Form 20-F Westpac Banking Corp

20-F - Annual and transition report of foreign private issuers [Sections 13 or 15(d)]

Published: 2017-11-08 06:06:09
Submitted: 2017-11-08
Period Ending In: 2017-09-30
a17-25092_120f.htm 20-F


 

 

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, 2017

 

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, 39
th
 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: 1.50% Notes due December 1, 2017, Floating Rate Notes due December 1, 2017, 1.60% Notes due January 12, 2018, 4.625% Subordinated Notes due 2018, 1.55% Notes due May 25, 2018, Floating Rate Notes due May 25, 2018, 2.25% Notes due July 30, 2018, Floating Rate Notes due July 30, 2018, 1.950% Notes due November 23, 2018, Floating Rate Notes due November 23, 2018, 2.25% Notes due January 17, 2019, Floating Rate Notes due January 17, 2019, 1.650% Notes due May 13, 2019, Floating Rate Notes due May 13, 2019, 1.600% Notes due August 19, 2019, Floating Rate Notes due August 19, 2019, 4.875% Notes due November 19, 2019, 2.150% Notes due March 6, 2020, Floating Rate Notes due March 6, 2020, 2.30% Notes due May 26, 2020, 2.600% Notes due November 23, 2020, 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, 2.850% Notes due May 13, 2026, 2.700% Notes due August 19, 2026, 3.350% Notes due March 8, 2027, 4.322% Subordinated Notes due November 23, 2031, 5.000% Fixed Rate Resetting Perpetual Subordinated Contingent Convertible Securities and notes issued under our Retail Medium-Term Notes program (Registration Statement No. 333-172579)

 

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

 

3,394,364,279 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 and posted on its corporate web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted 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 and post such files).

Yes
o
      No
x
(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

 

 

 



 

Table of contents

 

 

 

 

Annual Report

 

 

 

Form 20-F cross-reference index

2

 

 

Guide 3 cross-reference index

4

 

 

Section 1

6

 

 

Information on Westpac

7

 

 

Business strategy

7

 

 

Outlook

10

 

 

Significant developments

11

 

 

Corporate governance

19

 

 

Directors’ report

40

 

 

Remuneration Report

54

 

 

Section 2

83

 

 

Five year summary

84

 

 

Reading this report

85

 

 

Review of Group operations

87

 

 

Income statement review

89

 

 

Balance sheet review

97

 

 

Capital resources

101

 

 

Commitments

103

 

 

Divisional performance

104

 

 

Consumer Bank

107

 

 

Business Bank

108

 

 

BT Financial Group (Australia)

109

 

 

Westpac Institutional Bank

111

 

 

Westpac New Zealand

112

 

 

Group Businesses

114

 

 

Risk and risk management

119

 

 

Risk factors

119

 

 

Risk management

129

 

 

Credit risk

129

 

 

Liquidity risk

130

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.

 

Market risk

131

 

Operational risk and compliance risk

132

 

Other risks

133

 

Westpac’s approach to sustainability

136

 

Sustainability performance

136

 

Five year non-financial summary

141

 

Other Westpac business information

143

 

Section 3

145

 

Financial statements

146

 

Notes to the financial statements

152

 

Statutory statements

265

 

Section 4

269

 

Shareholding information

270

 

Additional information

285

 

Information for shareholders

289

 

Glossary of abbreviations and defined terms

293

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

1

 

 



 

Form 20-F cross-reference index

 

 

(for the purpose of filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission)

 

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

84, 89, 97-98, 288

 

Capitalisation and indebtedness

Not applicable

 

Reasons for the offer and use of proceeds

Not applicable

 

Risk factors

119-128

Item 4.

Information on Westpac

 

 

History and development of Westpac

7, 9-18

 

Business overview

7-18

 

Organisational structure

8-9, 249-251

 

Property, plants and equipment

143

Item 4A.

Unresolved staff comments

Not applicable

Item 5.

Operating and financial review and prospects

 

 

Operating results

87-102, 104-118

 

Liquidity and capital resources

101-103, 130-131, 133-135

 

Research and development, patents and licences etc.

Not applicable

 

Trend information

89-101, 104-118

 

Off-balance sheet arrangements

135

 

Tabular disclosure of contractual obligations

103

 

Safe harbor

85

Item 6.

Directors, senior management and employees

 

 

Directors and senior management

40-47, 49-51

 

Compensation

54-79, 260-262

 

Board practices

21-43

 

Employees

143

 

Share ownership

49-51, 260-262, 270

Item 7.

Major shareholders and related party transactions

 

 

Major shareholders

270-278

 

Related party transactions

144, 260-262

 

Interests of experts and counsel

Not applicable

Item 8.

Financial information

 

 

Consolidated statements and other financial information

145-267

 

Significant changes

11-16, 264

Item 9.

The offer and listing

 

 

Offer and listing details

279

 

Plan of distribution

Not applicable

 

Markets

19, 289-291

 

Selling shareholders

Not applicable

 

Dilution

Not applicable

 

Expenses of the issue

Not applicable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 



 

Form 20-F cross-reference index

 

 

(for the purpose of filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission)

 

 

 

Page

Item 10.

Additional information

 

 

Share capital

Not applicable

 

Memorandum and articles of association

285-287

 

Material contracts

143

 

Exchange controls

281-282

 

Taxation

282-284

 

Dividends and paying agents

Not applicable

 

Statements by experts

Not applicable

 

Documents on display

287

 

Subsidiary information

Not applicable

Item 11.

Quantitative and qualitative disclosures about market risk

131-132, 221-223

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

280

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

135, 266, 267

Item 16A.

Audit committee financial expert

31

Item 16B.

Code of ethics

27-29

Item 16C.

Principal accountant fees and services

31, 260

Item 16D.

Exemptions from the Listing Standards for audit committees

Not applicable

Item 16E.

Purchases of equity securities by the issuer and affiliated purchasers

103, 245-247

Item 16F.

Changes in Registrant’s certifying accountant

Not applicable

Item 16G.

Corporate governance

19

Item 16H.

Mine safety disclosure

Not applicable

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part III

 

 

Item 17. & 18.

Financial statements

145-267

Item 19.

Exhibits

 

Consolidated income statements for the years ended 30 September 2017, 2016 and 2015

146

Consolidated balance sheets as at 30 September 2017 and 2016

148

Consolidated statements of comprehensive income for the years ended 30 September 2017, 2016 and 2015

147

Consolidated statements of cash flows for the years ended 30 September 2017, 2016 and 2015

151

Notes to the financial statements

152-264

Management’s report on the internal control over financial reporting

266

Report of independent registered public accounting firm

267

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

3

 

 



 

Guide 3 cross-reference index

 

 

 

Page

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

 

Average balance sheets

97, 170-172

Analysis of net interest earnings

90-91, 170-172

Volume and rate movement

90, 170-172

Part II Investment portfolio

 

Book value of investments

174

Maturity profile

175, 218-221

Book value and market value > 10% of shareholders

174

Part III Loan portfolio

 

Types of loans

176-179

Maturities and sensitivities of loans to changes in interest rates

180

Risk elements

 

Non-accrual, past due and restructured loans

100-101, 209-213

Potential problem loans

100-101

Foreign outstandings

130

Loan concentrations

130

Other interest bearing assets

173-175, 207-208

Part IV Summary of loan loss experience

 

Analysis of the allowance for loan losses

181-184

Allocation of the allowance for loan losses

181-184

Part V Deposits

187-188

Part VI Return on equity and assets

84, 98

Part VII Short-term borrowings

189-190

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 



 

Guide 3 cross-reference index

 

 

This page is intentionally left blank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

5

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Information on Westpac

 

Corporate governance

 

Directors’ report
(including Remuneration 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 consumer
1
, business and institutional banking and wealth management services.

 

We have branches, affiliates and controlled entities
2
 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 2017, our market capitalisation was $108 billion
3
 and we had total assets of $852 billion.

 

Business strategy

 

Westpac’s vision is ‘To be one of the world’s great service companies, helping our customers, communities and people to prosper and grow’.

 

Our strategy seeks to deliver on this vision by building deep and enduring customer relationships, being a leader in the community, being a place where the best people want to work and, in so doing, delivering superior returns for shareholders.

 

In delivering on our strategy, we are focused on our core markets, including Australia and New Zealand, where we provide a comprehensive range of financial products and services that assist us in meeting the financial services needs of customers. With our strong position in these markets, and over 13 million customers
4
, our focus is on organic growth, growing customer numbers in our chosen segments and building stronger and deeper customer relationships.

 

A key element of this approach is our portfolio of financial services brands, which we believe enables us to appeal to a broader range of customers and provides us with the strategic flexibility to offer solutions that better meet individual customer needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

2
    Refer to Note 35 to the financial statements for a list of our material controlled entities as at 30 September 2017.

3
    Based on the closing share price of our ordinary shares on the ASX as at 30 September 2017.

4
    All customers with an active relationship (excludes channel only and potential relationships) as at 30 September 2017.

As we continue to build the business, the financial services environment remains challenging and has required us to maintain focus on strengthening our financial position while at the same time improving efficiency. This strengthening has involved:

 

§
     
 
lifting the level and quality of our capital;

 

§
     
 
improving our funding and liquidity position; and

 

§
     
 
seeking to maintain a high level of asset quality and provisioning.

 

While we are currently one of the most efficient banks globally, as measured by a cost to income ratio, we continue to focus on ways to simplify our business to make it easier for customers to do business with us and to make work more enjoyable for our people. We believe these improvement efforts also contribute to reducing unit costs that create capacity for further investment for growth.

 

Throughout 2017 we continued our focus on delivering superior outcomes for our customers and shareholders through our Service Revolution transformation. The Service Revolution is seeking to: provide a truly personal service for customers while better anticipating their needs; put customers in control of their finances; respond to the increased pace of innovation, disruption and changing customer behaviours through digitisation and increasing our capacity for innovation; and innovate and simplify to reinvent the customer experience.

 

As part of our delivery of the Service Revolution, we have developed an integrated, multi-year plan that will be executed across the Group. In 2017, we delivered significant outcomes and met key milestones on a number of our transformation programs focused on the digitisation of the company through the design and development of a single bank technology infrastructure. We expect this will significantly transform customer experiences and drive operational efficiency. At the same time, our Consumer Bank and Business Bank transformation programs continued to deliver market-leading customer services, while lowering the cost to serve.

 

Over the year, substantial work has also been undertaken on conduct and culture, with work focused on continuing to strengthen our conduct management across the Group. In addition, work continues on ensuring that we are responding to our changing regulatory and industry landscape, with initiatives around a product remediation program, implementing Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) industry initiatives (further information is contained in ‘Significant developments’) and enhancing our remuneration frameworks.

 

Sustainability is part of our strategy of seeking to anticipate and shape the most pressing emerging social issues where we have the skills and experience to make a meaningful difference and drive business value. Our approach makes sustainability part of the way we do business, embedded in our strategy, values, culture and processes.


 

 

 

 

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

7

 

 



 

 

 


Supporting our customer-focused strategy is a strong set of company-wide values, which are embedded in our culture. These are:

 

§
     
 
integrity;

 

§
     
 
service;

 

§
     
 
one team;

 

§
     
 
courage; and

 

§
     
 
achievement.

 

Strategic priorities

In delivering our strategy, we have five strategic priorities that help guide our activities:

 

a)
            
Service leadership

 

§
     
 
provide a seamless customer experience across all channels;

 

§
     
 
deepen relationships through context-based customer experiences using our portfolio of brands; and

 

§
     
 
acquire new customers by making it simpler, easier and better for customers to choose us.

 

b)
            
Digital transformation

 

§
     
 
create a 21st century, digitised bank with multi-brand capabilities;

 

§
     
 
simplify products and processes by digitising end-to-end; and

 

§
     
 
drive efficiency opportunities from digitisation and consolidation of systems.

 

c)
            
Performance discipline

 

§
     
 
to be the region’s best performing bank;

 

§
     
 
manage the business in a balanced way across strength, growth, return and productivity;

 

§
     
 
maintain strong levels of capital, to meet the needs of all our stakeholders and requirements of regulators;

 

§
     
 
continue to enhance our funding and liquidity position, including ensuring a diversity of funding pools and meeting new liquidity requirements; and

 

§
     
 
maintain a high quality portfolio of assets, coupled with appropriate provisioning.

 

d)
            
Growth highways

 

§
     
 
focus on stronger growth in:

 

        
small to medium enterprises;

 

        
wealth; and

 

§
                 
be targeted in specific business segments.

 

e)
            
Workforce revolution

 

§
     
 
focus on a customer-centric culture;

 

§
     
 
strengthen the skills of our people to better serve customers and meet their complete financial needs;

 

§
     
 
empower our people to drive innovation, deliver new and improved ways of working and be responsive to change; and

§
                 
continue to enhance the diversity of our workforce.

 

Organisational structure

Our operations comprise the following key customer-facing business divisions operating under multiple brands.

 

Consumer Bank (CB)
is responsible for sales and service to consumer customers in Australia under the Westpac, St.George, BankSA, Bank of Melbourne and RAMS brands. Activities are conducted through a dedicated team of specialist consumer relationship managers along with our call centres and our extensive network of branches and ATMs. Customers are also supported by a range of internet and mobile banking solutions. CB also works in an integrated way with BTFG and WIB in the sales and service of select financial services and products, including in wealth and foreign exchange. The revenue from these products is mostly retained by the product originator.

