banking Executive Accountability Regime.

 

Since joining Westpac in 2007, Christine has held a variety of senior leadership roles including Group General Manager, Human Resources and General Manager, Human Resources for Westpac New Zealand Limited. Before joining Westpac, Christine held senior HR roles in a number of high profile organisations and across a range of industries, including Carter Holt Harvey and Restaurant Brands New Zealand.

 

Christine was previously a Director of Women’s Community Shelters and is a current member of Chief Executive Women, Governor of St.George Foundation and member of the Veterans’ Employment Industry Advisory Committee.

 


 

 

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David Stephen

 

BBus.

 

Age: 55

 

Chief Risk Officer

 

David was appointed Chief Risk Officer in October 2018, with responsibility for risk management and compliance activities across the Group.

 

Prior to this, David was the Chief Risk Officer for Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) from 2013, having first joined RBS in 2010 as the Deputy Chief Risk Officer. David has also previously held other senior roles at both retail and investment banks in the UK, USA, Hong Kong and Australia, including serving as Chief Risk Officer at ANZ and Chief Credit Officer at Credit Suisse Financial Products.

 

David has a Bachelor of Business in Banking and Finance from Monash University and is a Board member of both the International Financial Risk Institute and the Financial Services Institute of Australia (FINSIA).

 

 

 

Gary Thursby

 

BEc, DipAcc, FCA.

 

Age: 56

 

Chief Operating Officer

 

Gary was appointed Chief Operating Officer in April 2019, having previously been in the role of Group Executive, Strategy & Enterprise Services since October 2016. In addition to leading the Group’s strategy function, his role is designed to support delivery of the Group’s Service Revolution and provide services to support the Group’s operating businesses.

 

Gary’s responsibilities also include banking operations, advice remediation, procurement, property, analytics and enterprise investments. In addition, Gary oversees the Group’s corporate and business development portfolios.

 

Before joining Westpac in 2008, Gary held a number of senior finance roles at Commonwealth Bank of Australia including Deputy CFO and CFO Retail Bank. Gary has over 20 years’ experience in financial services, covering finance, M&A and large scale program delivery. He commenced his career at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

 

Gary has a Bachelor of Economics and a Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting from Flinders University of South Australia and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

 

 

 

Alastair Welsh

 

MBA, BCA, CA.

 

Age: 54

 

Acting Chief Executive, Business

 

Alastair was appointed Acting Chief Executive, Business in April 2019.

 

The Business division leads relationships with Australia’s small, commercial, corporate and agri businesses providing a wide range of banking services and support across Westpac, St George, BankSA, Bank of Melbourne and Capital Finance brands. The division also supports customers’ wealth and investment needs including Private Wealth, Superannuation, Platforms, Investments and Operations businesses through all of our brands.

 

Alastair holds more than 30 years’ experience in banking in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. Since joining Westpac NZ in 1992, he has held a variety of roles from relationship management through to leadership positions for Small Business Banking, BT Financial Group and Group Customer Transformation. Prior to this appointment, Alastair was General Manager for the Westpac Commercial Business Bank.

 


 

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