Form 20-F Westpac Banking Corp

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

Published: 2018-11-07 06:05:40
Submitted: 2018-11-07
Period Ending In: 2018-09-30
a18-18019_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, 2018

 

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: 1.950% 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, 3.050% Notes due May 15, 2020, Floating Rate Notes due May 15, 2020, 2.30% Notes due May 26, 2020, 2.600% Notes due November 23, 2020, 2.650% Notes due January 25, 2021, Floating Rate Notes due January 25, 2021, 2.100% Notes due May 13, 2021, Floating Rate Notes due May 13, 2021, 2.000% Notes due August 19, 2021, Floating Rate Notes due August 19, 2021, 2.800% Notes due January 11, 2022, Floating Rate Notes due January 11, 2022, 2.500% Notes due June 28, 2022, Floating Rate Notes due June 28, 2022, 2.750% Notes due January 11, 2023, Floating Rate Notes due January 11, 2023, 3.650% Notes due May 15, 2023, Floating Rate Notes due May 15, 2023, 2.850% Notes due May 13, 2026, 2.700% Notes due August 19, 2026, 3.350% Notes due March 8, 2027, 3.400% Notes due January 25, 2028, 4.322% Subordinated Notes due November 23, 2031, 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

 

3,434,796,711 fully paid

 

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

Yes
x
     No
o

 

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

Yes
o
      No
x

 

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

Yes
x
     No
o

 

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

Yes
x
     No
o
(not currently applicable to registrant)

 

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

 

Large accelerated filer 
x

Accelerated filer 
o

Non-accelerated filer 
o

Emerging growth company 
o

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Other
o

 

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

Yes
o
      No
x

 

 

 


 

Table of contents

 

 

 

 

Annual Report

 

 

 

Form 20-F cross-reference index

2

 

 

Guide 3 cross-reference index

4

 

 

Section 1

5

 

 

Information on Westpac

6

 

 

Business strategy

6

 

 

Outlook

9

 

 

Significant developments

11

 

 

Corporate governance

23

 

 

Directors’ report

46

 

 

Remuneration Report

62

 

 

Section 2

93

 

 

Five year summary

94

 

 

Reading this report

95

 

 

Review of Group operations

97

 

 

Income statement review

99

 

 

Balance sheet review

107

 

 

Capital resources

111

 

 

Commitments

113

 

 

Divisional performance

114

 

 

Consumer Bank

117

 

 

Business Bank

118

 

 

BT Financial Group (Australia)

119

 

 

Westpac Institutional Bank

122

 

 

Westpac New Zealand

123

 

 

Group Businesses

125

 

 

Risk and risk management

129

 

 

Risk factors

129

 

 

Risk management

142

 

 

Credit risk

142

 

 

Liquidity risk

143

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

144

 

Operational risk and compliance risk

145

 

Other risks

146

 

Westpac’s approach to sustainability

150

 

Sustainability performance

150

 

Five year non-financial summary

155

 

Other Westpac business information

160

 

Section 3

163

 

Financial statements

164

 

Notes to the financial statements

170

 

Statutory statements

287

 

Section 4

291

 

Shareholding information

292

 

Additional information

307

 

Information for shareholders

311

 

Glossary of abbreviations and defined terms

315

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 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

93, 99, 107-108, 310

 

Capitalisation and indebtedness

Not applicable

 

Reasons for the offer and use of proceeds

Not applicable

 

Risk factors

129-141

Item 4.

Information on Westpac

 

 

History and development of Westpac

6, 9-22

 

Business overview

6-22

 

Organisational structure

8, 270-272

 

Property, plants and equipment

160

Item 4A.

Unresolved staff comments

Not applicable

Item 5.

Operating and financial review and prospects

 

 

Operating results

97-112, 114-128

 

Liquidity and capital resources

111-113, 143-144, 146-149

 

Research and development, patents and licences etc.

Not applicable

 

Trend information

103-111, 114-128

 

Off-balance sheet arrangements

149

 

Tabular disclosure of contractual obligations

113

 

Safe harbor

95

Item 6.

Directors, senior management and employees

 

 

Directors and senior management

46-55, 57-59

 

Compensation

62-89, 281-284

 

Board practices

25-50

 

Employees

160

 

Share ownership

57-59, 281-284, 292

Item 7.

Major shareholders and related party transactions

 

 

Major shareholders

292-300

 

Related party transactions

161, 282-284

 

Interests of experts and counsel

Not applicable

Item 8.

Financial information

 

 

Consolidated statements and other financial information

163-290

 

Significant changes

11-20, 284

Item 9.

The offer and listing

 

 

Offer and listing details

301

 

Plan of distribution

Not applicable

 

Markets

23, 311-313

 

Selling shareholders

Not applicable

 

Dilution

Not applicable

 

Expenses of the issue

Not applicable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

2018 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

307-309

 

Material contracts

160

 

Exchange controls

303-304

 

Taxation

304-306

 

Dividends and paying agents

Not applicable

 

Statements by experts

Not applicable

 

Documents on display

309

 

Subsidiary information

Not applicable

Item 11.

Quantitative and qualitative disclosures about market risk

144-145, 241-243

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

302

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

149, 288, 289

Item 16A.

Audit committee financial expert

37

Item 16B.

Code of ethics

32-35

Item 16C.

Principal accountant fees and services

37, 281

Item 16D.

Exemptions from the Listing Standards for audit committees

Not applicable

Item 16E.

Purchases of equity securities by the issuer and affiliated purchasers

113, 266-268

Item 16F.

Changes in Registrant’s certifying accountant

Not applicable

Item 16G.

Corporate governance

23

Item 16H.

Mine safety disclosure

Not applicable

 

 

 

Part III

 

 

Item 17. & 18.

Financial statements

163-290

Item 19.

Exhibits

 

Consolidated income statements for the years ended 30 September 2018, 2017 and 2016

164

Consolidated balance sheets as at 30 September 2018 and 2017

166

Consolidated statements of comprehensive income for the years ended 30 September 2018, 2017 and 2016

165

Consolidated statements of cash flows for the years ended 30 September 2018, 2017 and 2016

169

Notes to the financial statements

170-286

Management’s report on the internal control over financial reporting

288

Report of independent registered public accounting firm

289

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 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

107, 189-191

Analysis of net interest earnings

100-101, 189-191

Volume and rate movement

100, 189-191

Part II Investment portfolio

 

Book value of investments

193

Maturity profile

194, 238-241

Book value and market value > 10% of shareholders

193

Part III Loan portfolio

 

Types of loans

195-198

Maturities and sensitivities of loans to changes in interest rates

199

Risk elements

 

Non-accrual, past due and restructured loans

110-111, 229-233

Potential problem loans

110-111

Foreign outstandings

143

Loan concentrations

143

Other interest bearing assets

192-194, 227-228

Part IV Summary of loan loss experience

 

Analysis of the allowance for loan losses

200-203

Allocation of the allowance for loan losses

200-203

Part V Deposits

206-207

Part VI Return on equity and assets

94, 108

Part VII Short-term borrowings

208-209

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Information on Westpac

 

Corporate governance

 

Directors’ report
(including Remuneration Report)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Information on Westpac

 

 


Westpac is one of the four major banking organisations in Australia and one of the largest banking organisations in New Zealand. We provide a broad range of banking and financial services in these markets, including 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 2018, our market capitalisation was $96 billion
3
 and we had total assets of $880 billion.

 

External environment

 

Full Year 2018 has been a challenging year for the financial services sector in Australia, including for Westpac. The sector has been the subject of intense scrutiny from Government, regulators, the media and the community in general. Among various developments, legal actions have been filed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Banking Executive Accountability Regime, to be overseen by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority, was introduced, a review of competition in the sector was conducted by the Productivity Commission, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission established its Financial Services Unit.

 

In addition, the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (Royal Commission) was established on 14 December 2017 and has generated a serious impact on public sentiment and the financial services industry. The terms of reference for the Royal Commission require it to consider (amongst other things) the conduct of banks, insurers, financial service providers, superannuation funds (not including self-managed superannuation funds) and intermediaries between borrowers and lenders, and the effectiveness of Australian regulators in addressing misconduct in financial institutions.

 

The Royal Commission has been a valuable and rigorous process.

 

Since its establishment, the Royal Commission has completed the majority of its hearings, and on 28 September 2018 released its interim report. The interim report raised a number of important points of policy and principle for consideration by Westpac, the industry, its regulators and policy makers. It signalled that financial services

 


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 2018.

3
          
Based on the closing share price of our ordinary shares on the ASX as at 30 September 2018.

 

organisations, including Westpac, need to do more to meet the needs of customers and the community, including by preventing, detecting and addressing misconduct, and consistently meeting legal and regulatory obligations. Westpac provided a formal response to the interim report on 26 October 2018.

 

Business strategy

 

The Royal Commission and the broader environment in which we operate have reinforced the need to deliver better customer outcomes and experiences, and underlined the importance of continuing to deliver on our vision and strategy, including the Service Revolution.

 

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

 

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 we believe assist us in meeting the financial services needs of customers. With over 14 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 flexibility to offer solutions that better meet individual customer needs.

 

As we continue to build the business, the financial services environment remains challenging and has required us to maintain focus on our financial position. This has involved:

 

§
     
 
maintaining the high level and quality of our capital;

 

§
     
 
continuing to improve our funding and liquidity position; and

 

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

 

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 better for our people. We believe these improvement efforts deliver better customer outcomes while also creating capacity for investment.

 

Throughout 2018 we continued our focus on seeking to deliver positive 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

 

 

 


4
          
All customers with an active relationship (excludes channel only and potential relationships) as at 30 September 2018.