 

Business Bank (BB)
is responsible for sales and service to micro, small to medium enterprises (SME) and commercial business customers in Australia for facilities up to approximately $150 million. The division operates under the Westpac, St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne brands. Customers are provided with a wide range of banking and financial 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, property finance and treasury. The division is also responsible for consumer customers with auto finance loans. BB works in an integrated way with BTFG and WIB in the sales and service of select financial services and products including corporate superannuation, foreign exchange and interest rate hedging. The revenue from these products is mostly retained by the product originator.

 

BT Financial Group (Australia) (
BTFG)
is the Australian wealth management and insurance arm of the Westpac Group, providing a broad range of associated services. BTFG’s funds management operations include the manufacturing and distribution of investment, superannuation, retirement products, wealth administration platforms, private banking, margin lending and equities broking. BTFG’s insurance business covers the manufacturing and distribution of life, general and lenders mortgage insurance. The division also uses third parties to manufacture certain general insurance products. In managing risk across all insurance classes, the division reinsures certain risks using external providers. BTFG operates a range of wealth, funds management and financial advice brands (including Ascalon which is a boutique incubator of emerging fund managers) and operates under the banking brands of Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA for Private Wealth and Insurance.

 

Westpac Institutional Bank (WIB)
delivers a broad range of financial products and services to commercial, corporate, institutional and government customers with connections to Australia and New Zealand. WIB operates through dedicated industry relationship and specialist product teams, with expert knowledge in transactional banking, financial and debt capital markets, specialised capital and alternative investment solutions. Customers are supported throughout Australia as well as via branches and subsidiaries located in New Zealand, the US, UK and Asia. WIB is also responsible


 

 

 

 

 

8

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 

 

 



 

Information on Westpac

 


for Westpac Pacific, currently providing a range of banking services in Fiji and PNG. WIB works in an integrated way with all the Group’s divisions in the provision of more complex financial needs, including across foreign exchange and fixed interest solutions.

 

Westpac New Zealand
is responsible for sales and service of banking, wealth and insurance products for consumers, business and institutional customers in New Zealand. Westpac conducts its New Zealand banking business through two banks in New Zealand:

 

§
                 
Westpac New Zealand Limited (WNZL), 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. Westpac 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 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 comprises functions for the Australian businesses, is responsible for technology strategy and architecture, infrastructure and operations, applications development and business integration; and

 

§
                 
Core Support, which comprises functions performed centrally, including Australian banking operations, property services, strategy, finance, risk, compliance, legal and human resources.

 

Group Technology costs are fully allocated to other divisions in the Group. Core Support costs are partially allocated to other divisions in the Group, with costs attributed to enterprise activity retained in Group Businesses.

 

Group Businesses also includes items, including earnings on capital not allocated to divisions, accounting entries for certain intra-group transactions that facilitate the presentation of the performance of the Group’s operating segments, earnings from non-core asset sales and certain other head office items such as centrally raised provisions.

 

Competition

The Group operates in a highly competitive environment across the regions in which we do business.

 

We serve the banking, wealth and risk management needs of customer segments from consumers to small businesses

through to large corporate and institutional clients. The Group competes with other financial services industry players for customers, by covering their transacting, saving, investing, protecting and borrowing needs with a wide set of products and services. Our competitors range from large global organisations with broad offerings to entities more focused on specific regions, products or services. Our competitors include financial services and advisory companies such as banks, investment banks, credit unions, building societies, mortgage originators, credit card issuers, brokerage firms, fund and asset management companies, insurance companies, online financial services providers and increasingly, technology companies are also developing competitive offerings.

 

Like other financial services providers, our competitive position across customer segments, products and geographies is determined by a variety of factors. These include:

 

§
                 
the quality, range, innovation and pricing of products and services offered;

 

§
                 
digital and technology solutions;

 

§
                 
customer service quality and convenience;

 

§
                 
the effectiveness of, and access to, distribution channels;

 

§
                 
brand reputation and preference;

 

§
                 
the types of customer served; and

 

§
                 
the talent and experience of our employees.

 

We also operate in an environment where digital innovation is changing the competitive landscape. In the context of innovation, we are dependent on our ability to offer new products and services that match evolving customer preference and compare favourably to those of our competitors. The competitive nature of the industry means that if we are not successful in developing or introducing new products and services, or in responding or adapting to changes in customer preferences and habits, we will lose customers to our competitors.

 

Competition within Australia’s financial system is evidenced by both the significant number of providers and the range of products and services available to customers. In Australia, we have seen competition for deposits partly driven by clearer global regulatory requirements for liquidity management in the post-Global Financial Crisis environment, such as the introduction of the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) in 2015 and the upcoming Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR). Banks and other financial institutions also seek to achieve a higher proportion of high quality deposit funding as credit rating agencies and debt investors look for strong balance sheet positions in their assessment of quality institutions.

 

Competition for lending is also expected to remain high. At the same time, businesses and consumers are cautious about the global outlook and continue to reduce gearing. The residential mortgage business continues to be highly competitive, with increased regulatory oversight to make the balance sheets of both borrowers and lenders more resilient. In particular, the most recent regulatory focus has been on limiting interest only lending. The high degree of competition


 

 

 

 

 

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and regulatory interest is expected to continue. Serving business customers’ transaction and trade financing needs has been at the centre of competitive activity as customer expectations increase.

 

In our wealth business, we expect the broader competitive landscape to continue to undergo significant change with ongoing consolidation in life insurance, continued regulatory and structural change in financial advice, and increased overseas interest and participation in superannuation.

 

In New Zealand, the Group is experiencing strong competition as banks vie for new customers. Competition for deposits remains intense and home lending is particularly competitive on price and switching incentives.

 

Outlook
1

The Australian economy has continued to grow solidly in 2017. GDP increased by 1.8% for the year to June 2017, being affected by the severe weather along Australia’s eastern seaboard in the March quarter 2017. As this impact fades, GDP growth is forecast to increase to around 3% by the end of calendar 2017.

 

Recent growth has been supported by continued employment growth, more confidence around the global economy, higher commodity prices, a boost in public spending and a reduced drag from the slowdown in mining investment. We have also been encouraged by some improvement in the level of non-mining business investment, particularly in the construction sector.

 

Despite this encouraging news, the Reserve Bank has chosen to keep interest rates on hold. Concerns around the consumer are a key issue. Income growth has been modest; household leverage has increased and household budgets are being impacted by rising energy costs.

 

The current mix of growth has continued to vary across Australia. NSW and Victoria are performing particularly well, benefiting from low interest rates and stronger housing construction. Conditions have been much more challenging in areas impacted by the slowdown in mining (WA and regional Queensland). In both these regions we have seen rising unemployment, falling house prices, restrained spending and higher loan delinquencies. More recently, there are signs of an improvement, particularly in light of higher commodity prices, although realistically, a full recovery is likely to take some time.

 

In New Zealand, the economy has also been sound, with a solid pipeline of construction projects, strong population growth and low interest rates all supporting growth. Some construction delays and capacity constraints have, however, limited this growth. GDP growth has held at around 3%, with unemployment of around 5% and inflation near 2%.

 

The international outlook has improved over the year. The consensus view at the recent IMF meeting in Washington was that 2017 has been the best year for synchronised global growth since the Global Financial Crisis.

 

Within Australia, the 2018 outlook is for real GDP to grow at around 2.5%, with growth expected to slow through the year. That profile reflects the Group’s expectation that ongoing

 

 

 

1
    All data and opinions under ‘Outlook’ are generated by our internal economists and management.

weak income growth will further weigh on the consumer through 2018. Prospects for a reasonable lift in business investment are still clouded while housing construction, after being a contributor to growth, is likely to peak with its impact slowing in the year ahead. On the other hand, there will be ongoing contributions from exports, both resources and services, public demand, including infrastructure and from private non-residential construction. Consistent with that growth profile, we expect the recent strength in employment growth to slow next year, with a small rise in the unemployment rate likely.

 

Inflation is also anticipated to remain at the lower end of the RBA’s target band and this, along with a modest slowdown in growth, is expected to see the RBA’s cash rate hold at 1.5% through 2018.

 

Financial system credit grew by just below 6% in the year to September 2017, with system housing credit rising 6.5%, and system business credit expanding by 4.5%. Other consumer credit declined over the year by just over 1% – this continues a path of no growth in other consumer credit for a number of years.

 

Given the economic backdrop, and the further tightening of credit standards as the full consequences of macro-prudential measures flow through, growth in financial system credit in the year to September 2018 is expected to slow to around 4.5%. In particular, housing credit growth is forecast to ease to closer to 5.0%, while business credit is expected to slow to nearer 4.0%.

 

Westpac Group remains focused on executing our strategy of creating a great service company, with our five strategic priorities assisting to guide this transformation. These include:

 

§
                 
maintaining our performance disciplines – continuing to be prudent in the management of capital, funding and liquidity; managing returns effectively seeking to achieve a cash ROE between 13% and 14% and remaining disciplined on asset growth;

 

§
                 
through service leadership, continue to build our customer base while also increasing the depth of customer relationships;

 

§
                 
digital transformation is utilising technology to materially improve efficiency and reduce the Group’s cost to income ratio to below 40% in the medium term;

 

§
                 
wealth, small and medium business enterprises will continue to be our areas of targeted growth. These include further building on the Group’s wealth management system, called Panorama, and using new technologies to make business banking more accessible to customers; and

 

§
                 
through our workforce revolution priority we are seeking to further build a stronger and more diverse workforce where the best people want to work.

 

The financial services industry continues to experience significant regulatory change and pressure. The
Bank Levy will be fully applied through the year. Following announcements from our regulator, APRA, we have greater clarity on what sort of capital levels we require to be considered
‘unquestionably strong’. APRA have indicated


 

 

 

 

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they expect to finalise their updated capital rules by the end of calendar 2017, which will draw upon the capital frameworks being developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Banks are expected to be required to meet these new standards by 1 January 2020. We believe the Group is already well placed to meet the Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) which applies from 1 January 2018.

 

Given the strength of our business, and our balance sheet, in both absolute terms and relative to peers, we believe Westpac is well placed to respond to any additional regulatory requirements.

 

Looking ahead, with our strong positioning, disciplined growth and solid operating performance across all divisions, combined with good progress on our strategic priorities, Westpac believes it is well positioned to continue delivering sustainable outcomes for shareholders and customers.

 

Significant developments

Corporate significant developments

Bank Levy for Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs)

On 23 June 2017, legislation was enacted that introduced a new levy on ADIs with liabilities of at least $100 billion (Bank Levy). The Bank Levy became effective from 1 July 2017 and the rate is set at 0.06% per annum of certain ADI liabilities. There is no end date provided for the Bank Levy.

 

The Bank Levy applies to liabilities of Westpac (including its offshore branches), but does not apply to liabilities of Westpac’s subsidiaries. Furthermore, the Bank Levy is not charged on Additional Tier 1 capital, deposits protected by the Financial Claims Scheme and RBA exchange settlement balances. The legislation also provides for inclusion of derivative liabilities on a net basis and for the Bank Levy to be tax deductible.

 

The Bank Levy cost Westpac $95 million in Full Year 2017, with an after tax impact of $66 million and is estimated to cost Westpac approximately $405 million in Full Year 2018, with an after tax impact of approximately $284 million.

 

House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics’ Review of the Four Major Banks and other reviews

On 16 September 2016, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics announced that the Committee had commenced its Review of the Four Major Banks (Parliamentary Review). The terms of reference for the Parliamentary Review are wide-ranging, with one area of focus being how individual banks and the industry as a whole are responding to issues identified through other inquiries, including through the Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) action plan. Westpac attended public hearings of the Parliamentary Review on 6 October 2016, 8 March 2017 and 11 October 2017.

 

The first report of the Parliamentary Review was published on 24 November 2016 and contained ten recommendations.

 

The second report was published on 21 April 2017. In its second report, the Committee restated its support for the recommendations in the first report and supported a recommendation of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman to remove non-monetary default clauses in small business loan contracts.

In May 2017, the Australian Government announced that it supported nine of the ten recommendations made by the Committee in its first report and announced a range of measures designed to implement these recommendations, such as:

 

§
                 
the introduction of the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (discussed below);

 

§
                 
an independent review to recommend the best approach to implement an open banking regime with respect to banking product and consumer data; and

 

§
                 
the creation of a new dispute resolution framework, including the establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, which is designed to be a single external dispute resolution body for the handling of financial and superannuation disputes.

 

On 29 November 2016, the Senate referred an inquiry into the regulatory framework for the protection of consumers, including small businesses, in the banking, insurance and financial services sector to the Senate Economics References Committee. The terms of reference for the inquiry focus on a range of matters relating to the protection of consumers against wrongdoing in the sector. They also require the inquiry to examine the availability and adequacy of redress and support for consumers who have been victims of wrongdoing. The inquiry is scheduled to produce a report in the first half of 2018.

 

Further, there are a number of other reviews commissioned by the Australian Government, including an independent review to recommend the best approach to implement an open banking regime in Australia. The review will advise on the design of the model and regulatory framework to require banks to share product and customer data with customers and third parties, including the scope of data sets to be shared, data transfer mechanisms, risks such as customer trust and privacy safeguard requirements, and costs of implementation. The review will report to the Government by the end of 2017.

 

In addition to the reviews and inquiries mentioned above, the ACCC is undertaking a specific inquiry, until 30 June 2018, into the pricing of residential mortgages by those banks affected by the Bank Levy (including Westpac), which includes monitoring the extent to which the Bank Levy is passed on to customers.