 

 

 

 

6

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Information on Westpac

 

 


§
                 
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 2018, we continued to deliver outcomes and 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 transform customer experiences and drive operational efficiency. At the same time, we believe 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 continued on conduct and culture, with work focused on continuing to strengthen our conduct management across the Group. In the context of the Royal Commission, much of the effort this year has been focused on improving customer outcomes and on our product reviews, as well as working to ensure we meet customer and community expectations. We are continuing to make adjustments and improvements to our business. In addition, work continues on ensuring that we are responding to the changing regulatory and industry landscape.

 

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.

 

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;

 

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

 

§
     
 
resolve legacy customer issues and ensure that our service creates good customer outcomes.

 

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;

 

§
     
 
focus on reducing structural costs;

 

§
     
 
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:

 

        
specific business segments, in particular, small to medium enterprises; and

 

        
supporting our customers’ insurance and investment needs.

 

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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

7

 


 

Information on Westpac

 

 


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 an extensive network of branches, call centres and ATMs. Customers are also supported by a range of internet and mobile banking solutions. CB also works in an integrated way with Business Bank, 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 originators.

 

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 and property finance. 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, referral 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 wealth, 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 a third party to manufacture certain general insurance products. In managing risk across all insurance classes, the division reinsures certain risks using external providers. In addition to the BT brand, BTFG operates a range of financial services brands along with 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 financing, transactional banking, financial and debt capital markets. 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 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, human resources and customer and corporate relations.

 

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 earnings on capital not allocated to divisions, 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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Information on Westpac

 

 


Competition

 

The Group operates in a highly competitive environment.

 

We serve the banking, wealth and risk management needs of customer segments from consumers and small businesses through to large corporate and institutional clients. The Group competes with other financial services providers in every segment and every product or service. Our competitors include financial services and advisory companies such as banks (both domestic and global), 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 technology companies large and small.

 

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. We compete on our ability to offer new products and services that align to evolving customer preferences. 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, competition for both deposits and lending continues to be fierce, both from established banks as well as new entrants, including technology firms.  Slowing growth in some sectors such as housing has heightened competitive intensity as financial institutions work to win new customers and retain existing ones.

 

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 and seek to retain existing ones. Competition for deposits and lending remains intense.

 

Outlook
1

 

The Australian economy has continued to grow solidly in 2018. GDP increased by 3.4% for the year to June 2018, comfortably above our estimate of potential growth of 2.75%.

 

Recent GDP growth has been supported by strong population growth, home construction levels remaining higher for longer, solid business investment and healthy export levels.  Government spending has been particularly robust, highlighted by health and infrastructure.  Improved global growth and solid commodity prices have also supported growth.

 

Other measures of economic health remain solid with unemployment recently falling to 5% (down from around 5.5% a year earlier), and inflation remaining well under control at 1.9%.

 

Despite this solid activity, wage growth has remained subdued with nominal earnings up by only 1.8% over the year. With inflation well below target and ongoing questions about consumer spending, the Reserve Bank has kept the cash rate steady since August 2016. In particular household budgets have been impacted by low income growth; falling house prices; high debt levels and high energy prices.

 

In New Zealand, the economy has also been sound with solid growth in agriculture, retail and recreational services. New Zealand GDP growth has held at around 2.7%, with unemployment around 4.5% and inflation near 1.5%.

 

Within Australia, the 2019 outlook is for real GDP growth to ease back potentially to 2.7% before lifting to around 3% in 2020.  This softening in growth is based on the expectation that commodity prices will ease, the housing construction cycle continues its slowdown and consumer spending moderates.  These conditions are also likely to weigh on business investment that is likely to remain below trend.

 

The housing market is likely to remain soft in the year ahead as demand in Sydney and Melbourne markets adjust to affordability and investors respond to falling prices and uncertainty around tax policy. Supply may also ease as more conservative lending policies continue to flow through the system.

 

A sharp rebalancing of interest rate differentials has seen the Australian dollar fall by around 12% against the US dollar. This will particularly support Australia’s services exports and boost the profitability of the resources sector. Public demand is also likely to remain solid as the pipeline of infrastructure projects continues to roll out and the Commonwealth government benefits from a rapidly improving fiscal position. Employment growth is likely to slow from its recent strength to around the level of population growth.  As a result, the unemployment rate is anticipated to hold steady at around 5%.

 

That growth slowdown coupled with ongoing soft wage conditions will see little progress in moving inflation towards the Reserve Bank’s target of 2.5%. Global economic growth is also expected to slow somewhat. Accordingly the Reserve Bank is expected to keep the cash rate on hold at 1.5% in 2019.

 


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


 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

9

 


 

Information on Westpac

 

 


Financial System credit grew by around 4.5% in the year to September 2018 with system housing credit rising 5.4%, and system business credit expanding by 3.8%. Other consumer credit declined by 1.4% over the year - this continues a path of declining consumer credit for a number of years.

 

Given the economic backdrop, and the potential for a further tightening of credit standards, growth in financial system credit in the year to September 2019 is expected to slow to around 3.5%. Within this aggregate, housing growth is forecast to ease to closer to 4.0%, business credit growth is expected to slow to near 3.5% while personal credit growth is likely to contract by 1%.

 

Westpac Group remains focused on executing our vision of being one of the world’s great service companies with our five strategic priorities assisting this transformation. These include:

 

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

 

§
     
 
continuing to build our customer base while also increasing the depth of customer relationships;

 

§
     
 
utilising technology as part of our digital transformation to materially improve efficiency and reduce the Group’s cost to income ratio to below 40%;

 

§
     
 
wealth and small to medium business enterprises will continue to be our areas of targeted growth and will include focusing on growing funds on the Group’s wealth management system, called Panorama, and using new technologies to make business banking even easier to access for customers; and

 

§
     
 
seeking to further build a stronger and more diverse workforce where the best people want to work.

 

Over the last two years we have commenced a number of initiatives to improve Westpac’s reputation.  As part of these initiatives Westpac has already provided for customer payments and refunds where we may not have done the right thing for customers, or have not been able to sufficiently demonstrate that we have done the right thing for customers. Our review of products, related systems and processes will continue into 2019 and it may be that further provisions are required in the future.

 

Following announcements from our regulator, APRA, we have greater clarity on what sort of capital levels we need to be considered ‘unquestionably strong’. APRA have indicated a common equity Tier 1 capital ratio of 10.5% under the current APRA framework would be considered consistent with having an unquestionably strong balance sheet.  At the same time APRA is currently conducting a number of reviews into the calculation of Australia’s capital ratios including changes to risk weighted assets and how Australia’s ratios should be presented against international peers.  Further clarity on these changes is expected in Full Year 2019.  APRA has indicated that they believe banks will be able to meet any changes organically. Banks are expected to be required to meet these new standards by 1 January 2020.

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

 

Looking ahead, with our strong positioning, disciplined growth, solid portfolio of businesses, and good progress on our strategic priorities, Westpac believes it is well positioned to continue delivering sustainable outcomes for shareholders and customers.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Information on Westpac

 

 


Significant developments

 

Corporate significant developments

 

Royal Commission into the banking, superannuation and financial services industries

 

On 14 December 2017, the Australian Government established a Royal Commission into potential misconduct in Australia’s banks and other financial services entities. The terms of reference for the Royal Commission require it to consider (amongst other things) the conduct of banks, insurers, financial service providers, superannuation funds (not including self-managed superannuation funds) and intermediaries between borrowers and lenders, and the effectiveness of Australian regulators in addressing misconduct in financial institutions. The Royal Commission is not required to inquire into matters such as the financial stability of Australia’s banks. A final report is to be provided by the Commission to the Australian Government by 1 February 2019, and an interim report was released and tabled in parliament on 28 September 2018.

 

The Royal Commission is inquiring into potential misconduct and conduct, practices, behaviour or business activities by financial services entities that may fall below community standards and expectations. The Commission has sought and received public submissions as to misconduct issues in financial services and conducted a range of public hearings which have considered case studies of alleged misconduct issues.

 

Westpac has provided the Commission with documents and witness statements and made submissions in all rounds of the Royal Commission to date. The Interim Report of the Commission released on 28 September 2018 outlined a range of views the Commissioner has formed to date based on the information and hearings so far and has requested submissions on key areas of policy that might affect or address misconduct in the financial services industry.  Many of those matters could have significant impacts on particular entities (including Westpac) and the financial services industry generally, as well as affecting the financial performance of financial institutions, including banks. Recommendations may include matters which could cause structural change to the financial services industry and/or business models used in the industry, changes to the compensation and incentive structures within the financial services industry, and changes involving the way financial services are regulated. Westpac made submissions in relation to the questions posed in the Interim Report on 26 October 2018.

 

The Commission will ultimately make findings and recommendations having considered the submissions Counsel Assisting, relevant financial institutions, other relevant bodies including regulators and the general public have made during the course of the proceedings of the Commission. The Commission’s findings and recommendations may include recommendations as to civil or criminal prosecutions that should be conducted against financial institutions and individuals, recommendations as to legislative reform and in respect of matters which regulatory or other policy bodies should consider.

 

In the event that the Federal Government supports recommended regulatory changes, the Royal Commission may result in changes to legislation and regulation. The

Royal Commission is also considering the regulation and enforcement practices of our regulators. Any findings or recommendations made by the Royal Commission are likely to have and could continue to prompt regulators to commence investigations into various financial services entities including Westpac. Those steps could subsequently result in administrative or enforcement action being taken. The Commission may also prompt our regulators to alter their existing policies and practices (including increasing their expectations for entities that they regulate, including Westpac) and increase the number of potential contraventions they choose to publicly litigate rather than otherwise resolve, which could harm our reputation and increase our liabilities related to legal proceedings. There is also a risk that matters considered during the Royal Commission have resulted in or could encourage civil claims against financial institutions including class actions.

 

Parliamentary inquiries 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 Banking Association (ABA) action plan. Westpac attended public hearings of the Parliamentary Review on 6 October 2016, 8 March 2017, 11 October 2017 and 11 October 2018.