 

As these reviews and inquiries progress, they may lead to further regulation and reform.

 

Banking Executive Accountability Regime

In May 2017, the Australian Government announced that it would introduce the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR). The Government’s stated intention is to introduce a strengthened responsibility and accountability framework for the most senior and influential directors and executives in ADI groups (referred to as ‘accountable persons’ under BEAR). The Treasury Laws Amendment (Banking Executive Accountability and Related Measures) Bill 2017 was introduced into Parliament on 19 October 2017. The Bill has been referred to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, which is expected to report on the Bill by 24 November 2017.


 

 

 

 

 

 

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If enacted in the form currently proposed, BEAR will involve a range of new measures, including:

 

§
     
 
imposing a set of requirements to be met by ADIs and accountable persons, including accountability obligations;

 

§
     
 
requirements for ADIs to register accountable persons with APRA prior to their commencement in an accountable person role, to maintain and provide APRA with a map of the roles and responsibilities of accountable persons across the ADI group, and to give APRA accountability statements for each accountable person detailing that individual’s roles and responsibilities; and

 

§
     
 
new and stronger APRA enforcement powers, including disqualification powers in relation to accountable persons who breach the obligations of BEAR and a new civil penalty regime that will enable APRA to seek civil penalties in the Federal Court of up to $210 million (for large ADIs, such as Westpac) where an ADI breaches its obligations under BEAR and the breach relates to ‘prudential matters’.

 

The proposed commencement date for implementation of BEAR is 1 July 2018 (with transitional arrangements for certain aspects of BEAR).

 

Productivity Commission Inquiry into Competition in the Australian Financial System

In May 2017, the Australian Government announced a Productivity Commission inquiry into competition in the financial system. This review was a recommendation of the Financial System Inquiry. The terms of reference are broad and require the Productivity Commission to review competition in Australia’s financial system with a view to improving consumer outcomes, and the productivity and international competitiveness of the financial system and the economy more broadly, and supporting ongoing financial system innovation, while balancing these with financial stability objectives. The review commenced on 1 July 2017 and the Productivity Commission is due to hand its final report to the Government by 1 July 2018.

 

Australian Bankers’ Association Banking Reform Program and industry initiatives

On 21 April 2016, the ABA announced an action plan to protect consumer interests, increase transparency and accountability and build trust and confidence in banks.

 

The reform program includes a number of industry-led initiatives including:

 

§
     
 
a review of product sales commissions and product based payments;

 

§
     
 
the establishment of an independent customer advocate in each bank;

 

§
     
 
supporting the broadening of external dispute resolution schemes;

 

§
     
 
evaluating the establishment of an industry-wide, mandatory, last resort compensation scheme;

 

§
     
 
strengthening protections available to whistleblowers;

§
     
 
the implementation of a new information sharing protocol to help stop individuals with a history of poor conduct moving around the industry;

 

§
     
 
strengthening the commitment to customers in the Code of Banking Practice; and

 

§
     supporting ASIC as a strong regulator.

 

On 20 October 2017, the independent governance expert overseeing the ABA action plan released his sixth report titled, Australian banking industry: Package of Initiatives, which noted that banks are continuing to make good progress in delivering the initiatives, with a number of the initiatives now implemented or moving into implementation stage.

 

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Enforcement Review Taskforce

On 19 October 2016, the Australian Government released the terms of reference for the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce (Taskforce), which will assess the suitability of ASIC’s existing regulatory tools (including the penalties available) and whether they need to be strengthened.

 

The Taskforce has completed consultations on a range of matters, including proposed reforms to the mandatory breach reporting framework. These reforms include clarifying when a reporting obligation is triggered, expanding the class of reports that must be made to include misconduct by individual advisers and employees and strengthening the penalties for failing to report, including through the introduction of an infringement notice regime.

 

The Taskforce has also consulted on:

 

§
     
 
strengthening ASIC’s licensing powers, which would enable ASIC to take action to refuse to grant, or to suspend or cancel, a licence where the applicant or licensee is not considered to be a fit and proper person; and

 

§
     
 
proposals to expand ASIC’s powers to ban senior managers working in financial services businesses.

 

It is currently consulting on proposals to strengthen penalties for corporate and financial sector misconduct.

 

The Taskforce is scheduled to report its recommendations to the Australian Government in 2017.

 

Product design and distribution obligations and product intervention power

As part of a package of reforms announced by the Australian Government in 2016, the Federal Government announced that it would accelerate the implementation of certain recommendations made by the Financial System Inquiry (FSI), including granting ASIC a product intervention power and introducing a new ‘principles-based’ product design and distribution obligation on issuers and distributors.

 

On 13 December 2016, the Australian Government released a consultation paper seeking feedback on these proposed reforms. Submissions on the consultation paper closed on 15 March 2017 and it is anticipated that draft legislation will be released for consultation in 2018.


 

 

 

 

 

 

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Financial benchmarks reform

 

In October 2016, the Australian Government announced a package of measures designed to strengthen the regulation of financial benchmarks. The measures were recommended to the Australian Government by the Council of Financial Regulators following a consultation process on financial benchmark reform.

 

The key measures to be implemented include:

 

§
     
 
ASIC will be empowered to develop enforceable rules for administrators and entities that make submissions to significant benchmarks (such as Westpac), including the power to compel submissions to benchmarks in the case that other calculation mechanisms fail;

 

§
     
 
administrators of significant benchmarks will be required to hold a new ‘benchmark administration’ licence issued by ASIC (unless granted an exemption); and

 

§
     
 
the manipulation of any financial benchmark or financial product used to determine a financial benchmark (such as negotiable certificates of deposit) will be made a specific criminal and civil offence.

 

These measures are expected to be implemented over the next 6-12 months.

 

Residential mortgage lending – reviews by and engagement with regulators

 

APRA has been looking at, and speaking publicly about, the broader issue of bank serviceability standards pertaining to residential mortgage lending. Westpac is engaging proactively with APRA in relation to its work in this area.

 

In the mortgage area, ASIC continues to focus on interest only mortgage origination and high risk customer groups. ASIC has also initiated a review into public statements by some banks (including Westpac) about interest rate changes. We are working with ASIC on their reviews in these areas.

 

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. The conduct that is the subject of the proceedings is alleged to have occurred between 6 April 2010 and 6 June 2012. Westpac is defending these proceedings. ASIC is seeking from the court declarations that Westpac breached various provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth), pecuniary penalties of unspecified amounts and orders requiring Westpac to implement a comprehensive compliance program for persons involved in Westpac’s trading in the relevant market.

 

In August 2016, a class action was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Westpac and a large number of other Australian and international banks alleging misconduct in relation to BBSW. These proceedings are at an early stage and the level of damages sought has not been specified. Westpac is defending these proceedings.

ASIC’s responsible lending litigation against Westpac

 

On 1 March 2017, ASIC commenced Federal Court proceedings against Westpac in relation to home loans entered into between December 2011 and March 2015, which were automatically approved by Westpac’s systems. ASIC has alleged that the way in which Westpac used the Household Expenditure Measure (HEM) benchmark to assess the suitability of home loans for customers during this period was in contravention of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) (NCCPA). On 26 September 2017, ASIC amended its court documents to include an additional allegation that the way serviceability was assessed for interest only loans during the same period also contravened the NCCPA. ASIC has also raised specific allegations in respect of seven loan applications. ASIC alleges that Westpac improperly assessed whether those loans were unsuitable because of the way Westpac used HEM, and for five of the loan applications (which are loans with an interest only period), because of the way Westpac assessed serviceability. ASIC has not made any criminal allegations, or allegations against specific individuals. Westpac is defending the proceedings.

 

Outbound scaled advice division proceedings

 

On 22 December 2016, ASIC commenced Federal Court proceedings against BT Financial 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. ASIC has selected 15 specific customers as the focus of their claim. BTFM and WSAL are defending the proceedings. The proceedings are scheduled to be heard in February 2018.

 

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 October 2011, have obtained insurance issued by Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited (WLIS) on the recommendation of financial advisers at Westpac Banking Corporation, St.George Bank, Bank of Melbourne, BankSA or BT Advice. The action is in relation to the premiums these customers have been charged for the WLIS policies. The plaintiffs have alleged, amongst other things, that in providing the financial advice Westpac breached the fiduciary duties it owed to the members of the class, the conduct was unconscionable and WLIS was knowingly involved in these breaches. Westpac and WLIS are defending the proceedings.

 

Brexit

 

On 29 March 2017, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) notified the European Council in accordance with Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the European Union (EU), triggering a two year period for the negotiation of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

 

As Westpac’s business and operations are based predominantly in Australia and New Zealand, the direct impact of the UK’s departure from the EU is unlikely to be


 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

Reduction to the corporate tax rate

 

On 11 May 2017, the Australian Government introduced into Parliament a bill to reduce the corporate tax rate progressively from 30% to 25% over the next 10 years for all corporate entities in a staged approach with reference to aggregated annual turnover thresholds. If the legislation is passed in its current form, the benefit will begin to take effect from 1 July 2023, when the corporate tax rate for Westpac will reduce to 27.5%. Accordingly, the proposed reduction to the corporate tax rate will not significantly impact Westpac in the short term. A reduction to the corporate tax rate will reduce the value of imputation credits ultimately attached to franked dividends and distributions to certain security holders.

 

Taxation of cross-border financing arrangements

 

The Australian and New Zealand Governments have each decided to implement the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) proposals relating to the taxation treatment of cross-border financing arrangements. These proposals may affect the taxation arrangements for ‘hybrid’ regulatory capital instruments issued by Westpac. If implemented without grandfathering, the potential effect of the OECD proposals is to increase the after-tax cost to Westpac of certain previously issued Additional Tier 1 capital securities. Neither Government has released draft legislation.

 

Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR)

 

On 2 November 2017, the Federal Treasurer announced that the Australian Government will legislate for a mandatory comprehensive credit reporting regime to come into effect by 1 July 2018. This would require credit providers to provide a monthly update to credit reporting agencies of all open consumer credit accounts, including credit cards, personal loans, mortgages and auto loans. According to the announcement, the four major banks will be required to have 50% of their credit data ready for reporting by 1 July 2018, increasing to 100% a year later.

 

Westpac is currently moving to implement CCR, as we recognise that CCR supports our principles for responsible lending by enhancing transparency of consumers’ existing liabilities. Westpac is also focused on ensuring the highest level of security of personal data is maintained within the data sharing arrangements that will underpin CCR data supply and use.

 

Sale of shares in BTIM

 

On 26 May 2017, Westpac sold 60 million shares in BTIM at a price of $10.75 per share, pursuant to a fully underwritten institutional offer. Following completion of the sale, Westpac’s holding in BTIM decreased to approximately 10%. Westpac has announced that it intends to sell its remaining 10% shareholding in BTIM in the future, subject to favourable market conditions. In accordance with escrow arrangements communicated to BTIM in respect of the retained shareholding, any sale would not occur prior to the release of BTIM’s first half 2018 results (expected to be in May 2018).

Issue of Additional Tier 1 capital securities

 

On 21 September 2017, Westpac issued US$1.25 billion Additional Tier 1 capital securities, which qualify as Additional Tier 1 capital under APRA’s capital adequacy framework.

 

Regulatory significant developments

 

Financial System Inquiry’s (FSI) recommendations on bank capital

 

The Australian Government’s response to the FSI has endorsed APRA’s actions in implementing the FSI’s capital-related recommendations, and has confirmed APRA’s responsibility for implementing the remaining recommendations.

 

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 CET1 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’s implementation of capital standards to produce ‘unquestionably strong capital ratios’ will also incorporate changes to the prudential framework, including consideration of the finalisation of international Basel III reforms. The final Basel III reforms may result in significant changes in the risk weighted asset framework including the introduction of a revised capital floor for internal model-based methods, based on standardised approaches.

 

Whilst APRA has signalled that its revisions to the capital framework will not necessitate further capital increases for the industry above the 10.5% benchmark, the details of the changes (including at a product level) remain unclear.

 

APRA has announced that it intends to release a discussion paper on proposed revisions to the capital framework later in 2017 and, following release of the discussion paper, that it expects to consult on draft prudential standards giving effect to the new framework in 2018, leading to the release of final prudential standards in 2019. The new framework is anticipated to take effect in early 2021.

 

In addition to the risk-based capital ratio, APRA may also implement other key FSI recommendations, including:

 

§
     
 
the introduction of a leverage ratio that acts as a backstop to an ADI’s risk-based capital requirements. Whilst APRA requires the disclosure of the leverage ratio on a quarterly basis, it is yet to be implemented as a minimum requirement; and

 

§
     
 
the implementation of a framework for additional loss-absorbing capacity, discussed further below.

 

Resolution planning including additional loss absorbing capacity and APRA’s crisis management powers

 

In response to the FSI recommendations, the Australian Government also agreed to further reforms regarding crisis management. In August 2017, Treasury issued draft legislation to strengthen APRA’s crisis management powers. This was introduced into Parliament in October 2017. The intention of these reforms is to strengthen APRA’s powers to facilitate the orderly resolution of an institution so as to protect the interests of depositors and to protect the stability


 

 

 

 

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of the financial system. The reforms also enhance APRA’s ability to take actions in relation to resolution planning, including measures to ensure regulated entities and their groups are better prepared for resolution.