 

The third report of the Parliamentary Review was published on 7 December 2017. In its third report, the Committee made recommendations to ensure merchants have the choice of how to process “tap and go” payments on dual network cards, that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as part of its inquiry into residential mortgage products should assess the repricing of interest-only mortgages that occurred in June 2017, that legislation is introduced to mandate banks’ participation in Comprehensive Credit Reporting (discussed below) and that the Attorney-General should review the threshold transaction reporting obligations in light of the issues identified in a case brought by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

 

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 reporting date has been revised to 15 November 2018 to allow for the interim report of the Royal Commission to be handed down.

 

In addition to the reviews and inquiries mentioned above, the ACCC is undertaking a specific inquiry into the pricing of residential mortgages by those banks affected by the Bank Levy (including Westpac), which include monitoring the extent to which the Bank Levy is passed on to customers. An interim report was published in March 2018 and a final report is due in November 2018.


 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

11

 


 

Information on Westpac

 

 


The inquiry into the pricing of residential mortgages is the first task of the Financial Services Unit (FSU), established by the ACCC in 2017 to undertake regular inquiries into specific financial services competition issues. The FSU has commenced market studies work from July 2018. The precise scope of that work has not yet been determined, and could include a review of the impact of regulatory measures which affect the ability of smaller banks to compete against the major banks, barriers to entry in financial services markets and consumer switching.

 

On 2 October 2018, the ACCC announced it was holding an inquiry into the supply of foreign currency conversion services in Australia. The inquiry is the second task of the FSU, and will examine the pricing of foreign currency conversion services and evaluate whether there are impediments to effective price competition in the sector. A report is due to be provided by the ACCC to the Treasurer by 31 May 2019.

 

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

 

APRA self-assessment

 

On 1 May 2018, in the context of the publication of the final report in relation to the prudential inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, APRA indicated that all regulated financial institutions would benefit from conducting a self-assessment into their frameworks and practices in relation to governance, culture and accountability. For large financial institutions such as Westpac, APRA noted it will also be seeking written assessments in relation to these matters that have been reviewed and endorsed by their Board. Westpac’s self-assessment is currently underway and the report is due to APRA on 30 November 2018.

 

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 (FSI). The terms of reference were broad and required the Productivity Commission to review competition in Australia’s financial system with a view to improving consumer outcomes, 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 Productivity Commission released its final report on 3 August 2018 in which it found that financial system regulation since the Global Financial Crisis had favoured stability over competition. A number of the Productivity Commission’s recommendations were aimed at addressing this perceived regulatory imbalance, including that:

 

§
                
the Australian Government should implement an open banking system (discussed below);

 

§
                
the ACCC should receive a mandate to ‘champion’ competition in the financial system;

 

§
                
trail commissions, volume-based commissions, campaign-based commissions and volume-based payments should be banned in mortgage broking and

clawback of commissions from brokers restricted to a maximum 2 year period;

 

§
                
all brokers, aggregators, lenders and their employees who provide home loans to customers should have a clear legally-backed best interest obligation to their clients;

 

§
                
all banks should appoint a Principal Integrity Officer (PIO) obliged by law to report directly to their board on the alignment of any payments made by the institution with the new customer best interest duty. The PIO would also have an obligation to report independently to ASIC in instances in which a board is not responsive to their advice;

 

§
                
the ACCC should undertake five-yearly market studies on the effect of vertical and horizontal integration on competition in the financial system. The first of these studies should commence in 2019 and include establishing a robust evidence base of integration activity in the financial system;

 

§
                
ASIC should require all lenders to provide those borrowers that are levied with lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) with the option of such insurance being levied once at the commencement of their home loan (whether paid as a lump sum or as deferred payments) or it being levied annually over the first 6 years of their loan, including requiring them to also provide borrowers with transparency in relation to the comparison of these options;

 

§
                
where LMI is levied at the commencement of the home loan, all lenders should be required to set a schedule of refunds on the cost of LMI when borrowers choose to refinance or pay out their loan within 6 years of the loan being originated. The refund schedule should be made available to the borrower before any fee or charge is levied; and

 

§
                 
the Payments System Board should introduce a ban on card payment interchange fees by mid-2019.

 

ASIC action on compliance breaches with fees disclosure and renewal notices

 

On 12 October 2018, ASIC announced a review of compliance with requirements for Fee Disclosure Statements (FDS) and Renewal Notices. ASIC advised that it has received a number of breach reports from licensees which indicate they may have failed to comply with the FDS and Renewal Notice requirements that were implemented as part of the FoFA reforms. These reports are currently being investigated by ASIC, and ASIC may take enforcement action where breaches are substantiated. In addition to investigating these particular instances, ASIC announced that it will test compliance with FDS and Renewal Notice requirements across the financial advice sector.

 

ASIC will report its findings in 2019.


 

 

 

 

 

12

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Information on Westpac

 

 


Residential mortgage lending - reviews by and engagement with regulators

 

In recent years, regulators have focused on aspects of residential mortgage lending standards across the industry.

 

APRA has been looking at, and speaking publicly about, the broader issue of bank serviceability standards pertaining to residential mortgage lending.

 

During the year, Westpac further strengthened its controls on mortgage serviceability requirements. This work has been guided by the findings identified through the 2016/17 targeted review of data used in residential mortgage serviceability assessments, which was undertaken by Westpac (and other large ADIs) at APRA’s request. The focus of the review was on the adequacy of controls used to ensure borrower information in serviceability assessments was complete and accurate. Westpac engaged an independent third party to undertake the targeted review which was completed in May 2017. Based on the results of their evaluation of the design and operating effectiveness of the controls in place, they issued a qualified opinion on the basis of 8 of the 10 control objectives stipulated by APRA. While they found that Westpac had implemented a wide range of controls related to verifying certain categories of borrower information (particularly in relation to income), they noted that Westpac should give further consideration to strengthening controls in certain areas, such as declared expenses and other debts.

 

Westpac is continuing to engage with APRA in relation to its progress in strengthening these controls together with its risk management framework for residential mortgage lending, including in relation to oversight, operating systems and controls, and assurance.

 

Additionally, in line with APRA’s letter to ADIs dated 26 April 2018 (Embedding Sound Residential Mortgage Lending Practices), Westpac has been engaging with APRA in relation to its residential mortgage lending policies and practices.

 

In the mortgage area, ASIC continues to focus on interest only mortgage origination and high risk customer groups (such as customers with reverse mortgages). ASIC has also reviewed public statements by some banks (including Westpac) about interest rate changes, following the introduction of APRA’s macro-prudential limits for ADIs in respect of interest only lending flows. Westpac is working with ASIC on their reviews in these areas.

 

Anti-Money laundering and counter-terrorism financing reforms and initiatives

 

On 13 December 2017, the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Act 2017 (Cth) (Amendment Act) became effective and introduced a number of reforms to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth) (AML/CTF Act), including:

 

§
                 
expanding the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre’s (AUSTRAC) power to issue infringement notices and remedial directions;

 

§
                 
refining the ‘tipping-off’ provisions so that reporting entities can share information with certain related bodies corporate; and

§
                 
regulating digital currency exchange providers.

 

Many of the changes introduced by the Amendment Act arise from a recent review of Australia’s AML/CTF framework (Statutory Review), the findings of which were set out in the Report on the Statutory Review of the AML/CTF Act and Associated Rules and Regulations, which was tabled in Parliament on 29 April 2016. The Statutory Review took into account the relevant findings of the Financial Action Task Force’s mutual evaluation of Australia’s AML/CTF regime. The Government has published a ‘Project Plan’ for implementing the reforms recommended by the Statutory Review, and it is likely further reforms will be legislated in the near future.

 

In addition to the potential for ongoing legislative change, over the past few years AUSTRAC has increasingly emphasised its role in collecting, analysing and disseminating financial intelligence data to its law enforcement partners. One way AUSTRAC has sought to do this is through greater collaboration with the financial services industry. In 2016, AUSTRAC created the Fintel Alliance, an initiative which involves AUSTRAC, various financial services entities (including Westpac) and public sector bodies collaborating with the aim of developing and sharing actionable intelligence and insights that address key AML/CTF risks.

 

In this environment of ongoing legislative reform, regulatory change and increased industry focus, Westpac continues to engage with AUSTRAC and has been undertaking a review of its AML/CTF control environment that is designed to consider and assess our AML/CTF policies, the completeness of data feeding into our AML/CTF systems and our anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing processes and controls. Westpac has been regularly updating AUSTRAC on the progress of this review and has commenced implementing a number of improvements to its AML/CTF policies, systems and controls together with related remediation work in respect of certain reporting practices. These efforts have related to matters such as customer on-boarding and ongoing customer due diligence.

 

The Group has recently self-reported to AUSTRAC a failure to report a large number of International Funds Transfer Instructions (IFTIs) (as required under Australia’s AML/CTF Act) in relation to one WIB product. These IFTIs relate to batch instructions received from 2009 until recently from a small number of correspondent banks for payments made predominantly to beneficiaries in Australia in Australian dollars. Through the product, Westpac facilitates payments on behalf of clients of certain of its correspondent banks. The majority of the payments are low value and made by Government pension funds and corporates. The Group is investigating and working with AUSTRAC to remediate the failure to report IFTIs. Further details regarding the consequences of the failure to comply with financial crime obligations are set out in the Risk Factors section of this report.


 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

13

 


 

Information on Westpac

 

 


Banking Executive Accountability Regime

 

On 1 July 2018 the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR), which applies to large ADIs such as Westpac, came into effect. The Government’s stated intention of BEAR 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).

 

BEAR involves 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, to give APRA accountability statements for each accountable person detailing that individual’s roles and responsibilities and to report any breaches by the ADI or an accountable person of their respective accountability obligations to APRA; 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’.

 

Westpac implemented BEAR, including filing all required documents with APRA, by the required date of 1 July 2018.