 

Consistent with international developments, APRA may also establish a framework for additional loss absorbing capacity for the four major Australian banks, including Westpac. The intention of this would be to facilitate the orderly resolution of banks and minimise taxpayer support. APRA is yet to release any consultation on additional loss-absorbing capacity.

 

Macro-prudential regulation

 

From December 2014, APRA has made use of macro-prudential measures targeting mortgage lending that continue to impact lending practices in Australia. The measures include limiting investment property lending growth to below 10% and imposing additional levels of conservatism in serviceability assessments.

 

On 31 March 2017, APRA added to these measures, requiring ADIs to restrict mortgage lending with interest only terms to 30% of new mortgage lending. APRA also indicated that it expects ADIs to place strict internal limits on the volume of interest only loans with loan-to-valuation ratios above 80%.

 

Westpac has implemented steps to achieve these limits, including introducing differential pricing for investor property loans and interest only loans, a restriction on the volume of interest only loans with an LVR of greater than 80% (includes limit increases, interest only term extension and switches), no repayment switch fee for customers switching to principal and interest from interest only loans and no longer accepting external refinances (from other financial institutions) for owner occupied interest only loans. Interest only residential mortgages constituted 26% of new mortgage lending for the quarter ended 30 September 2017 (currently 46% of Westpac’s overall Australian residential mortgage portfolio as at 30 September 2017).

 

Other regulatory developments

 

Net Stable Funding Ratio

 

APRA released a revised prudential standard on liquidity (APS 210) on 20 December 2016. This prudential standard includes the Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) requirement, a measure designed to encourage longer-term funding of assets and better match the duration of assets and liabilities. The revised APS 210, inclusive of the NSFR, will commence from 1 January 2018. During Full Year 2017, Westpac continued to take steps in preparation for the introduction of the NSFR from 1 January 2018. Based on the latest guidance from APRA, Westpac had an estimated NSFR at 30 September 2017 which is above that required from 1 January 2018.

 

OECD Common Reporting Standard

 

The OECD has developed Common Reporting Standard (CRS) rules for the automatic exchange of customer tax residency and financial account information amongst participating CRS countries.

 

CRS requires the Westpac Group to collect and check the tax residency of all customers and to report the tax residency and financial account details of non-resident customers to the relevant authorities in jurisdictions with

which Australia has entered into an exchange of information agreement.

 

Together with other Australian financial institutions, Westpac began collecting tax residency information from 1 July 2017 and will report these details and associated financial account information from July 2018.

 

Westpac has implemented changes to its business operations to comply with the CRS requirements in countries which have implemented the rules prior to 1 July 2017.

 

European Union General Data Protection Regulation

The European Union General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR) contains new data protection requirements that will apply from 25 May 2018. The GDPR is intended to ‘strengthen and unify’ data protection for individuals across the EU and supersedes the existing EU Data Protection Directive. Australian businesses of any size may need to comply if they have an establishment in the EU, if they offer goods or services in the EU, or if they monitor the behaviour of individuals in the EU. Westpac is evaluating the impact of GDPR on its businesses with a view to implementing the necessary changes before commencement of the GDPR.

 

OTC derivatives reform

 

International regulatory reforms relating to over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives continue to be implemented by financial regulators across the globe, with the focus moving to implementing variation margin and initial margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives.

 

Variation margin requirements in a number of key jurisdictions for Westpac (being Australia, the EU, US and Hong Kong) became applicable during Full Year 2017.

 

Westpac has completed a substantial amount of work to comply with all applicable variation margin requirements. In addition, initial margin requirements commenced on 1 September 2016. These requirements are being introduced in phases through to 1 September 2020.

 

Westpac currently expects that it will be required to commence exchanging initial margin by either September 2018 or September 2019.

 

New Zealand

 

Regulatory reforms and significant developments in New Zealand include:

 

Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) – macro-prudential policy framework

 

On 8 June 2017, the RBNZ published a consultation paper seeking feedback on serviceability restrictions such as debt-to-income ratio (DTI) limits being added to its macro-prudential toolkit. The RBNZ stated in the consultation paper that the RBNZ would not utilise a DTI policy in current market conditions, but considers DTI limits a useful option in the future.

 

RBNZ – Review of Outsourcing Policy

 

On 19 September 2017, the RBNZ released the final version of its revised Outsourcing Policy (and updated conditions of registration). These took effect on 1 October 2017. Key changes under the revised policy are:


 

 

 

 

 

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§
     
 
banks will need to obtain a non-objection letter from the RBNZ before entering into outsourcing arrangements with a parent or other related party;

 

§
     
 
a bank that outsources certain functions to any third party will need to have certain prescribed contractual terms with that third party and ensure that the third party has adequate disaster recovery and business continuity plan capability in relation to the outsourced function;

 

§
     
 
a bank that outsources certain functions to its overseas parent or to another non-controlled related party will need to have robust back-up arrangements in place;

 

§
     
 
banks will be required to maintain a compendium of functions and processes that have been outsourced; and

 

§
     
 
banks that are members of foreign-owned banking groups, such as WNZL, will be required to have a separation plan which describes how they would operate previously outsourced services if a statutory manager is appointed or they are otherwise separated from their overseas parent.

 

There will be a five year transitional period in relation to existing outsourcing arrangements.

 

The key impact of the revised policy will be in respect of outsourcing arrangements related to institutional products, settlements, finance, risk management and regulatory reporting.

 

RBNZ Capital Review

 

In March 2017, the RBNZ outlined its plans for its review of bank capital requirements. The RBNZ’s aim is to agree a capital regime that ensures a very high level of confidence in the solvency of the banking system while avoiding economic inefficiency. The review will look at the three key components of the regulatory capital regime:

 

§
     
 
the definition of eligible capital instruments;

 

§
     
 
the measurement of risk, in particular the risk weights attached to credit exposures; and

 

§
     
 
the minimum capital ratio and buffers.

 

The RBNZ has said that the outcomes of the review will be heavily influenced by the international regulatory context, the risk characteristics of the New Zealand system, and the RBNZ’s regulatory capital approach. The RBNZ released a high-level Issues Paper in May 2017 and a consultation paper considering what type of financial instruments should qualify as bank capital. The RBNZ expects to conclude its review in the first quarter of 2018. Based on the high level information released to date, the expectation is that the RBNZ will likely propose increasing capital ratios and certain risk weights, with internal ratings-based (IRB) banks having fewer models to use (to reduce the difference between standardised and IRB banks).

 

Reform of the regulation of financial advice

 

The New Zealand Government announced plans for changes to the regime regulating financial advice in July 2016. In August 2017, the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill was introduced into Parliament. Under the proposed new regime, financial advice will be provided by licensed firms who will employ financial advisers

and nominated representatives. A Code of Conduct will apply to all advice and advisers and representatives will be subject to the same duties and ethical standards, including a duty to give priority to the client’s interests. Firms will be responsible for ensuring their advisers and representatives comply with these duties. The reforms will also remove legislative barriers to the provision of robo-advice.

 

A two stage transition is proposed with all industry participants being required to be operating under a full licence by May 2021.

 

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

 

On 10 February 2017, the RBNZ issued WNZL with a notice under section 95 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989, requiring WNZL to obtain an independent review of its compliance with advanced internal rating-based aspects of the RBNZ’s ‘Capital Adequacy Framework (Internal Models Based Approach) (BS2B)’ (BS2B). WNZL has disclosed non-compliance with BS2B (compliance with which is a condition of registration for WNZL) in its quarterly disclosure statements. WNZL expects to receive the RBNZ’s final decision in 2017. There are a range of possible consequences for WNZL, including potential increases in minimum capital requirements.

 

Supervision and regulation

 

Australia

 

Within Australia, we are subject to supervision and regulation by six principal agencies: 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 is expected to have new and strengthened powers under the proposed new Banking Executive Accountability Regime. For further information, refer to ‘Significant developments’ above.

 

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


 

 

 

 

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Information on Westpac

 

 


discretion is then applied to that approach, which results 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. There are currently proposals to strengthen ASIC’s existing powers and 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. 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. The New Zealand prudential supervision regime requires that registered banks publish quarterly 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. The RBNZ is developing proposals to replace off-quarter disclosure statements with a ‘dashboard’ of key information about each locally incorporated bank to be published on the RBNZ’s website.

 

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is a financial conduct regulator whose main objective is to promote and facilitate the development of fair, efficient and transparent financial markets. Its functions include promoting the confident and informed participation of businesses, investors and consumers in those markets. The Financial Markets Conduct Act, which was passed in 2013, resulted in the FMA having extensive new responsibilities in the licensing and supervision of various market participants as well as new enforcement powers.

 

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


 

 

 

 

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

17

 

 



 

 

 

 


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 and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

 

Anti-money laundering regulation and related requirements

 

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 31 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.


 

 

 

 

 

18

 

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Corporate governance

 

 


Introduction

 

This Corporate Governance Statement, which has been approved by the Board, describes our corporate governance framework, policies and practices as at 6 November 2017.

 

Framework and approach

 

Our approach to corporate governance is based on a set of values and behaviours that underpin day-to-day activities, provide transparency and fair dealing and seek to protect stakeholder interests.

 

This approach includes a commitment to excellence in governance standards, which Westpac sees as fundamental to the sustainability of our business and our performance. It includes monitoring local and global developments in corporate governance and assessing their implications.

 

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, preference shares, 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). We must also comply with the Corporations Act 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.

 

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 37 of our financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2017.

 

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 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.


 

 

 

 

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

19

 

 



 

 

 

 

Governance framework

 

 

The diagram above shows Westpac’s current governance framework, including the current Committees of the Board. 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, capital and funding activities.

 

The Executive Team, Disclosure Committee and Executive Risk Committees 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 management of risk across the Group.

 

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
.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 



 

Corporate governance

 

 


Board, Committees and oversight of management

 

Board of Directors

 

Roles and responsibilities

 

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

 

§
                 
overseeing the sound and prudent management of the Westpac Group;

 

§
                 
approving the strategic direction of Westpac Group;

 

§
                 
evaluating Board performance and determining Board size and composition;

 

§
                 
considering and approving the Westpac Board Renewal Policy;

 

§
                 
appointing and determining the duration, remuneration and other terms of appointment of the CEO, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and other Group Executives;

 

§
                 
determining the remuneration of persons whose activities in the Board’s opinion affects, the financial soundness of Westpac, any person specified by APRA, and any other person the Board determines;

 

§
                 
evaluating the performance of the CEO;

 

§
                 
succession planning for the Board, CEO and Group Executives;

 

§
                 
approving the appointment of Group Executives and the General Manager Group Audit and monitoring the performance of senior management;

 

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

 

§
                 
determining our dividend policy;

 

§
                 
determining our capital structure;

 

§
                 
approving our risk management strategy and frameworks, and monitoring their effectiveness;

 

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

 

§
                 
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; and

 

§
                 
overseeing internal governance, including delegated authorities, policies for appointments to our controlled entity boards and monitoring resources available to senior executives.

 

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 Board has also delegated to the CEO, and through the CEO to other executives, responsibility for the day-to-day management of our business. The scope of, and limitations to, management delegated authority 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.

 

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.

 

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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

21

 



 

 

 

 

Size and membership of Board Committees as at 30 September 2017

 

 

Board Audit
Committee

Board Risk &
Compliance
Committee

Board Nominations
Committee

Board Remuneration
Committee

Board
Technology
Committee

Committee Composition
1

Minimum three members

 

All members are
Independent Non-
executive
Directors

 

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

Minimum three
members

 

All members are
Non-executive
Directors

 

Majority of
members are
Independent
Directors

 

Chair is
Independent
Director, who is not
the Board
Chairman

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

 

All members are
Independent Non-
executive Directors

 

Chair determined
by the Board

Minimum three
members

 

All members are
Independent Non-
executive Directors

 

Chair determined by
the Board

 

Minimum three
members

 

Maximum one
Executive
Director

 

All other
members are
Independent
Non-executive
Directors

 

Chair determined
by the Board

Lindsay Maxsted

Chairman, Non-executive, Independent

ü

ü

Chair

ü

 

 

Brian Hartzer

CEO, Executive

 

 

 

 

ü

Nerida Caesar

Non-executive, Independent

 

ü

 

 

ü

Ewen Crouch

Non-executive, Independent

 

Chair

ü

ü

ü

 

Alison Deans

Non-executive, Independent

 

ü

 

 

ü

Craig Dunn

Non-executive, Independent

 

ü

ü

Chair

ü

 

Robert Elstone

Non-executive, Independent

ü

ü

 

ü

 

Peter Hawkins

Non-executive, Independent

ü

ü

ü

 

Chair

ü

Peter Marriott

Non-executive, Independent

Chair

ü

ü

ü

 

ü

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

22

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 



 

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;

 

§
                 
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

 

§
                 
the day-to-day management of the Westpac Group’s operations.

 

Board meetings

 

The Board had nine scheduled meetings for the financial year ended 30 September 2017, 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 throughout the year. Board meetings are characterised by robust exchanges of views, with Directors bringing their experience and independent judgement to bear on the issues and decisions at hand.

 

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 2017 are reported in Section 9 of the Directors’ report.

 

Nomination and appointment

 

As set out in its Charter, the Board Nominations Committee is responsible for:

 

§
                 
developing and reviewing policies on Board composition, strategic function 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;

 

§
                 
planning succession of the 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 the appointment of Directors;

 

§
                 
recommending the appointment of Directors to the Board; and

 

§
                 
considering and recommending candidates for appointment to the Boards of relevant subsidiaries (including Westpac New Zealand Limited and our insurance and superannuation businesses).

 

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 diversity.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

23

 



 

 

 

 

Figure 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

24

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 



 

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 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 light of the evolving strategic direction of the Group. 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 five strategic priorities of:

 

§
                 
service leadership;

 

§
                 
digital transformation;

 

§
                 
performance discipline;

 

§
                 
growth highways; and

 

§
                 
workforce revolution.
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 Managing Director, 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

 

 

 

1
    For further information about the Service Revolution and our strategic priorities please refer to ‘Information on Westpac’ in Section 1.

 

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, Compliance, 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.


 

 

 

 

 

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Company Secretaries

 

Westpac has two Company Secretaries:

 

§
               
The Senior Company Secretary is our Group Executive, Compliance, Legal & Secretariat
1
. 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 implementing our governance framework 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 2017 are set out in Section 1 of the Directors’ report.

 

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 2017’ in this Corporate Governance Statement. All of the Board Committees are comprised of independent Non-executive Directors, save for the Board Technology Committee, of which the CEO is also 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 2017 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1
    Rebecca Lim’s title was changed from Group General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer to Group Executive, Compliance, Legal & Secretariat effective from 2 October 2017.

 

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 2017 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 action on matters relating to Board composition, process and priorities.

 

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 approving the performance objectives and measures for the CEO and other senior executives, and providing input into the evaluation of performance against these objectives. The Board Risk & Compliance Committee also refers to the Board Remuneration Committee any matters that come to its attention that are relevant with respect to remuneration policy or practices.

 

Management performance evaluations for the financial year ended 30 September 2017 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 and for each of BankSA and Bank of Melbourne, 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;


 

 

 

 

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Corporate governance

 


§
     
 
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

 

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 and integrity;

 

§
                 
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 provides a set of guiding principles to 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 Principles for Doing Business (Principles) underpin the Group’s commitment to sustainable business practice and community involvement. In summary:

 

§
               
we believe our success depends on the trust and confidence placed in us by our customers, people, shareholders, suppliers, advisers and the community;

 

§
               
we believe in maintaining the highest level of governance and ethical practice while protecting the interests of our stakeholders;

 

§
               
we believe in putting our customers at the centre of everything we do;

 

§
               
we believe our people are a crucial element of a successful service business;

 

§
               
we are committed to managing our direct and indirect impacts on the environment;

 

§
               
we believe being actively involved in our community is fundamental to the sustainability of our business; and

 

§
               
we believe our suppliers should be viewed as partners in our sustainability journey.

 

The Principles align with key global initiatives that promote responsible business practices. The Principles apply to all Directors, employees and contractors.

 

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

 

§
               
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.

 

Key policies

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

 

§
               
be accountable for adherence to the Code.

 

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 our 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


 

 

 

 

 

 

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present during the boardroom discussions or vote on the relevant matter.

 

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. 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. An executive Fit and Proper Committee is responsible under delegated authority of the Westpac Board for undertaking 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 Whistleblower Protection 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 activities or behaviour 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.

 

The Whistleblower Protection Policy outlines all reporting 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 charged with overseeing Westpac’s whistleblower program and the Westpac Group Executive Risk Committee are provided with quarterly reporting on whistleblowing. These reports include a number of metrics, including statistics about concerns raised.

 

A summary of Westpac’s Whistleblower Protection 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 (and their ‘associates’) 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 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);

 

§
               
placing limitations upon Directors, employees and contractors participating in a new product issue where their position puts them in an actual, potential or apparent position of conflict of interest;

 

§
               
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 by Directors of Westpac securities as required under the ASX Listing Rules; and


 

 

 

 

 

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Corporate governance

 


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

 

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 enable execution of 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 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;

 

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

 

§
     
 
continues to take a leadership position on inclusion and diversity practices and setting the agenda in the external community.

 

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 and intersex (LGBTI) 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.

 

During the financial year ended 30 September 2017, the Inclusion & Diversity Governance Framework was implemented and 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 the engagement of our employee action groups, our annual employee survey (which includes questions that constitute an ‘Inclusion Index’), and bi-annual inclusion and diversity focused surveys.

 

Our Inclusive Leadership program ensures we are investing in the right capabilities for an inclusive culture. Senior leaders and Group Executives have already completed the program which will be rolled out to approximately 3,000 members of Westpac’s wider leadership team from late 2017.

 

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. Westpac has now attained 50% women in leadership roles. The focus will now shift to maintaining this equality.

 

At 30 September 2017, the proportion of women employed by the Group was as follows:

 

§
               
Board of Directors: 22%;

 

§
               
leadership
1
 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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 as usual 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 (revised) Assurance Engagements Other Than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information (‘ASAE 3000’). The AA1000 AccountAbility Principles Standard and the Global Reporting Initiative G4 Guidelines are also used by the assurance provider to test the extent to which sustainability policies and processes are embedded across the organisation.

 

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 risk management between the Board Audit Committee and the Board Risk & Compliance Committee. Similarly, the Board delegates oversight responsibility for the preparation of remuneration reports and disclosures to the Board Remuneration Committee.

 

Board Audit Committee

As detailed in its charter, the Board Audit Committee has oversight of:

 

§
               
the integrity of the financial statements and financial reporting systems and matters relating to taxation risks;

 

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

 

§
               
performance of the internal audit function;

 

§
               
financial reporting and compliance with prudential regulatory reporting. With reference to the Board Risk & Compliance Committee, this includes an oversight of regulatory and statutory reporting requirements; and

 

§
               
procedures for the receipt, retention and treatment of financial complaints, including accounting, internal controls or auditing matters, and the confidential reporting by employees of concerns regarding accounting or auditing matters.

 

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, regulations and other requirements relating to external reporting of financial and non-financial information; and

 

§
               
the process surrounding the disclosures made by the CEO and CFO in connection with their personal certifications of the annual financial statements.

 

In addition, the Board Audit Committee maintains an ongoing dialogue with the external auditor, including regarding those matters that are likely to be designated as Key Audit Matters in the external auditor’s report. Key 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;

 

§
               
the General Manager Group Audit and 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 annual financial statements;

 

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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Corporate governance

 

 


§
        
the Group Executive, Compliance, 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 Westpac’s financial statements. The Board Audit Committee also meets with the General Manager Group Audit without management being present.

 

Financial knowledge

The Board Audit Committee comprises four 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, who is a member of the Board Audit Committee, 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 2017, 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). Our present 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 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.

 

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 39 to our financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2017. 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 audit function and includes the Credit Portfolio Review team, both of which provide the Board and Executive Management with an independent and objective evaluation of the adequacy and effectiveness of management’s control over risk. 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. Group Audit covers the governance, risk management and internal control frameworks of Westpac


 

 

 

 

 

 

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and our wholly owned subsidiaries. It has access to all of our wholly owned entities and conducts audits and reviews following a risk-based planning approach. 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 direct access to the Chief Executive Officer.

 

Group Audit’s responsibilities include regularly reporting to the Board Audit Committee and the Board Risk & Compliance Committee and Board Technology Committee and raising any significant issues with those committees.

 

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, the Executive Team and the General Manager, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability.

 

The Group Executive, Compliance, 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 business operations, performance and governance framework. As part of our investor relations program, these methods are regularly reviewed to continue to encourage effective two-way communication with shareholders and utilise new technologies. These approaches include:

 

§
        
direct communications via mail and email;

 

§
        
the publication of all relevant company information in the Investor Centre section of our website; and

 

§
        
access to all major market briefings and shareholder meetings, including via webcasts and lodging information on our website.

 

Shareholders are provided with advance notice of all major market briefings and shareholder meetings through ASX announcements. We also publish an investor calendar of events on our website.

 

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

 

We regard our AGM as an important opportunity for engaging and communicating with shareholders. 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 their proxies through a number of channels, including via mobile and the internet. At the time of receiving the Notice of Meeting, shareholders are also invited to put forward questions they would like addressed at the AGM.

 

Risk management

 

Roles and responsibilities

The Board is responsible for approving the Westpac Group Risk Management Strategy and 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: review and recommend the Westpac Group Risk Management Strategy and Westpac Group Risk Appetite Statement to the Board for approval; set risk appetite consistent with the Group Risk Appetite Statement; approve frameworks, policies and processes for managing risk; and review and, where appropriate, approve risks beyond the approval discretion provided to management.

 

Westpac’s Risk Management Strategy was reviewed by the Board Risk & Compliance Committee and was approved by the Board during the financial year ended 30 September 2017.

 

The Board Risk & Compliance Committee monitors the alignment of the Westpac Group’s risk profile and controls with risk appetite (as defined in 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’.


 

 

 

 

 

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Corporate governance

 

 


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

 

We adopt a Three Lines of Defence approach to risk management, which reflects our culture of ‘risk is everyone’s business’ in which all employees are responsible for identifying and managing risk and operating within the Group’s desired risk profile. Effective risk management enables us to:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

§
        
meet our regulatory and compliance obligations.

 

The 1st Line of Defence – Risk identification, risk management and self-assessment

Divisional business units are responsible for identifying, evaluating and managing the risks that they originate within approved risk appetite and policies. They are required to establish and maintain appropriate risk management controls, resources and self-assessment processes.

 

The 2nd Line of Defence – Establishment of risk management frameworks and policies and risk management oversight

Our 2nd Line of Defence comprises separate risk and compliance advisory, control, assurance and monitoring functions, which establish frameworks, policies, limits and processes for the management, monitoring and reporting of risk. The 2nd Line of Defence can approve risks outside the authorities granted to the 1st Line, and evaluates and provides assurance over the adequacy and effectiveness of 1st Line controls and application of frameworks and policies and, where necessary, require improvement and monitor the 1st Line’s progress toward remediation of identified deficiencies.

 

The 3rd Line of Defence – Independent assurance

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 approach is summarised in the following diagram:

 

 

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:

 

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

 

§
        
liquidity risk
the risk that the Group will be unable to fund assets and meet obligations as they become due;

 

§
        
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 risk
the risk that the provision of our services and products results in unsuitable or unfair outcomes for our stakeholders or undermines market integrity;

 

§
        
operational risk
the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people and systems or from external events. This definition is aligned to the regulatory (Basel II) definition, including legal and regulatory risk but excluding strategic and reputation risk;

 

§
        
compliance risk
the risk of legal or regulatory sanction, financial or reputational loss, arising from our failure to abide by the compliance obligations required of us;

 

§
        
business risk
the risk associated with the vulnerability of a line of business to changes in the business environment;

 

§
        
sustainability risk
the risk of reputational or financial loss due to failure to recognise or address material existing or emerging sustainability related environmental, social or governance issues;

 

§
        
equity risk
the potential for financial loss arising from movements in equity values. Equity risk may be direct, indirect or contingent;


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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§
        
insurance risk
the risk in our insurance entities of mis-estimation of the expected cost of insured events, volatility in the number or severity of insured events, and mis-estimation of the cost of incurred claims;

 

§
        
related entity (contagion) risk
the risk that problems arising in other Westpac Group members compromise the financial and operational position of the authorised deposit-taking institution in the Westpac Group; and

 

§
        
reputation risk
the risk of the loss of reputation, stakeholder confidence, or public trust and standing.

 

Westpac has received advanced accreditation from APRA and the RBNZ under the Basel II capital framework, and uses the Advanced Internal Ratings Based (AIRB) 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:

 

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

 

§
        
sets risk appetite consistent with the Westpac Group Risk Appetite Statement;

 

§
        
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 the alignment of the Westpac Group’s risk profile and controls with risk appetite, and oversees the identification, management and reporting of risks inherent in the Westpac Group’s operations;

 

§
        
monitors changes anticipated for the economic and business environment and other factors relevant to our risk profile and risk appetite; and

 

§
        
may approve risks beyond the approval discretion provided to management.

 

From the perspective of specific types of risk, the Board Risk & Compliance Committee’s role includes:

 

§
        
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;

§
        
market risk
approving key policies and limits supporting the Market Risk Management Framework, including, but not limited to, the Value at Risk and Net Interest Income at Risk limits, and monitoring the market risk profile;

 

§
        
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;

 

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

 

§
        
conduct risk
reviewing and approving the Group’s approach to the management of conduct risk and reviewing and monitoring the performance of conduct risk management and controls;

 

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

 

§
        
compliance risk
reviewing and approving the Compliance Risk Management Framework and reviewing compliance processes and our compliance with applicable laws, regulations and regulatory requirements, discussing with management and the external auditor any material correspondence with regulators or government agencies and any published reports that raise material issues, and reviewing complaints and whistleblower concerns.

 

The Board Risk & Compliance Committee also:

 

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

 

§
        
provides relevant periodic assurances to the Board Audit Committee;

 

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


 

 

 

 

 

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Corporate governance

 


 

§
        
reviews and approves other risk management frameworks
1
 and the monitoring of performance under those frameworks;

 

§
        
oversees Westpac’s risk culture, through the provision of regular risk culture and organisational culture reporting;

 

§
        
refers to other Board Committees any matters that come to the attention of the Board Risk & Compliance Committee that are relevant for those respective Board Committees; 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

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.

 

The Compliance Management Framework (the Framework) sets out our approach to managing compliance obligations and mitigating compliance risk, in order to achieve our compliance objective. It is an integral part of Westpac’s Board-approved Risk Management Strategy and is supported by a number of key policies.