 

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Enforcement Review Taskforce

 

On 19 October 2016, the Australian Government announced that the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce (Taskforce) would conduct a review into the suitability of ASIC’s existing regulatory tools (including the penalties available) and whether they need to be strengthened.

 

The Taskforce completed its report in December 2017 and made 50 recommendations to the Australian Government. On 20 April 2018, the Australian Government announced that it has agreed, or agreed in principle, to all 50 recommendations and will prioritise the implementation of 30 of those recommendations. The remaining 20 recommendations will be considered with the final report of the Royal Commission.

 

The Taskforce made recommendations on, among other things:

 

§
                
reforms to the mandatory breach reporting framework including 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;

 

§
                
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;

 

§
                
expanding ASIC’s powers to ban individuals working in financial services businesses where they are found to be unfit, improper or incompetent;

 

§
                
increasing fines and strengthening penalties for corporate and financial sector misconduct;

 

§
                
providing ASIC with the power to issue directions to financial services licensees and credit licensees in relation to the conduct of their business; and

 

§
                
enhancing ASIC’s search warrant powers to provide them with greater flexibility to use seized materials and granting ASIC access to telecommunications intercept material.

 

Progress has been made in implementing these recommendations, including:

 

§
                 
ASIC releasing a report on 25 September 2018 on the breach reporting processes of 12 financial services groups, including Westpac;

 

§
                
the Australian Government publicly endorsing the proposal by the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce to expand ASIC’s powers in respect of corporate and financial services misconduct, including the criminal and civil penalties which apply, and introducing the Treasury Laws Amendment (Strengthening Corporate and Financial Sector Penalties) Bill 2018 (Cth) (discussed below); and

 

§
                
the Australian Government announcing an increase in ASIC’s funding in order to introduce a close and continuous monitoring program, in which ASIC embeds staff within the institutions which it supervises.

 

Enhanced penalties for corporate and financial sector misconduct

 

On 24 October 2018, the Australian Government introduced into Parliament the Treasury Laws Amendment (Strengthening Corporate & Financial Sector Penalties) Bill 2018 (Cth), which proposes to strengthen penalties for corporate and financial sector misconduct consistent with the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce recommendations. If passed in its current form, the Bill will:

 

§
                
update the penalties for certain criminal offences in legislation administered by ASIC, including increasing the maximum imprisonment penalties for certain criminal offences, introducing a formula to calculate financial penalties for criminal offences, and removing imprisonment as a penalty but increasing the financial penalties for all strict and absolute liability offences;

 

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

 

§
                
introduce the ability for courts to make relinquishment orders for civil penalty provision contraventions;

 

§
                
modernise and expand the civil penalty regime by making a wider range of offences subject to civil penalties;

 

§
                
harmonise and expand the infringement notice regime;


 

 

 

 

 

14

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Information on Westpac

 

 


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

 

§
                
ensure the courts prioritise compensating victims over ordering the payment of financial penalties.

 

Product design and distribution obligations and product intervention power

 

On 21 December 2017, the Australian Treasury released draft legislation that would amend the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) in order to grant ASIC a product intervention power and introduce a new ‘principles-based’ product design and distribution obligation on issuers and distributors. A further exposure draft was released for consultation in July 2018.

 

Westpac lodged a submission with the Australian Treasury on 12 February 2018 and on 16 August 2018 in response to the draft legislation and its revision respectively.

 

On 20 September 2018, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Powers) Bill 2018 (Cth) was introduced into Parliament. The Bill is currently before the House of Representatives. Exposure draft regulations in relation to the Bill were released for consultation on 23 October 2018.

 

Australian Banking 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 Banking Code of Practice; and

 

§
                
supporting ASIC as a strong regulator.

 

On 17 April 2018, the independent governance expert overseeing the ABA action plan, Mr Ian McPhee, released his eighth and final report titled, Australian banking industry: Package of initiatives, which noted that banks have made good progress in delivering the initiatives, with most initiatives now implemented. Reporting by the banks to Ian McPhee about their implementation of key industry initiatives has now concluded. The ABA has committed to member banks providing further bi-annual external reporting on their implementation progress.

On 31 July 2018, ASIC approved the Banking Code of Practice with an implementation date of 1 July 2019. The new code replaces the previous version, the Code of Banking Practice 2013.

 

Westpac has fully implemented the recommendations from the Retail Banking Remuneration review chaired by Mr Stephen Sedgwick on 1 October 2018 for our employees, two years ahead of schedule.

 

Changes to wealth business

 

On 20 June 2018, BT Financial Advice announced that its customers operating through the Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA networks will benefit from the removal of grandfathered payments attributable to their BT products. The change to remove the majority of grandfathered payments occurred on 1 October 2018 with the removal of certain more complex grandfathered payments to follow shortly. The introduction of the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms in 2013 included a prospective ban on conflicted remuneration. Generally, arrangements in place prior to the commencement of FoFA were grandfathered, permitting the continuation of grandfathered payments, such as commissions, under those arrangements.

 

On 23 July 2018, BT Financial Group announced three new initiatives:

 

§
                
significant pricing changes to its flagship platform, BT Panorama, so that the pricing structure is significantly lower, simpler and no longer based on scale;

 

§
                
the launch of a ‘compact’ BT Panorama offer for simpler investment; and

 

§
                
an online adviser services hub, BT Open Services.

 

Open banking regime

 

On 9 February 2018, the final report of the Review into Open Banking in Australia was released. The report makes 50 recommendations in total, including recommendations on:

 

§
                
the regulatory framework to support open banking;

 

§
                
what data should be shared and with whom;

 

§
                
what safeguards are needed to inspire confidence in data sharing;

 

§
                
how data should be transferred; and

 

§
                
how open banking should be rolled out.

 

On 9 May 2018 the Government announced that it agreed with the recommendations of the report, and that it would phase in open banking in stages with all major banks (including Westpac) required to make data available on credit and debit cards, together with deposit and transaction accounts by 1 July 2019 and on mortgages by 1 February 2020. Data on all products recommended by the report will be required to be made available by 1 July 2020. All remaining banks will be required to implement open banking with a 12-month delay on the timelines set for the major banks. The ACCC will be empowered to adjust timeframes if necessary.

 

On 15 August 2018, the Australian Treasury released draft legislation that would amend the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the


 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

15

 


 

Information on Westpac

 

 


Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010
(Cth) to introduce a consumer data right which will apply to particular sectors designated by the Treasurer, in response to which Westpac lodged a submission. A further draft of the legislation (including a draft designation) was released by the Australian Treasury on 24 September 2018. The banking sector is the first sector to which the right will apply. A Consumer Data Right Rules Framework was also released by the ACCC in September 2018 and Westpac lodged a submission on the Framework on 12 October 2018.

 

Harper Competition Reforms

 

In November 2017, the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Competition Policy Review) Act 2017 (Cth) and the inter-related Competition and Consumer Amendment (Misuse of Market Power) Act 2017 (Cth) came into effect, making significant changes to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) following recommendations by the Competition Policy Review which was chaired by Professor Ian Harper.

 

These reforms included:

 

§
                
broadening the scope of the existing prohibition on misuse of market power. Corporations with substantial market power are prohibited from engaging in any conduct with the purpose or likely effect of substantially lessening competition in a market in which the corporation (or its related bodies corporate) supplies or acquires goods or services;

 

§
                
a new prohibition on engaging in a ‘concerted practice’ that has the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition;

 

§
                
in light of the new concerted practices prohibition, the repeal of the bank-specific prohibition on price signalling;

 

§
                
providing the ACCC with a ‘class exemption’ power which enables it to determine that various provisions in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) do not apply to certain types of conduct;

 

§
                
removing the per se prohibition on third line forcing or ‘third party bundling’ of goods and services unless the conduct is notified to the ACCC.  Instead this practice will be subject to a test of whether the bundling is likely to have the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition; and

 

§
                
streamlining the existing procedure to review proposed mergers.

 

Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR)

 

On 28 March 2018, the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Mandatory Comprehensive Credit Reporting) Bill 2018 (Cth) was introduced into Parliament. Whilst the bill remains in the Senate, if passed in its current form, the bill will mandate the provision of CCR data to credit reporting bodies. Westpac is committed to the use of CCR to support our principles of responsible lending, and as such we voluntarily supplied 55% of our consumer credit accounts on 17 September 2018.

 

Westpac will supply the residual 45% of consumer credit accounts by 17 September 2019. To support our implementation, Westpac is now a signatory of the Principles

of Reciprocity and Data Exchange, which provides governance and most importantly key consumer data protection protocols within the CCR data sharing environment.

 

Financial benchmarks reform

 

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No.5) Act 2018 (Cth) commenced on 12 April 2018 which strengthens the regulation of financial benchmarks. The measures include:

 

§
                
ASIC being 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 being required to hold a new ‘benchmark administrator’ 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) being made a specific criminal offence and subject to civil penalties.

 

Issue of Westpac Capital Notes 5

 

On 13 March 2018, Westpac issued $1.69 billion of securities known as Westpac Capital Notes 5, which qualify as Additional Tier 1 capital under APRA’s capital adequacy framework.

 

Transfer and conversion of Westpac convertible preference shares (CPS)

 

On 13 March 2018, $623 million of CPS were transferred to the Westpac CPS nominated party for $100 each pursuant to the Westpac Capital Notes 5 reinvestment offer. Those CPS were subsequently bought back and cancelled by Westpac.

 

On 3 April 2018, the remaining $566 million of CPS were transferred to the Westpac CPS nominated party for $100 each. Following the transfer, those remaining CPS were converted into 19,189,765 ordinary shares.

 

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 as part of broader processes. On 4 September 2018 Westpac and ASIC agreed to settle the proceedings on the basis of a proposed $35 million penalty and declarations that Westpac contravened the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) (NCCPA). The proposed settlement is subject to Court approval, and involves Westpac accepting that during the relevant period (December 2011 – March 2015), the way that Westpac used the Household Expenditure Measure (HEM) benchmark to assess home loans and the way that Westpac assessed certain interest only loans breached the NCCPA. This meant that during the relevant period, approximately 10,500 home loans should have been referred to manual assessment by a credit officer. A hearing on the proposed settlement was held on 24 October 2018 and judgment has been reserved.