 

An effective Group compliance management system enables us to demonstrate our commitment to compliance and to comply with our compliance obligations. The approach we use to establish, implement, maintain, evaluate and improve our compliance management system includes:

 

§
        
strategy and scope
business strategy, compliance objective and scope of the compliance management system;

 

§
        
governance and accountability
roles and responsibilities, governance, developing a culture where employees understand their obligations and feel comfortable to identify compliance issues and incidents in a timely fashion, competence and training;

 

§
        
framework and documentation
framework, policies and documentation supporting the compliance management system;

 

§
        
compliance planning
management of compliance obligations, risks, controls, issues & incidents, and compliance monitoring and reporting; and

 

 

 

1
     
Additional frameworks include the Sustainability Risk Management Framework, Equity Risk Management Framework, Related Entity Risk Management Framework and Insurance Risk Management Framework.

 

§
        
evaluation and improvement
compliance performance measures, escalation and continual improvement.

 

As with other forms of risk, 1
st
 Line management is primarily responsible for managing compliance. This is supported by an independent 2
nd
 Line Compliance function, which reports to the Group Executive, Compliance, Legal & Secretariat. The Group Executive, Compliance, Legal & Secretariat is a member of the Westpac Group Executive Risk Committee, has direct access to the Chair of the Westpac Board Risk & Compliance Committee and regularly attends and presents to that Committee.

 

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, 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 three 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 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, other persons whose activities in the Board’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-term and long-term incentive plans for Group Executives;

 

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

 

§
        
oversees general remuneration practices across the Group.

 

The Board Remuneration Committee reviews and recommends to the Board the size of variable reward pools


 

 

 

 

 

 

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35

 



 

 

 

 


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, precedence 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 or lapsing of incentive-based equity grants to employees, where subsequent information or circumstances indicate that the grant was not justified.

 

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.

 

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 report 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 Westpac Group Risk Management Strategy and the Westpac Group Risk Appetite Statement; and

§
     
 
approves Aggregate Risk Exposures policy and Related Entity Risk Management Framework in accordance with APRA prudential standards 3PS221: Aggregate Risk Exposures and 3PS222: Intra-group Transactions and Exposures.

Board Risk & Compliance Committee (BRCC)

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

§
     
 
sets risk appetite consistent with the Westpac Group Risk Appetite Statement;

§
     
 
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, CRO and any other officers of the Westpac Group to whom the Board has delegated credit approval authority;

§
     
 
monitors the alignment of the Westpac Group’s risk profile and controls with risk appetite, and oversees the identification, management and reporting of risks inherent in the Westpac Group’s operations;

§
     
 
monitors changes anticipated for the economic and business environment and other factors 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; and

§
     
 
may approve risks beyond the approval discretion provided to management.

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.

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

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

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 embedding of the Risk Management Strategy in the Group’s approach to risk governance;

§
     
 
oversees risk-related management frameworks and key supporting policies;

§
     
 
oversees the Group’s material risks;

§
     
 
oversees reputation risk and sustainability risk management frameworks and key supporting policies; and

§
     
 
identifies emerging credit, operational, compliance and market risks and allocates responsibility for assessing impacts and implementing appropriate actions to address these.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Risk Management Governance Structure (continued)

 

Executive risk committees (continued)

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

§
     
 
leads the optimisation of credit risk-reward across the Group;

§
     
 
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

§
     
 
leads the optimisation of market risk, equity risk and insurance risk across the Group;

§
     
 
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 and Financial Crime Committee

§
     
 
leads the optimisation of operational risk across the Group;

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

§
     
 
oversees Westpac’s operational risk and financial crime risk profile; and

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

Westpac Group Remuneration Oversight Committee

§
     
 
provides assurance that the remuneration arrangements across the Group have been examined from a human resources, risk, finance, legal and compliance perspective;

§
     
 
is responsible for ensuring that risk is embedded in all key steps in our remuneration framework;

§
     
 
reviews and makes recommendations to the CEO for recommendation to the Board Remuneration Committee on the Group Remuneration Policy and provides assurance that remuneration arrangements across the Group encourage behaviour that supports Westpac’s long-term financial soundness and the Risk Management Framework;

§
     
 
reviews and monitors the remuneration arrangements (other than for Group Executives) for Responsible Persons (as defined in the Group’s Statutory Officers Fit and Proper Policy), risk and financial control personnel, and all other employees for whom a significant portion of total remuneration is based on performance and whose activities, either individually or collectively, may affect the financial soundness of Westpac; and

§
     
 
reviews and recommends 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Corporate governance

 

 

Risk Management Governance Structure (continued)

 

Risk and compliance functions

Risk Function

§
     
 
assist the Board, Board Committees and senior management to establish, maintain and review the Risk Management Strategy and supporting risk management frameworks;

§
     
 
operate within Board approved risk appetite;

§
     
 
define risk appetite, risk concentration limits and authorities;

§
     
 
notify the Board or Board Committees of any significant breach, or material deviation from the risk management framework;

§
     
 
monitor emerging risk issues and risk concentration;

§
     
 
monitor resources and capabilities (including systems and data); and

§
     
 
maintain resources with the skills and tools required to fulfil their risk responsibilities and support the strategy.

Compliance Function

§
     
 
assist the Board, Board Committees and senior management to establish, maintain and review compliance management frameworks;

§
     
 
design, implement and monitor controls to ensure compliance with internal, regulatory and legislative requirements;

§
     
 
provide independent advice on design, implementation and monitoring of controls and compliance;

§
     
 
reports on compliance standards and directs the review and development of compliance policies, compliance plans, controls and procedures; and

§
     
 
maintain resources with the skills and tools required to fulfil their compliance responsibilities and support the strategy.

Independent internal review

Group Audit

§
     
 
reviews the adequacy and effectiveness of management controls over risk.

Divisional business units

Business Units

§
     
 
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-assurance 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 2017.

 

1. Directors

 

The names of the persons who have been Directors, or appointed as Directors, during the period since 1 October 2016 and up to the date of this report are: Lindsay Philip Maxsted, Brian Charles Hartzer, Elizabeth Blomfield Bryan (retired as a Director on 9 December 2016), Nerida Frances Caesar (Director from 1 September 2017), Ewen Graham Wolseley Crouch, Catriona Alison Deans (Alison Deans), Craig William Dunn, Robert George Elstone, Peter John Oswin Hawkins and Peter Ralph Marriott.

 

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 past three years immediately before 30 September 2017 and the period for which each directorship has been held, are set out below
.

 

Name:
Lindsay Maxsted,
DipBus (Gordon), FCA, FAICD

Age:
63

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

Date of next scheduled
re-election:
December 2017.

Independent:
Yes.

Current directorships of listed entities and dates of office:
Transurban Group (since March 2008, and Chairman since August 2010), BHP Billiton Limited (since March 2011) and BHP Billiton 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:
50

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), t
he Financial Markets Foundation for Children and Australian Bankers’ 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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Directors’ report

 

 

Name:
Nerida Caesar, BCom, MBA, GAICD

Age:
53

Term of office:
Director since September 2017.

Date of next scheduled
re-election:
December 2017.

Independent:
Yes.

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

Other principal directorships:
Stone and Chalk Limited and Genome.One Pty Ltd.

Other interests:
Member of the University of Technology Vice Chancellor’s Industry Advisory Board and the Federal Government’s FinTech Advisory Group.

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

 

Skills, experience and expertise:
Nerida has 30 years of broad-ranging commercial and business management experience. Most recently, Nerida was Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Australia and New Zealand, of Equifax (formerly Veda Group Limited) from February 2011.

Nerida 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. She also worked as Group Managing Director, Telstra Wholesale, and prior to that held the position of Executive Director National Sales where she was responsible for

managing products, services and customer relationships throughout Australia.

Prior to joining Telstra, Nerida 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:
Veda Group Limited (December 2013 – February 2016). Veda Group Limited was a listed entity from December 2013 to February 2016 when it was delisted upon its acquisition by Equifax Inc.

Name:
Ewen Crouch AM,
BEc (Hons.), LLB, FAICD

Age:
61

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:
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 and Corporations

Committee of the Law Council of Australia.

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. He is now a Consultant to Allens. 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 Nominations and Board Remuneration Committees.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Name:
Alison Deans,
BA, MBA, GAICD

Age:
49

Term of office:
Director since April 2014.

Date of next scheduled
re-election:
December 2017.

Independent:
Yes.

Current directorships of listed entities and dates of office:
Cochlear Limited (since January 2015).

Other principal directorships:
kikki.K Holdings Pty Ltd and SCEGGS Darlinghurst Limited.

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.

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:
Insurance Australia Group Limited (February 2013 – October 2017).

Name:
Craig Dunn,
BCom, FCA

Age:
54

Term of office:
Director since June 2015.

Date of next scheduled
re-election:
December 2018.

Independent:
Yes.

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

Other principal directorships:
Financial Literacy Australia Limited, Chairman of The Australian Ballet and Chairman of Stone and Chalk Limited.

Other interests:
Chairman of the Australian Government’s Fintech Advisory Group and the International Standards Technical Committee on Blockchain and

 

Distributed Ledger Technologies (ISO/TC 307).
Member of the ASIC External Advisory Panel, and the New South Wales Government’s Quantum Computing Fund Advisory Panel. Board member of Jobs for New South Wales 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 Board member of the Australian Japanese Business Cooperation Committee and the New South Wales Government’s Financial Services Knowledge Hub, and

former Chairman of the Investment and Financial Services Association (now the Financial Services Council). He 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

42

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 



 

Directors’ report

 

 

Name:
Robert Elstone,
BA (Hons.), MA (Econ.), MCom

Age:
64

Term of office:
Director since February 2012.

Date of next scheduled
re-election:
Not applicable. Robert Elstone will retire following the 2017 AGM.

Independent:
Yes.

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

Other principal directorships:
University of Western Australia Business School.

Other interests:
Adjunct Professor at the Business Schools of the Universities of

 

Sydney and Western Australia.

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

Skills, experience and expertise:
Robert has over 30 years’ experience in senior management roles spanning investment banking, corporate finance, wholesale financial markets and risk management. From July 2006 to October 2011, Robert was Managing Director and CEO of ASX Limited. Previously, he was Managing Director and CEO of the Sydney Futures Exchange from May 2000 to July 2006, and from January 1995 to May 2000, he

was Finance Director of Pioneer International.
Robert was a Non-executive Director of the National Australia Bank from September 2004 to July 2006, an inaugural member of the Board of Guardians of the Future Fund, and former Chairman of the Financial Sector Advisory Council to the Federal Treasurer.

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

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

Name:
Peter Hawkins,
BCA (Hons.), SF Fin, FAIM, ACA (NZ), FAICD

Age:
63

Term of office:
Director since December 2008.

Date of next scheduled
re-election:
December 2017.

Independent:
Yes.

Current directorships of listed entities and dates of office:
Mirvac Group (since January 2006).

Other principal directorships:
Liberty Financial Pty Ltd and Crestone Holdings Limited.

Other interests:
Nil.

 

Other Westpac related entities directorships and dates of office:
Member of the Bank of Melbourne
Advisory
Board since November 2010.

Skills, experience and expertise:
Peter’s career in the banking and financial services industry spans over 40 years in Australia and overseas at both the highest levels of management and directorship of major organisations. Peter has held various senior management and directorship positions with
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited from 1971 to 2005.

He was also previously a Director of BHP (NZ) Steel Limited,
ING Australia Limited, Esanda Finance Corporation, Visa Inc and Clayton Utz.

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

Directorships of other listed entities over the past three years and dates of office:
MG Responsible Entity Limited, which is the responsible entity for ASX listed MG Unit Trust (April 2015 to October 2016).

Name:
Peter Marriott,
BEc (Hons.), FCA

Age:
60

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 the Review Panel & Policy Council of the Banking & Finance Oath.

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 Risk & Compliance and Board Technology Committees.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

43

 



 

 

 

 

Company Secretary

 

Our Company Secretaries as at 30 September 2017 were Rebecca Lim and Tim Hartin.

 

Rebecca Lim (B Econ, LLB (Hons.)) was appointed as a Group Executive effective 1 October 2016, with her title now being Group Executive, Compliance, Legal & Secretariat
1
, as well as Company Secretary. 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 after which she joined Westpac on her return to Australia. 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 2017 our Executive Team was:

 

Name

Position

Year Joined
Group

Year Appointed
to Position

 

 

 

 

Brian Hartzer

Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer

2012

2015

Lyn Cobley

Chief Executive, Westpac Institutional Bank

2015

2015

Brad Cooper

Chief Executive Officer, BT Financial Group

2007

2010

Dave Curran

Chief Information Officer

2014

2014

George Frazis

Chief Executive, Consumer Bank

2009

2015

Alexandra Holcomb

Chief Risk Officer

1996

2014

Peter King

Chief Financial Officer

1994

2014

Rebecca Lim
1

Group Executive, Compliance, Legal & Secretariat

2002

2016

David Lindberg

Chief Executive, Business Bank

2012

2015

David McLean

Chief Executive Officer, Westpac New Zealand Limited

1999

2015

Christine Parker

Group Executive, Human Resources, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability

2007

2011

Gary Thursby

Group Executive, Strategy & Enterprise Services

2008

2016

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1
    Prior to 2 October 2017, Rebecca Lim’s title was
Group General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer
.

 

 

 

 

 

 

44

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 



 

Directors’ report

 

 

Brian Hartzer
BA, CFA. Age 50
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 Bankers’ 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.