 

 

 

 

 

16

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Information on Westpac

 

 


Outbound scaled advice division proceedings

 

On 22 December 2016, ASIC commenced Federal Court proceedings against BT Funds Management Limited (BTFM) and Westpac Securities Administration Limited 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. The proceedings were heard in February 2018. Judgment is pending.

 

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

 

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

 

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, obtained insurance issued by Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited (WLIS) on the recommendation of financial advisers employed within the Westpac Group. The plaintiffs have alleged that aspects of the financial advice provided by those advisers breached fiduciary and statutory duties owed to the advisers’ clients, including the duty to act in the best interests of the client, and that WLIS was knowingly involved in those alleged breaches.  Westpac and WLIS are defending the proceedings.  These proceedings are currently stayed by order of the Court, pending the outcome of an appeal concerning a procedural issue unrelated to the substantive claims made in the class action.

 

BBSW proceedings

 

Following ASIC’s investigations into the interbank short-term money market and its impact on the setting of the bank bill swap reference rate (BBSW), on 5 April 2016, ASIC commenced civil proceedings against Westpac in the Federal Court of Australia, alleging certain misconduct, including market manipulation and unconscionable conduct. The conduct that was the subject of the proceedings was alleged to have occurred between 6 April 2010 and 6 June 2012. ASIC sought declarations from the court 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. The proceedings were heard in late 2017. On 24 May 2018, Justice Beach found that Westpac had not engaged in market manipulation or misleading or deceptive conduct under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). His Honour also found that there was no ‘trading practice’ of manipulating the

BBSW rate. However, the Court found that Westpac engaged in unconscionable conduct on 4 occasions and that Westpac breached its supervisory duty. Costs and penalties will be determined in the coming months.

 

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.

 

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. In the first 12 months following the introduction of the Bank Levy, Westpac paid $376 million to the Australian Government.

 

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 affect the taxation arrangements for certain ‘hybrid’ regulatory capital instruments issued by Westpac. The Australian provisions were enacted on 24 August 2018 and provide for limited grandfathering of certain previously issued Additional Tier 1 capital securities. The New Zealand provisions were enacted on 27 June 2018 and similarly provide for limited grandfathering of certain previously issued Tier 2 capital securities.

 

APRA’s proposed changes to capital standards

 

The final report of the FSI in 2014 recommended that APRA set capital standards such that the capital ratios of Australian ADIs are “unquestionably strong”.

 

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 has announced that it expects to consult on draft prudential standards giving effect to the new framework in 2018, leading to the determination of final prudential standards in 2019. The new framework is anticipated to take effect in early 2021.

 

During 2018, APRA commenced consultation and issued the following discussion papers:

 

§
                
‘Revision to the Capital Framework for Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions’. The paper included proposed revisions to the capital framework which incorporates the finalisation of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) Basel III reforms in December 2017, as well as other changes to better align the framework to risks, including in relation to


 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

17

 


 

Information on Westpac

 

 


home lending. In relation to proposed traded market risk reforms published by the BCBS (also referred to as “Fundamental Review of the Trading Book”), APRA have advised that it will defer its decision on the scope and timing of any domestic implementation of the market risk framework until after it has been finalised by the BCBS.

 

§
                
‘Leverage Ratio Requirements for Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions’. This discussion paper proposes to impose a minimum leverage ratio requirement of 4% for ADIs that use the internal ratings-based approach to determine capital adequacy from 1 July 2019. Australian banks are currently required to report leverage ratios under the existing requirements as part of Pillar 3 disclosures.

 

§
                
‘Improving the transparency, comparability and flexibility of the ADI capital framework’. The discussion paper outlines options APRA is considering for the presentation of capital ratios, minimum capital requirements and capital instrument triggers. This could result in changes to capital ratios and minimum capital requirements and the Capital Trigger Event level of 5.125% could stay the same or increase. The dollar amount of CET1 surplus above the Capital Trigger Event level of 5.125% will depend on the final option implemented by APRA.  As the proposals are at an early consultation stage it is too soon to determine final impacts.

 

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

 

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 and to establish a framework for minimum loss-absorbing and recapitalisation capacity.

 

On 5 March 2018, legislation came into effect which strengthens APRA’s crisis management powers. 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 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.

 

APRA expects to commence consultation on a framework for minimum loss-absorbing and recapitalisation capacity later in 2018. The intention of this would be to facilitate the orderly resolution of banks and minimise taxpayer support.

 

Macro-prudential regulation

 

From December 2014, APRA began using macro-prudential measures targeting mortgage lending. This included limiting investment property lending growth to below 10%, imposing

additional levels of conservatism in serviceability assessments, and restricting 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 (LVR) 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 22.6% of new mortgage lending for the quarter ended 30 September 2018 (currently 34.7% of Westpac’s overall Australian residential mortgage portfolio as at 30 September 2018).

 

On 26 April 2018, APRA announced its intention to remove the existing 10% limit on investment property lending growth and replace it with more permanent measures to strengthen lending standards. In order to no longer be subject to this limit from 1 July 2018, ADIs will be required to demonstrate to APRA that they have been operating below the 10% limit for at least the past 6 months. In addition, an ADI’s Board will be required to provide an assurance to APRA in relation to its lending policies and practices. Westpac is currently subject to the 10% limit.

 

Net Stable Funding Ratio

 

In December 2016, APRA released an updated prudential standard on liquidity (APS 210) which took effect from 1 January 2018. The revised APS 210 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.

 

Westpac’s NSFR as at 30 September 2018 was 114%, above the NSFR requirement of 100%.

 

Committed Liquidity Facility - annual application

 

The Reserve Bank of Australia makes available to ADIs a Committed Liquidity Facility (CLF) that, subject to qualifying conditions, can be accessed to meet LCR requirements under APS210: Liquidity. Westpac’s CLF allocation has been decreased from $57.0 billion in 2018 to $54.0 billion for 2019.

 

Transition to AASB 9

 

AASB 9: Financial Instruments (AASB 9) will replace AASB 139 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement from 1 October 2018.  AASB 9 includes a forward looking ‘expected credit loss’ impairment model, revised classification and measurement model and modifies the approach to hedge accounting.

 

The adoption of AASB 9 is expected to reduce retained earnings at 1 October 2018 by approximately $709 million (net of tax) primarily due to the increase in impairment provisions under the new standard. The Group continues to assess and refine certain aspects of our impairment provisioning process. There is no significant impact to our regulatory capital.


 

 

 

 

 

 

18

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 

 


 

Information on Westpac

 


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

 

Transition to AASB 15

 

AASB 15: Revenue from Contracts with Customers (AASB 15) will replace AASB 118 Revenue and related Interpretations from 1 October 2018.  AASB 15 provides a systematic approach to revenue recognition by introducing a five-step model governing revenue measurement and recognition.  The application of AASB 15 will not have a material impact on the Group’s net profit or retained earnings.

 

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

 

APRA Prudential Standard APS 222: Associations with Related Entities

 

On 2 July 2018, APRA released a Discussion Paper and consultation draft in relation to prudential standard APS 222: Associations with Related Entities. The Discussion Paper proposes changes to the requirements for ADIs in managing their risks from associations with related parties. The proposals include changes to the definition and measurement of exposures to related entities, prudential limits and broadening the definition of related entities to include substantial shareholders, individual board directors and other related individuals. The proposals are at consultation stage and final details remain unclear.  It is expected that once finalised, the framework will be implemented from 1 January 2020.

 

APRA Prudential Standard CPS 234: Information Security Management

 

On 7 March 2018, APRA released a consultation draft of a new cross-industry prudential standard CPS 234: Information Security Management. APRA announced that the proposed standard is aimed at improving the ability of APRA-regulated entities to detect cyber adversaries and respond swiftly and effectively in the event of a breach.

 

The proposed prudential standard would require APRA-regulated entities to (amongst other things):

 

§
                
define the information security related roles and responsibilities of the board, senior management and governing bodies;

 

§
                
maintain an information security capability that is commensurate with the size and extent of threats the entity faces;

 

§
                
implement information security controls to protect information assets;

 

§
                
undertake regular testing and assurance on the effectiveness of those information security controls;

 

§
                
have mechanisms to detect and respond to information security incidents in a timely manner; and

 

§
                
notify APRA of material information security incidents.

 

APRA announced that it intends to finalise the proposed prudential standard towards the end of 2018, with a view to implementing from 1 July 2019. Westpac continues to enhance its systems and processes to further mitigate cybersecurity risks.

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 material to Westpac. However, it remains difficult to predict the impact that Brexit may have on financial markets, the global economy and the global financial services industry. Westpac has contingency planning in place and is continuing to monitor the implications of Brexit.

 

London Interbank Offered Rate

 

In July 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), announced that it would not require panel banks to continue to submit rates for the calculation of the LIBOR benchmark after 2021. Accordingly, the continuation of LIBOR in its current form will not be guaranteed after 2021, and it is likely that LIBOR will be discontinued or modified by 2021. It is currently uncertain what developments or future changes will occur in the administration of LIBOR or any other benchmarks. Any such developments or changes could impact the return on, value of and market for, securities and other instruments whose returns are linked to any such benchmarks, including those securities or other instruments issued by the Group.

 

European Union General Data Protection Regulation

 

The European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) contains new data protection requirements that came into effect 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 implemented a number of changes and updates to policies and systems prior to the commencement of the GDPR, and those changes to policies and systems are continuing.

 

OTC derivatives reform

 

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

 

Australian standards for risk mitigation practices relating to trading relationship documentation, trade confirmations, portfolio reconciliation and compression and valuation and dispute resolution processes came into force in March 2018 and have now been implemented.

 

Global initial margin requirements commenced on 1 September 2016. These requirements are being introduced in phases until 1 September 2020 and work is underway within Westpac to comply with these regulations.

 

New Zealand

 

Regulatory reforms and significant developments in New Zealand include:


 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

19

 


 

Information on Westpac

 


RBNZ - Revised Outsourcing Policy

 

On 19 September 2017, the RBNZ advised Westpac New Zealand Limited (WNZL) of changes to its conditions of registration that will give effect to the RBNZ’s revised Outsourcing Policy (BS11) (Revised Outsourcing Policy).  Both the changes to the conditions of registration and the Revised Outsourcing Policy came into effect on 1 October 2017.  The Revised Outsourcing Policy sets out requirements that banks need to meet when outsourcing particular functions and services, especially if the service provider is a related party of the bank.  WNZL will have two years before it must fully comply with the requirement to maintain a compendium of outsourcing arrangements and five years to fully comply with other aspects of the Revised Outsourcing Policy.

 

RBNZ Capital Review

 

The RBNZ is undertaking a Bank Capital Adequacy Framework review on the makeup of bank capital.  The RBNZ has now made “in principle” decisions on the risk weighted assets framework, including the introduction of dual reporting, a standardised methodology for operational risk, and capital floors to internal rating models. These changes will be reflected in the revised framework which is scheduled to be released in Q4 2019. The RBNZ will progress the in principle decisions over 2018 and 2019, informed by a quantitative impact study and feedback on the minimum capital settings during Q4 2018.

 

Reform of the regulation of financial advice

 

In July 2016, the New Zealand Government announced plans for changes to the regime regulating financial advice. The new regime is set out in the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill (FSLAB), which had its second reading in Parliament in September 2018. Under FSLAB, 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. Firms will be responsible for ensuring that 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. At this stage, the Code of Conduct is expected to be approved in Q2 2019. There will be a 9-month period from the Code’s approval to initial implementation of the new regime, after which a 2-year safe harbour for competency requirements will apply.

 

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). WNZL has disclosed non-compliance with BS2B (compliance with which is a condition of registration for WNZL) in its quarterly disclosure statements. On 15 November 2017, the RBNZ advised WNZL of changes to its conditions of registration resulting from the review. The changes to WNZL’s conditions of registration came into effect on 31 December 2017 and increase the minimum Total Capital ratio, Tier 1 Capital ratio

and Common Equity Tier 1 Capital ratio of WNZL and its controlled entities by 2%. WNZL has also undertaken to the RBNZ to maintain the Total Capital ratio of WNZL and its controlled entities above 15.1%. WNZL and its controlled entities retain an appropriate amount of capital to comply with the increased minimum ratios. The RBNZ requires WNZL to sufficiently address non-compliance issues by 30 June 2019.  A remediation plan has been provided to the RBNZ. WNZL is providing regular updates on the scope of its remediation activity to the RBNZ to ensure compliance by 30 June 2019.

 

Review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act

 

In November 2017, the New Zealand Government announced it will undertake a review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989 (Act) (RBNZ Review).  The RBNZ Review aims to ensure the RBNZ’s monetary and financial policy framework still provides the most efficient and effective model for New Zealand.  The RBNZ Review will consist of two phases.  Phase 1 focuses on whether the RBNZ’s decision-making process for monetary policy is robust, and draft legislation for the proposed Phase 1 related changes to the Act has been published.  The terms of reference for Phase 2 were released in June 2018 and will consider broader issues, including the macro-prudential framework, the current prudential supervision model and trans-Tasman coordination. The first consultation on Phase 2 was issued on 1 November 2018.

 

Residential Mortgage Bond Collateral Standard Review

 

When the RBNZ lends to banks and other counterparties it does so against ‘eligible collateral’ (mortgage bonds). In New Zealand, mortgage bonds are not generally traded. On 17 December 2017, the RBNZ published an issues paper proposing an enhanced mortgage bond standard aimed at supporting confidence and liquidity in the financial system, and a more standardised and transparent framework for mortgage bonds, which would improve their quality and make them more marketable and a new format for mortgage bonds. The RBNZ is engaging with industry to develop this new mortgage bond standard.

 

RBNZ/FMA – Financial Services Conduct & Culture Review

 

In May 2018, the RBNZ and FMA commenced a review in respect of New Zealand’s 10 major banks & 15 life insurers, including WNZL and Westpac Life-NZ-Limited, to explain why conduct issues highlighted by the Australian Royal Commission are not present in New Zealand. WNZL and Westpac Life have provided the regulators with information in relation to this review. An industry thematic review report for the banks is expected to be released in November 2018 and for the life insurers in December 2018.


 

 

 

 

 

20

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Information on Westpac

 


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 has recently received new and strengthened powers under the 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 discretion is then applied to that approach, which has resulted in Australia’s capital requirements being more stringent. Refer to ‘Capital resources – Basel Capital Accord’ in Section 2.

 

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

 

ASIC is the national regulator of Australian companies and consumer protection within the financial sector. Its primary responsibility is to regulate and enforce company, consumer credit, financial markets and financial products and services laws that protect consumers, investors and creditors. With respect to financial services, it promotes fairness and transparency by providing consumer protection, using regulatory powers to enforce laws relating to deposit-taking activities, general insurance, life insurance, superannuation, retirement savings accounts, securities (such as shares, debentures and managed investments) and futures contracts and financial advice. ASIC has responsibility for supervising trading on Australia’s domestic licensed markets and of trading participants. 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 (Cth). The ASX has responsibility for the oversight of listed entities under the ASX Listing Rules and for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the ASX Operating Rules by its market, clearing and settlement participants. ASX is now also the benchmark administrator of BBSW.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

§
                
submitting an annual compliance report.

 

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


 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

21

 


 

Information on Westpac

 


New Zealand

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

United States

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Westpac and some of its affiliates are engaged in various activities that are subject to regulation by other US federal

regulatory agencies, including the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the National Futures Association.

 

Anti-money laundering regulation and related requirements

 

Australia

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

United States

 

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

 

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

 

Legal proceedings

 

Our entities are defendants from time to time in legal proceedings arising from the conduct of our business. Material legal proceedings, if any, are described in Note 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.


 

 

 

 

22

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Corporate governance

 


Introduction

 

This Corporate Governance Statement, which has been approved by the Board, describes our corporate governance framework, policies and practices as at 5 November 2018.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

New Zealand

 

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

 

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

 

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 2018.

 

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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

23

 


 

Corporate governance

 

 

 

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
.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Corporate governance

 


Board, Committees and oversight of management

 

The roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of the Board and Committees were amended during the year by updating the Board and Committee charters.

 

Board of Directors

 

Roles and responsibilities

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

§
                
evaluating Board performance and determining Board size and composition;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

§
                
evaluating the performance of the CEO;

 

§
                
succession planning for the CEO and Group Executives;

 

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

 

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

 

§
                
determining our dividend policy;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

§
                
overseeing and monitoring customer complaints.

 

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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

25

 


 

Corporate governance

 

 


Independence

 

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

 

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.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Corporate governance

 

 

Size and membership of Board Committees as at 30 September 2018

 

 

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 Non-
executive 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

ü

Chair

ü

Craig Dunn

Non-executive, Independent

 

ü

ü

Chair

ü

 

Peter Hawkins

Non-executive, Independent

ü

ü

 

ü

Peter Marriott

Non-executive, Independent

Chair

ü

ü

ü

 

ü

Peter Nash

Non-executive, Independent

ü

ü

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

27

 


 

Corporate governance

 


 

Chairman

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

§
                 
overseeing Board succession;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

CEO

 

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

 

§
                 
leadership of the management team;

 

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

 

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

 

Board meetings

 

The Board had ten scheduled meetings for the financial year ended 30 September 2018, 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 2018 are reported in Section 9 of the Directors’ report.

Nomination and appointment

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

§
                 
developing and implementing succession planning for 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;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Board skills, experience and attributes

 

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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Corporate governance

 

 

Figure 1 – Board skills, experience and attributes as at 30 September 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

29

 


 

Corporate governance

 

 


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

 

Board appointments are also made with regard to the Group’s Service Revolution vision and 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, Legal & Secretariat
2
.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2
    Rebecca Lim’s role and title was changed from Group Executive, Compliance, Legal & Secretariat to Group Executive, Legal & Secretariat effective from 1 October 2018.

 


 

 

 

 

30

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Corporate governance

 

 


Company Secretaries

 

Westpac has two Company Secretaries:

 

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

 

§
                 
The Group Company Secretary also attends Board and Board Committee meetings and is responsible for the operation of the secretariat function, including 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 2018 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 2018’ 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 2018 is reported in Section 9 of the Directors’ report. All Board Committees are able to meet more frequently as necessary. Each Board Committee is entitled to the resources and information it requires and has direct access to our employees and advisers. The CEO attends all Board Committee meetings, except where he has a material personal interest in a matter being considered. Senior executives and other selected employees are invited to attend Board Committee meetings as required. All Directors can receive all Board Committee papers and can attend any Board Committee meeting, provided there is no conflict of interest.

Performance

 

Board, Board Committees and Directors

 

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

 

The review process conducted in 2018 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, priorities and continuing education.

 

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

 

Management

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Management performance evaluations for the financial year ended 30 September 2018 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


 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

31

 


 

 

Corporate governance

 


position and identity and align business values with those of the relevant communities served;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Ethical and responsible decision-making

 

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

 

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

 

Our Values

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

§
                 
achievement – we strive for excellence and deliver results.

 

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

Our Compass

 

We have developed Our Compass, which captures Our Vision, Values, Behaviours and the non-negotiables of our Code of Conduct, to consistently guide us in everything we do.