 

Lyn Cobley
BEc, SF FIN, GAICD
. Age 54
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 Hastings Funds Management as well as Westpac’s International and Pacific Island businesses.

Lyn has over 25 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 was also Head of Financial Institutions at Barclays Capital in Australia, held senior roles at Citibank in Australia and Asia Pacific including Head of Securitisation 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.

 

Brad Cooper
DipBM, MBA. Age 55
Chief Executive Officer, BT Financial Group

Brad was appointed Chief Executive Officer, BT Financial Group in February 2010. Brad initially joined Westpac in April 2007 as Chief Executive, Westpac New Zealand Limited and after successfully leading a change program in that market, moved to the role of Group Chief Transformation Officer, leading the Westpac Group’s St.George merger implementation. Prior to joining Westpac, Brad was Chairman of GE Capital Bank and CEO of GE Consumer Finance UK & Ireland. He drove GE’s UK Six Sigma program and was certified as a Quality Leader (Black Belt) in December 2002. He was promoted to CEO of GE Consumer Finance UK in January 2003 and appointed Chairman of GE Capital Bank in April 2004.

 

Dave Curran
BCom. Age 52
Chief Information Officer

Dave was appointed Chief Information Officer in September 2014. Dave has almost 30 years of experience with proven expertise in IT and financial services and the implementation of large, complex projects.

Since 2015, Dave has been on the Board of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, a $100 million scholarship fund with exclusive focus on Australian education and leadership.

Before joining Westpac, Dave spent ten years in senior roles at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). Before joining CBA, he spent sixteen years at Accenture, where he was a partner, primarily consulting on financial services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

45

 



 

 

 

 

George Frazis
B Eng (Hons.), MBA (AGSM/Wharton). Age 53
Chief Executive, Consumer Bank

George was appointed Chief Executive, Consumer Bank in June 2015, responsible for managing the end to end relationship with consumer customers. This includes all consumer distribution, digital, marketing, transformation and banking products and services under the Westpac, St.George, BankSA, Bank of Melbourne and RAMS brands.

Prior to this appointment, he was CEO, St.George Banking Group. George joined the Westpac Group in March 2009 as Chief Executive, Westpac New Zealand Limited. George is highly experienced in the financial services industry. He was formerly Group Executive General Manager at National Australia Bank. Prior to that, George was a senior executive in Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Institutional Banking Division and has also been a partner with the Boston Consulting Group and an officer in the Royal Australian Air Force. George is a Governor of the St.George Foundation and is Chair of the Prime Minister’s Industry Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment.

 

Alexandra Holcomb
BA, MBA, MA.
Age 56
Chief Risk Officer

Alexandra was appointed Chief Risk Officer in August 2014. As Westpac Group’s Chief Risk Officer, Alexandra is responsible for key risk management activities across the enterprise.

Since joining Westpac in 1996, Alexandra has held a number of senior positions including Group General Manager, Group Strategy, M&A and Major Projects, Group Executive, Group Strategy, Head of Westpac Institutional Bank Strategy, and until August 2014 was the Group General Manager of Global Transactional Services.

Prior to joining Westpac, Alexandra was a senior executive from 1992 to 1996 with Booz Allen & Hamilton International where she specialised in international credit, working throughout the Asia Pacific region. Before that, she worked with Chase Manhattan Bank in New York in private and business banking and international credit audit. She also worked in project finance in Paris and New York for Banque Indosuez and Barclays Bank respectively.

Alexandra is Deputy Chairman of the Asia Society Australia and serves on the Westpac Foundation Board. She is a member of Chief Executive Women and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Alexandra has an MBA in Finance and Multinational Management from the Wharton School of Business and a Master of Arts in International Studies and French from the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a BA in English and Economics from Cornell University.

 

Peter King
BEc, FCA. Age 47
Chief Financial Officer

Peter was appointed Chief Financial Officer in April 2014, with responsibility for Westpac’s Finance, Group Audit, Tax, Treasury and Investor Relations functions. Prior to this appointment, Peter was the Deputy Chief Financial Officer for three years.

Since joining Westpac in 1994, Peter has held 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 45
Group Executive, Compliance, Legal & Secretariat

Rebecca was appointed as Westpac’s Group Executive responsible for compliance, legal and secretariat functions globally from October 2016. 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

46

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 



 

Directors’ report

 

 

David Lindberg
HBA (Hons. Economics). Age 42
Chief Executive, Business Bank

David was appointed Chief Executive, Business Bank in June 2015. He manages the Group’s end to end relationships with business customers for the Westpac, St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne brands. The Business Bank provides a wide range of banking and financial products and services to Australia’s small, commercial, corporate and agri businesses.

Prior to this appointment, David was Chief Product Officer, responsible for the Group’s retail and business products across all brands, 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 Managing Vice President and Head of Australia for First Manhattan.

 

GRAPHIC

David McLean
LLB (Hons.). Age 59
Chief Executive Officer, Westpac New Zealand Limited

David was appointed Chief Executive Officer, Westpac New Zealand Limited 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 since 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. David is a Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

 

GRAPHIC

Christine Parker
BGDipBus (HRM). Age 57
Group Executive, Human Resources, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability

Christine was appointed Group Executive, Human Resources, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability in October 2011, with responsibility for human resources strategy and management, including reward and recognition, safety, learning and development, careers and talent, employee relations and employment policy. She is also responsible for Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, and Customer Advocacy.

Prior to this appointment, she was Group General Manager, Human Resources, from March 2010, with responsibilities across the entire Westpac Group. Prior to that, Christine was General Manager, Human Resources, Westpac New Zealand Limited.

Prior to joining Westpac in 2007, Christine was Group Human Resources Director, Carter Holt Harvey, and from 1999 to 2004, she was Director of Human Resources with Restaurant Brands New Zealand.

Christine is a Governor of the St.George Foundation and also a Director of Women’s Community Shelters.

 

GRAPHIC

Gary Thursby
BEc, DipAcc, FCA. Age 55
Group Executive, Strategy & Enterprise Services

Gary was appointed Group Executive Strategy & Enterprise Services in October 2016. In addition to leading the Group’s strategy function, his role is designed to accelerate the delivery of the Group’s Service Revolution and provide services to support the Group’s operating businesses.

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

Before joining Westpac in 2008, Gary held a number of senior finance roles at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

47

 



 

 

 

 

3. Report on the business

 

a)
Principal activities

 

The principal activities of the Group during the financial year ended 30 September 2017 were the provision of financial services including lending, deposit taking, payments services, investment portfolio management and advice, superannuation and funds management, insurance services, leasing finance, general finance, interest rate risk management and foreign exchange services.

 

There have been no significant changes in the nature of the principal activities of the Group during 2017.

 

b)
Operating and financial review

 

The net profit attributable to equity holders of Westpac for the financial year ended 30 September 2017 was $7,990 million, an increase of $545 million or 7% compared to 2016. Key features of this result were:

 

§
                
a 4% increase in net operating income before operating expenses and impairment charges with:

 

–  
 
net interest income of $15,516 million, an increase of $368 million or 2% compared to 2016, with total loan growth of 3% and a 4 basis point decrease in net interest margin to 2.06%; and

 

–  
 
non-interest income of $6,286 million, an increase of $449 million or 8% compared to 2016, primarily due to a $279 million gain associated with the sale of shares in BT Investment Management Limited (BTIM), a rise in trading income of $78 million and the impact of volatility in economic hedges of $140 million. These increases were partly offset by provisions for customer refunds and lower wealth management and insurance income;

 

§
                
operating expenses were $9,434 million, an increase of $217 million or 2% compared to 2016 due to annual salary and rental increases, higher technology expenses related to the Group’s investment program, a rise in regulatory and compliance costs and expenses associated with the sale of shares in BTIM. These increases were partially offset by productivity benefits; and

 

§
                
impairment charges were $853 million, a decrease of $271 million or 24% compared to 2016. Asset quality remained sound, with stressed exposures as a percentage of total committed exposures at 1.05%, down 15 basis points over the year. The decrease in impairment charges was primarily due to significantly lower large individual provisions. Additional provisioning for these larger facilities was required in 2016, following the downgrade to impaired.

 

A review of the operations of the Group and its divisions and their results for the financial year ended 30 September 2017 is set out in Section 2 of the Annual Report under the sections ‘Review of Group operations’, ‘Divisional performance’ and ‘Risk and risk management’, which form part of this report.

 

Further information about our financial position and financial results is included in the financial statements in Section 3 of this Annual Report, which form part of this report.

 

c)
Dividends

 

Since 30 September 2017, Westpac has announced a final ordinary dividend of 94 cents per Westpac ordinary share, totalling approximately $3,191 million for the year ended 30 September 2017 (2016 final ordinary dividend of 94 cents per Westpac ordinary share, totalling approximately $3,145 million). The dividend will be fully franked and will be paid on 22 December 2017.

 

An interim ordinary dividend for the current financial year of 94 cents per Westpac ordinary share for the half year ended 31 March 2017, totalling $3,156 million, was paid as a fully franked dividend on 4 July 2017 (2016 interim ordinary dividend of 94 cents per Westpac ordinary share, totalling $3,136 million). The payment comprised direct cash disbursements of $2,031 million with $1,125 million being reinvested by participants through the DRP.

 

Further, in respect of the year ended 30 September 2016, a fully franked final dividend of 94 cents per ordinary share totalling $3,145 million was paid on 21 December 2016. The payment comprised direct cash disbursements of $2,818 million with $327 million being reinvested by participants through the DRP.

 

New shares were issued to satisfy the DRP for each of the 2016 final ordinary dividend and the 2017 interim ordinary dividend.

 

d)
Significant changes in state of affairs and events during and since the end of the 2017 financial year

 

Significant changes in the state of affairs of the Group were:

 

§
                
introduction of the Federal Government’s Bank Levy for ADIs. The Bank Levy cost Westpac $95 million in Full Year 2017, with an after tax impact of $66 million and is estimated to cost Westpac approximately $405 million in Full Year 2018, with an after tax impact of approximately $284 million;

 

§
                
the sale by Westpac of 60 million shares in BTIM for $10.75 per share;

 

§
                
the issuance of US$1.25 billion AT1 securities, which qualify as Additional Tier 1 capital under APRA’s capital adequacy framework;

 

§
                 
the proposed sale by Westpac of its interest in Hastings Management Pty Limited, which is subject to confirmatory due diligence and regulatory approvals; and

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Directors’ report

 

 

§
                
ongoing regulatory changes and developments, which have included changes relating to liquidity, capital, financial services, taxation, executive accountability and other regulatory requirements.

 

For a discussion of these matters, please refer to ‘Significant developments’ in Section 1 under ‘Information on Westpac’.

 

The Directors are not aware of any other matter or circumstance that has occurred since the end of the financial year that has significantly affected or may significantly affect the operations of the Group, the results of these operations or the state of affairs of the Group in subsequent financial years.

 

e)
Business strategies, developments and expected results

 

Our business strategies, prospects and likely major developments in the Group’s operations in future financial years and the expected results of those operations are discussed in Section 1 of the Annual Report under ‘Information on Westpac’, including under ‘Outlook’ and ‘Significant developments’.

 

Further information on our business strategies and prospects for future financial years and likely developments in our operations and the expected results of operations have not been included in this report because the Directors believe it would be likely to result in unreasonable prejudice to us.

 

4. Directors’ interests

 

a)
Directors’ interests in securities

 

The following particulars for each Director are set out in the Remuneration Report in Section 10 of the Directors’ report for the year ended 30 September 2017 and in the tables below:

 

§
                
their relevant interests in our shares or the shares of any of our related bodies corporate;

 

§
                
their relevant interests in debentures of, or interests in, any registered managed investment scheme made available by us or any of our related bodies corporate;

 

§
                
their rights or options over shares in, debentures of, or interests in, any registered managed investment scheme made available by us or any of our related bodies corporate; and

 

§
                
any contracts:

 

        
to which the Director is a party or under which they are entitled to a benefit; and

 

        
that confer a right to call for or deliver shares in, debentures of, or interests in
, any registered managed investment scheme made available by us or any of our related bodies corporate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

49

 



 

 

 

 

Directors’ interests in Westpac and related bodies corporate as at 6 November 2017

 

 

 

Number of Relevant Interests in
Westpac
Ordinary Shares

 

Number of Westpac
Share Rights

 

Westpac
CPS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Westpac Banking Corporation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Directors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lindsay Maxsted

 

20,689

 

-

 

-

 

Brian Hartzer

 

77,427

 1

569,426

 2

-

 

Nerida Caesar

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

Ewen Crouch

 

36,450

 3

-

 

-

 

Alison Deans

 

9,392

 

-

 

-

 

Craig Dunn

 

8,869

 

-

 

-

 

Robert Elstone

 

12,096

 

-

 

-

 

Peter Hawkins

 

15,880

 4

-

 

1,370

 

Peter Marriott

 

20,870

 

-

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1
             
Brian Hartzer’s interest in Westpac ordinary shares includes 20,222 restricted shares held under the CEO Restricted Share Plan.

2
             
Share rights issued under the CEO Long Term Incentive Plan and Long Term Incentive Plan.

3
             
Ewen Crouch and his related bodies corporate also hold relevant interests in 250 Westpac Capital Notes 2.

4
             
Peter Hawkins and his related bodies corporate also hold relevant interests in 850 Westpac Capital Notes 3 and 882 Westpac Capital Notes 4.