 

Our Compass is a simple framework to help our people display the right behaviours and make the right decisions and incorporates:

 

§
                 
Our Vision – why we are here

 

§
                 
Our Values – how we behave

 

§
                 
Our Service Promise – how we serve

 

§
                 
Our Code of Conduct – how we deliver

 

Code of Conduct and Principles for Doing Business

 

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

 

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

 

§
                 
we comply with laws and with our policies;

 

§
                 
we do the right thing by our customers;

 

§
                 
we respect confidentiality and do not misuse information;

 

§
                 
we value and maintain our professionalism;

 

§
                 
we work as a team; and

 

§
                 
we manage conflicts of interest responsibly.

 

The Code 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;


 

 

 

 

 

32

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

 

Corporate governance

 


§
                 
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.

 

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

 

Conflicts of interest

 

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

 

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

 

Concern reporting and whistleblower protection

 

Under the Westpac Group Speaking Up Policy, we encourage our employees, contractors, secondees, former employees, brokers, service providers (such as auditors, accountants and consultants) and our suppliers to raise any concerns about 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


 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

33

 


 

 

Corporate governance

 


support. Westpac does not tolerate retaliation or adverse action related to a whistleblowing disclosure.

 

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

 

Securities trading

 

Under the Westpac Group Securities Trading Policy, Directors, employees, secondees and contractors (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);

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Customer Advocate

 

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

 

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

 

Anti-Bribery and Corruption

 

Westpac requires compliance with anti-bribery and corruption (AB&C) laws in all markets and jurisdictions in which it operates. These laws include, but are not limited to, the Australian Criminal Code Act 1995, the UK Bribery Act 2010 and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977. Where a conflict arises between applicable country AB&C legislative requirements, Westpac’s position is that it will always adopt the more onerous requirement.

 

Westpac’s Anti-Bribery and Corruption Compliance Program includes a global Anti-Bribery & Corruption Policy, with Board endorsement and oversight and clear emphasis that Westpac does not tolerate the giving or receiving of bribes, including the making of facilitation payments. Westpac expects that books and records must be fair and accurate and reasonably detailed. We expect all employees to comply with these principles in the performance of their services for or on behalf of Westpac. We also require third parties who provide services for or on behalf of Westpac to comply with all applicable AB&C laws.

 

Slavery and Human Trafficking

 

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

 

The statement is available on our website.

 

Diversity

 

Westpac has an Inclusion & Diversity Policy that sets out the inclusion and diversity initiatives for the Group. This is


 

 

 

 

 

34

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

 

Corporate governance

 

 


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 and the 2018-20 Inclusion & Diversity strategy are to ensure that the Group:

 

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

 

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

 

§
                 
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 and our annual employee survey (which includes questions that constitute an ‘Inclusion Index’).

 

Our Inclusive Leadership program ensures we are investing in the right capabilities for an inclusive culture. The majority of senior leaders and Group Executives have already completed the program in 2018.

 

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 2018, the proportion of women employed by the Group was as follows:

 

§
                 
Board of Directors
1
: 22%;

 

§
                 
leadership
2
 roles: 50%; and

 

§
                 
total Westpac workforce: 57%.

 

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

 

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

 

§
                 
flexible work hours;

 

§
                 
mobile working;

 

§
                 
working part-time; and

 

§
                 
job sharing.

 

In addition, Westpac offers a variety of leave options that support flexibility, including parental leave, wellbeing and lifestyle leave and domestic violence support leave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1
          
Following the appointment of Anita Fung on 1 October 2018, the proportion of women on the Board of Directors is 30%.

 

2
          
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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

35

 


 

Corporate governance

 

 


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 assurance provider also assesses whether our sustainability reporting is prepared in accordance with AA1000 and the GRI Standards.

 

Financial reporting

 

Approach to financial reporting

 

Our approach to financial reporting reflects three core principles:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The Board delegates oversight responsibility for 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 set out in its charter, key responsibilities of the Board Audit Committee are:

 

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

 

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

 

§
                 
overseeing the performance of the internal audit function;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

§
                 
any significant financial reporting issues and judgments made in connection with the preparation of the financial reports;

 

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

 

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

 

In addition, the Board Audit Committee maintains an ongoing dialogue with management, the external auditor and Group Audit, including regarding those matters that are likely to be designated as 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;

 

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

 

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

 

§
                 
management and the external auditor regarding any correspondence with regulators or government agencies, and any published reports which raise


 

 

 

 

 

36

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Corporate governance

 


material issues or could impact on matters regarding the Westpac Group’s financial statements or accounting policies; and

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Financial knowledge

 

The Board Audit Committee comprises 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 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 2018, that state that in all material respects:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

External auditor

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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 2018. 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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

37

 


 

Corporate governance

 


Group Audit (internal audit)

 

Group Audit is Westpac’s internal audit function and includes the Credit Portfolio & Model 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 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 and the Executive Team.

 

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

 

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

Shareholder communication and participation

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

We regard our Annual General Meeting (AGM) as an important opportunity for engaging and communicating with shareholders, and rotate the location of our AGM throughout capital cities to give as many shareholders as possible the opportunity to attend. 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 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; establish a view of the Group’s current and future risk position relative to its risk appetite and capital strength; review and approve frameworks, policies and processes for managing risk; and review and, where appropriate, approve risks beyond the approval discretion provided to management.

 

Westpac’s Risk Management Strategy and Risk Appetite Statement were reviewed by the Board Risk & Compliance Committee and were approved by the Board during the financial year ended 30 September 2018.


 

 

 

 

 

38

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Corporate governance

 


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

 

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

 

We have adopted 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 Group’s depositors, policyholders and investors by maintaining a balance sheet with sound credit quality and buffers over regulatory minimums;

 

§
                 
deliver suitable, fair and clear outcomes for our customers that support market integrity;

 

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

 

§
                 
meet our regulatory and compliance obligations.

 

The 1st Line of Defence – 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

 

Risk and compliance advisory, control, assurance and monitoring functions established frameworks, policies, limits and processes for the management, monitoring and reporting of risk. The 2nd Line evaluates and provides assurance over the adequacy and effectiveness of 1st Line controls and application of frameworks and policies and monitors the 1st Line’s progress toward remediation of identified deficiencies. The 2nd Line can also approve certain risks outside of the authorities granted to the 1st Line.

 

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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

39

 


 

Corporate governance

 


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 our provision of 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, such as financial crime. This definition is aligned to the regulatory (Basel II) definition of Operational Risk which includes legal and regulatory risk but excludes strategic 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 risks arising from the strategic objectives and business plans;

 

§
                 
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;

 

§
                 
insurance risk
– the risk in our insurance entities of claims costs being greater than expected, due to a failure in product design, underwriting, reinsurance

arrangements or an increase in severity and frequency of insured events;

 

 

§
                 
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 (Advanced IRB) approach for credit risk and the Advanced Measurement Approach (AMA) for operational risk when calculating regulatory capital.

 

Material exposure to economic, environmental and social sustainability risks

 

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

 

Board Risk & Compliance Committee

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


 

 

 

 

 

40

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Corporate governance

 


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

 

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

 

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

 

§
                 
operational risk
– approving key policies supporting both the Operational Risk Management Framework and the Financial Crime Risk Management Framework, and monitoring the performance of operational and financial crime risk management and controls;

 

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

 

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

 

The Board Risk & Compliance Committee also:

 

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

 

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

§
                 
reviews and approves other risk management frameworks
1
 and/or the monitoring of performance under those frameworks (as appropriate);

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Remuneration

 

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

 

The Board Remuneration Committee has been in place for the whole of the financial year and is comprised of 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

 

 

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

 


 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

41

 


 

Corporate governance

 

 


(Group Remuneration Policy) and assesses the Group Remuneration Policy’s effectiveness and its compliance with laws, regulations and prudential standards;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

§
                 
oversees general remuneration practices across the Group.

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

 

The Board Remuneration Committee also reviews and makes recommendations to the Board for the reduction or lapsing of incentive-based equity grants to employees where:

 

§
                 
subsequent information or circumstances indicate that the grant was not justified; or

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

42

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

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

§
     
 
makes an annual declaration to APRA on risk management.

Board Risk & Compliance Committee (BRCC)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Board Committees with a risk focus

Board Audit Committee

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

Board Remuneration Committee

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

Board Technology Committee

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

Executive Team

§
     
 
executes the Board-approved strategy;

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

§
     
 
monitors key risks within each business unit, capital adequacy and the Westpac 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, compliance and conduct 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

43

 


 

Corporate governance

 

 

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 are considered from a human resources, risk, finance, legal and compliance perspective in line with any external requirements;

§
     
 
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 employees, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

44

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Corporate governance

 

 

Risk Management Governance Structure (continued)

 

Risk and compliance functions

Risk Function

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

§
     
 
documents and monitors risk appetite across all risk types and classes (including financial crime), risk limits and authorities;

§
     
 
notifies the Board or Board Committees of any significant breach, or material deviation from the Risk Management Strategy, supporting risk management frameworks and policies or risk appetite;

§
     
 
monitors and provides advice on risk policies, procedures, incidents and issues including emerging risk issues;

§
     
 
monitors and provides assurance including testing risk controls as the 2nd Line of Defence;

§
     
 
monitors and maintains the required resources and capabilities (including Risk systems and Risk data) to support the Risk Management Strategy; and

§
     
 
oversees the management of credit risk and making credit decisions in accordance with delegations from the Board.

Compliance Function

§
     
 
assists the Board, Board Committees and senior management to establish, maintain and review the compliance management framework;

§
     
 
designs, implements and monitors key compliance processes and controls in support of the compliance management framework;

§
     
 
provides independent advice on the design, implementation, operating effectiveness and monitoring of controls to ensure compliance with internal, regulatory and legislative requirements;

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

§
     
 
reports on the performance of the compliance management framework; and

§
     
 
maintains 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-assessment processes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

45

 


 

Directors’ report

 

 

Our Directors present their report together with the financial statements of the Group for the financial year ended 30 September 2018.