 

Note: Certain subsidiaries of Westpac offer a range of registered schemes. The Directors from time to time invest in these schemes and are required to provide a statement to the ASX when any of their interests in these schemes change. ASIC has exempted each Director from the obligation to notify the ASX of a relevant interest in a security that is an interest in BT Cash Management Trust (ARSN 087 531 539), BT Premium Cash Fund (ARSN 089 299 730), Westpac Cash Management Trust (ARSN 088 187 928), BT Wholesale Managed Cash Fund (ARSN 088 832 491), BT Wholesale Enhanced Cash Fund (ARSN 088 863 469), Advance Cash Multi-Blend Fund (ARSN 094 113 050) or BT Cash (ARSN 164 257 854).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 



 

Directors’ report

 

 

b)
Indemnities and insurance

 

Under the Westpac Constitution, unless prohibited by statute, we indemnify each of the Directors and Company Secretaries of Westpac and of each of our related bodies corporate (except related bodies corporate listed on a recognised stock exchange), each employee of Westpac or our subsidiaries (except subsidiaries listed on a recognised stock exchange), and each person acting as a responsible manager under an Australian Financial Services Licence of any of Westpac’s wholly-owned subsidiaries against every liability (other than a liability for legal costs) incurred by each such person in their capacity as director, company secretary, employee or responsible manager, as the case may be; and all legal costs incurred in defending or resisting (or otherwise in connection with) proceedings, whether civil or criminal or of an administrative or investigatory nature, in which the person becomes involved because of that capacity.

 

Each of the Directors named in this Directors’ report and each of the Company Secretaries of Westpac has the benefit of this indemnity.

 

Consistent with shareholder approval at the 2000 Annual General Meeting, Westpac has entered into a Deed of Access and Indemnity with each of the Directors, which includes indemnification in identical terms to that provided in the Westpac Constitution.

 

Westpac also executed a deed poll in September 2009 providing indemnification equivalent to that provided under the Westpac Constitution to individuals acting as:

 

§
                
statutory officers (other than as a director) of Westpac;

 

§
                
directors and other statutory officers of wholly-owned subsidiaries of Westpac; and

 

§
                
directors and statutory officers of other nominated companies as approved by Westpac in accordance with the terms of the deed poll and Westpac’s Contractual Indemnity Policy.

 

Some employees of Westpac’s related bodies corporate and responsible managers of Westpac and its related bodies corporate are also currently covered by a deed poll that was executed in November 2004, which is in similar terms to the September 2009 deed poll.

 

The Westpac Constitution also permits us, to the extent permitted by law, to pay or agree to pay premiums for contracts insuring any person who is or has been a Director or Company Secretary of Westpac or any of its related bodies corporate against liability incurred by that person in that capacity, including a liability for legal costs, unless:

 

§
                
we are forbidden by statute to pay or agree to pay the premium; or

 

§
                
the contract would, if we paid the premium, be made void by statute.

 

Under the September 2009 deed poll, Westpac also agrees to provide directors’ and officers’ insurance to Directors of Westpac and Directors of Westpac’s wholly-owned subsidiaries.

 

For the year ended 30 September 2017, the Group has insurance cover which, in certain circumstances, will provide reimbursement for amounts which we have to pay under the indemnities set out above. That cover is subject to the terms and conditions of the relevant insurance, including but not limited to the limit of indemnity provided by the insurance. The insurance policies prohibit disclosure of the premium payable and the nature of the liabilities covered.

 

c)
Options and share rights outstanding

 

As at the date of this report there are 256,840 share options outstanding and 5,107,825 share rights outstanding in relation to Westpac ordinary shares. The expiry date of the share options range between 17 December 2017 and 1 October 2018 and the weighted average exercise price is $26.36. The latest dates for exercise of the share rights range between 17 December 2017 and 1 October 2032.

 

Holders of outstanding share options and share rights in relation to Westpac ordinary shares do not have any rights under the share options and share rights to participate in any share issue or interest of Westpac or any other body corporate.

 

d)
Proceedings on behalf of Westpac

 

No application has been made and no proceedings have been brought or intervened in, on behalf of Westpac under section 237 of the Corporations Act.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

51

 



 

 

 


5. Environmental disclosure

 

As part of our 2017 Sustainability Strategy, we have set targets for our environmental performance. The Westpac Group’s environmental framework starts with ‘Our Principles for Doing Business’, which outline our broad environmental principles. This framework includes:

 

§
                
our Westpac Group Environment Policy, which has been in place since 1992;

 

§
                
our Sustainability Risk Management Framework;

 

§
                
our Responsible Sourcing Code of Conduct; and

 

§
                
public reporting of our environmental performance.

 

We also participate in a number of voluntary initiatives including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, CDP
1
, the Equator Principles, the Principles for Responsible Investment, the United Nations Global Compact and the Banking Environment Initiative’s Soft Commodities Compact.

 

The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (Cth) (National Greenhouse Act) came into effect in July 2008. The Group reports on greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and production under the National Greenhouse Act for the period 1 July through 30 June each year.

 

The Group was previously subject to the reporting requirements of the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act 2006 (Cth) (EEO Act). The Commonwealth Government repealed the EEO Act, effective from 29 June 2014. Accordingly, all obligations and activities under the EEO Program, including reporting requirements, have ceased.
2

 

Our operations are not subject to any other significant environmental regulation under any law of the Commonwealth of Australia or of any state or territory of Australia. We may, however, become subject to environmental regulation as a result of our lending activities in the ordinary course of business and we have policies in place to ensure that this potential risk is addressed as part of our normal processes.

 

We have not incurred any liability (including for rectification costs) under any environmental legislation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1
         
Formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project.

2
         
Westpac implemented energy efficiency opportunities that are expected to result in estimated energy savings of 14,964GJ, carbon savings of 2,858 tCO2e and cost savings of $791,544 per year.

 

6. Human rights supply chain disclosure

 

Westpac’s overall approach to human rights is set out in our Westpac Group Human Rights Position Statement, and this references our Responsible Sourcing Code of Conduct as the primary framework for managing human rights in our supply chain.

 

The Group is subject to the United Kingdom’s Transparency in Supply Chains provisions under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, which came into effect in March 2015. Westpac releases an annual statement each year for the period ended 30 September to disclose the steps taken during the year to help prevent modern slavery from occurring within the Group’s operations and supply chain.

 

7. Rounding of amounts

 

Westpac is an entity to which ASIC Corporations Instrument 2016/191 dated 24 March 2016, relating to the rounding of amounts in directors’ reports and financial reports, applies. Pursuant to this Instrument, amounts in this Directors’ report and the accompanying financial report have been rounded to the nearest million dollars, unless indicated to the contrary.

 

8. Political expenditure

 

In line with Westpac policy, no cash donations were made to political parties during the financial year ended 30 September 2017.

 

In Australia, political expenditure for the financial year ended 30 September 2017 was $162,726. This relates to payment for participation in legitimate political activities where they were assessed to be of direct business relevance to Westpac. Such activities include business observer programs attached to annual party conferences, policy dialogue forums and other political functions, such as speeches and events with industry participants.

 

In New Zealand, political expenditure for the financial year ended 30 September 2017 was NZD$2,756. In line with Westpac policy, no cash donations were made to political parties in New Zealand during the year.


 

 

 

 

52

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 



 

Directors’ report

 

 

9. Directors’ meetings

 

Each Director attended the following meetings of the Board and Committees of the Board during the financial year ended 30 September 2017:

 

 

 

 

 

Audit

Risk & Compliance

Nominations

Remuneration

Technology

 

o

Notes

Board

Committee

Committee

Committee

Committee

Committee

 

Number of meetings
held during the year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Director

 

A

B

A

B

A

B

A

B

A

B

A

B

 

Lindsay Maxsted

1

9

9

4

4

4

4

4

4

-

-

-

-

 

Brian Hartzer

2

9

9

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

4

4

 

Elizabeth Bryan

3

2

2

-

-

1

1

1

1

2

2

-

-

 

Nerida Caesar

4

1

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

 

Ewen Crouch

5

9

9

-

-

4

4

4

4

6

6

-

-

 

Alison Deans

6

9

9

-

-

4

4

-

-

-

-

4

4

 

Craig Dunn

7

9

9

-

-

4

4

3

3

6

6

-

-

 

Robert Elstone

8

9

9

4

4

4

4

-

-

6

6

-

-

 

Peter Hawkins

9

9

9

4

4

4

3

4

4

-

-

4

4

 

Peter Marriott

10

9

9

4

4

4

4

4

4

-

-

4

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This table shows membership of standing Committees of the Board. From time to time the Board may form other committees or request Directors to undertake specific extra duties.

 

A - Meetings eligible to attend as a member
          
B - Meetings attended as a member

 

Unless otherwise stated, each Director has been a member, or the Chairman, of the relevant Committee for the whole of the period from 1 October 2016.

 

1
             
Chairman of the Board Nominations Committee. Member of the Board Audit Committee and the Board Risk & Compliance Committee.

2
             
Member of the Board Technology Committee.

3
             
Elizabeth Bryan retired from the Board and its Committees on 9 December 2016.

4
             
Nerida Caesar was appointed as a Director on 1 September 2017. Member of the Board Risk & Compliance Committee and Board Technology Committee from 28 September 2017.

5
             
Chairman of the Board Risk & Compliance Committee from 9 December 2016. Chairman of the Board Remuneration Committee, and member of the Board Risk & Compliance Committee, until 9 December 2016. Member of the Board Nominations Committee and from 9 December 2016, a member of the Board Remuneration Committee.

6
             
Member of the Board Risk & Compliance Committee and the Board Technology Committee.

7
             
Chairman of the Board Remuneration Committee from 9 December 2016. Member of the Board Remuneration Committee until 9 December 2016. Member of the Board Risk & Compliance Committee, and from 9 December 2016, a member of the Board Nominations Committee.

8
             
Member of the Board Remuneration Committee, the Board Risk & Compliance Committee and the Board Audit Committee.

9
             
Chairman of the Board Technology Committee. Member of the Board Audit Committee, the Board Nominations Committee and the Board Risk & Compliance Committee.

10
         
Chairman of the Board Audit Committee. Member of the Board Risk & Compliance Committee, the Board Technology Committee and the Board Nominations Committee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

53

 



 

 

 

 

10. Remuneration Report

 

Introduction from the Chairman of the Board Remuneration Committee

 

Dear Shareholder,

 

We are pleased to present Westpac’s 2017 Remuneration Report (Report).

 

The past year has seen significant developments in the banking industry relating to remuneration. The Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) will be put before Parliament and the Retail Banking Remuneration Review commissioned by the Australian Banker’s Association (known as the Sedgwick report) was released earlier this year.

 

A comprehensive review is being undertaken in anticipation of the enactment of the BEAR legislation to ensure that our CEO and Group Executive remuneration framework and principles remain consistent with both the letter and spirit of legislative developments. While this review is underway in 2018, the remuneration framework will remain unchanged and be consistent with the 2017 structures outlined in this Report.

 

We are also committed to implementing fully the recommendations of the Sedgwick report, which we are addressing in a phased manner over the next three years. To date we have made significant progress on implementing around three quarters of the recommendations, with good progress made on implementation of the remaining recommendations as we develop appropriate support systems, frameworks and metrics. For example, in November 2016 we removed all product-related incentives from around 2,000 tellers in the Westpac branch network.

 

2017 Remuneration outcomes – the link to Group performance

 

Each year the Board assesses a number of factors when determining remuneration outcomes. In addition to the financial results included in Short-term Incentive (STI) balanced scoreboards, the Committee assesses other elements of performance such as the quality of the results, key performance drivers, meeting customer needs, the risk and operating environment and effectiveness of implementation of strategic initiatives to determine if the scoreboard outcomes adequately reflect actual performance and returns to shareholders.

 

In what continues to be a challenging and competitive business environment, the Group’s financial performance was sound. There was moderate growth in cash earnings and earnings per share, with marginal declines in return on equity and economic profit, as capital and funding positions were strengthened further to position the Group to meet APRA’s unquestionably strong benchmark. Significant improvements were achieved in net promoter scores (NPS) for customers, with Westpac being rated with the highest overall NPS among major Australian banks for the first time in September 2017; employee engagement scores also increased significantly, with outcomes achieved above the high performing global norm. This year we also retained our position as the most sustainable bank globally in the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for the fourth year running.

 

STI outcomes

 

It is against these outcomes that the short and long-term incentives were determined. STI outcomes during the year for the CEO and the Group Executive team averaged 109% of target, up by an average of 14% on last year, and were within a range of 96% to 116%. Different incentive outcomes across the Group Executive team reflect the performance of each division and the quality of the performance delivered by the accountable executive.

 

Long-term Incentive (LTI) outcomes

 

In 2017, the 2014 LTI reached its test date. As the minimum performance vesting thresholds were not met, none of the 2014 LTI will vest.

 

More specifically:

 

§
                
Westpac’s LTI plan Total Shareholder Return (TSR) over the last three years was 11.791%, which was below the 50th percentile vesting threshold, so none of the 2014 TSR hurdled rights vested. This is the third consecutive year where the TSR hurdle has not been met; and

 

§
                
Westpac’s Cash Earnings per Share (EPS) growth over the last three years was also below the vesting threshold of 15.8% (5.0% compound annual growth), so none of the 2014 EPS hurdled rights vested.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

54

2017 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 



 

Directors’ report