 

1. Directors

 

The names of the persons who have been Directors, or appointed as Directors, during the period since 1 October 2017 and up to the date of this report are: Lindsay Philip Maxsted, Brian Charles Hartzer, Nerida Frances Caesar, Ewen Graham Wolseley Crouch, Catriona Alison Deans (Alison Deans), Craig William Dunn, Robert George Elstone (retired as a Director on 8 December 2017), Yuen Mei Anita Fung (Anita Fung) (Director from 1 October 2018), Peter John Oswin Hawkins, Peter Ralph Marriott and Peter Stanley Nash (Director from 7 March 2018).

 

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 2018 and the period for which each directorship has been held, are set out below
.

 

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

Age:
64

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

Date of next scheduled
re-election:
December 2020.

Independent:
Yes.

Current directorships of listed entities and dates of office:
Transurban Group (since March 2008, and Chairman since August 2010), BHP 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:
51

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 Banking Association Incorporated.

 

Other interests:
Nil.

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

46

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Directors’ report

 

 

Name:
Nerida Caesar, BCom, MBA, GAICD

Age:
54

Term of office:
Director since September 2017.

Date of next scheduled
re-election:
December 2020.

Independent:
Yes.

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

Other principal directorships:
Nil.

Other interests:
Member of the Advisory Board of IXUP Limited and the Federal Government’s FinTech Advisory Group. Advisor to Equifax Australia and New Zealand.

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

 

Skills, experience and expertise:
Nerida has 32 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. She is also a former director of Genome.One Pty Ltd and Stone and Chalk Limited.

Prior to joining Veda, Nerida was formerly Group Managing Director, Telstra Enterprise and Government. She also worked as Group Managing Director, Telstra Wholesale, and prior to that held the position of Executive Director National Sales.

 

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:
62

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, Corporations

Committee of the Law Council of Australia and ASIC’s Director Advisory Panel.

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

Skills, experience and expertise:
Ewen was a Partner at Allens from 1988 to 2013, where he was one of Australia’s most accomplished mergers and acquisitions lawyers. He served as a member of the firm’s board for 11 years, including four years as Chairman of Partners. His other roles at Allens included Co-Head Mergers and Acquisitions and Equity Capital Markets, Executive Partner, Asian offices and Deputy Managing Partner. 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

47

 


 

Directors’ report

 

 

Name:
Alison Deans,

BA, MBA, GAICD

Age:
50

Term of office:
Director since April 2014.

Date of next scheduled
re-election:
December 2020.

Independent:
Yes.

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

Other principal directorships:
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, CEO of netus Pty Ltd and CEO of eBay, Australia and New Zealand.

Alison was an Independent Director of Social Ventures Australia from September 2007 to April 2013 and a director of kikki.K Holdings Pty Ltd from October 2014 to June 2018.

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

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

 

Name:
Craig Dunn,

BCom, FCA

Age:
55

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:
Chairman of The Australian Ballet and Chairman of Stone and Chalk Limited (retires 27 November 2018).

Other interests:
Chairman of the International Standards Technical Committee on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (ISO/TC 307) and Co-Chair of the Australian Government’s Fintech Advisory Group.

 

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 director of Financial Literacy Australia Limited, a Board member of each 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

48

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Directors’ report

 

 

Name:
Anita Fung,
BSocSc, MAppFin

Age:
57

Term of office:
Director since October 2018.

Date of next scheduled
re-election:
December 2018.

Independent:
Yes.

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Age:
64

Term of office:
Director since December 2008.

Date of next scheduled
re-election:
Not applicable. Peter Hawkins will retire following the 2018 AGM.

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:
Member of each of the Board Audit, Board Risk & Compliance and Board Technology 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:
61

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

49

 


 

Directors’ report

 

 

Name:
Peter Nash
BCom, FCA, F Fin

Age:
56

Term of office:
Director since March 2018.

Date of next scheduled
re-election:
December 2018.

Independent:
Yes.

Current directorships of listed entities and dates of office:
Johns Lyng Group Limited (Chairman since October 2017). Johns Lyng Group Limited became a listed entity in October 2017.

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

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

 

Other Westpac related entities directorships and dates of office:
Nil

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Directors’ report

 

 

Company Secretary

 

Our Company Secretaries as at 30 September 2018 were Rebecca Lim and Tim Hartin.

 

Rebecca Lim (B Econ, LLB (Hons.)) was appointed Group Executive, Compliance, Legal & Secretariat
1
 and Company Secretary in October 2016. Rebecca joined Westpac in 2002 and has held a variety of senior leadership roles including General Manager, Human Resources for St.George Bank and General Manager, St.George Private Clients. She was appointed Group General Counsel in November 2011 and Chief Compliance Officer from 2013 to 2017. Rebecca held an in-house role in investment banking at Goldman Sachs in London before returning to Australia and joining Westpac. Rebecca was previously with US firm Skadden Arps where she worked in the Corporate Finance area in both New York and London. Prior to that she worked at Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashurst) as a solicitor.

 

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

 

 

2. Executive Team

 

As at 30 September 2018 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

Peter King
2

Acting Chief Risk Officer
3,4

1994

2014

David Lees
5

Acting Chief Financial Officer

1997

2018

Rebecca Lim

Group Executive, Compliance, Legal & Secretariat

2002

2016

David Lindberg

Chief Executive, Business Bank

2012

2015

Carolyn McCann

Group Executive, Customer & Corporate Relations

2013

2018

David McLean

Chief Executive Officer, Westpac New Zealand Limited

1999

2015

Christine Parker

Group Executive, Human Resources

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

2
    Peter King was the Chief Financial Officer until 25 June 2018 when he was appointed Acting Chief Risk Officer. From 1 October 2018, Peter returned to the role of Chief Financial Officer.

3
    Alexandra Holcomb was Chief Risk Officer until her retirement from the role effective from 25 June 2018.

4
    David Stephen commenced as Chief Risk Officer effective from 1 October 2018, with responsibility for risk and compliance.

5
    David Lees was appointed Acting Chief Financial Officer effective from 25 June 2018. From 1 October 2018, David ceased to be a member of the Executive Team and returned to the role of Deputy Chief Financial Officer.

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

51

 


 

Directors’ report

 

 

Brian Hartzer
BA, CFA. Age 51
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer

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

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

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

 

Lyn Cobley
BEc, SF FIN, GAICD
. Age 55
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 is responsible for 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 also held senior roles at Barclays Capital in Australia and Citibank in Australia and Asia Pacific, and was CEO of Trading Room (a joint venture between Macquarie Bank and Fairfax).

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

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

 

Brad Cooper
DipBM, MBA. Age 56
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 53
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

52

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Directors’ report

 

 

George Frazis
B Eng (Hons.), MBA (AGSM/Wharton). Age 54
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.

 

Peter King
BEc, FCA. Age 48
Acting Chief Risk Officer

Peter acted as the Chief Risk Officer from June 2018 to September 2018. Westpac’s Chief Risk Officer is responsible for key risk management activities across the enterprise. Prior to this appointment, Peter was Chief Financial Officer from April 2014 to June 2018. He has returned to this role in October 2018.

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.

 

David Lees
BCom, LLB. Age 48

Acting Chief Financial Officer

David acted as the Chief Financial Officer from June 2018 to September 2018. Westpac’s Chief Financial Officer is responsible for Westpac’s Finance, Group Audit, Tax, Treasury and Investor Relations functions. Prior to this appointment, David was Deputy Chief Financial Officer from January 2016 to June 2018. He has returned to this role in October 2018.

Since joining Westpac in 1997, David has held other senior roles across the Westpac Group, including General Manager, BT Solutions, where he was responsible for BT Financial Group’s insurance and asset management businesses.

David holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws from Durban University.

 

Rebecca Lim
B Econ, LLB (Hons). Age 46
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

53

 


 

Directors’ report

 

 

David Lindberg
HBA (Hons. Economics). Age 43
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.

 

Carolyn McCann
BBus (Com), BA, GradDipAppFin, GAICD. Age 46
Group Executive, Customer & Corporate Relations

Carolyn was appointed as Westpac’s Group Executive responsible for customer and corporate relations in June 2018. Carolyn is responsible for the management of the Group’s customer resolution and reporting, in addition to the corporate affairs, communications, government relations and sustainability functions, recognising the importance of setting high service standards and quickly resolving customer issues in managing the Group’s relationship with its customers.

Carolyn joined the Westpac Group in 2013, as General Manager, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, during which time she played an instrumental role in leading the Group’s bicentenary program, including the launch of the $100 million Westpac Bicentennial Foundation.

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

 

David McLean
LLB (Hons.). Age 60
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 from 1994. He also established the New Zealand branch of Deutsche Bank and was New Zealand Resident Branch Manager. In 1988, David joined Southpac/National Bank as a Capital Markets Executive. Prior to this, David worked as a lawyer in private practice and also served as in-house counsel for NatWest NZ from 1985.

 

Christine Parker
BGDipBus (HRM). Age 58
Group Executive, Human Resources

Christine was appointed to Westpac Group’s Executive Team in October 2011. As Group Executive, Human Resources, Christine leads the HR function and is responsible for key HR activities across the Group, including attracting and retaining staff, training and development, reward and recognition and health, safety and wellbeing. Christine also oversees the Group’s Customer Advocate function and supports the CEO and Board on culture and conduct. Prior to June 2018, Christine also had responsibility for Corporate Affairs and Sustainability.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

54

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Directors’ report

 

 

Gary Thursby
BEc, DipAcc, FCA. Age 56

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 support delivery of the Group’s Service Revolution and provide services to support the Group’s operating businesses.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

55

 


 

Directors’ report

 

 

3. Report on the business

 

a)
Principal activities

 

The principal activities of the Group during the financial year ended 30 September 2018 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 2018.

 

b)
Operating and financial review

 

The net profit attributable to owners of Westpac Banking Corporation for the year ended 30 September 2018 was $8,095 million, an increase of $105 million or 1% compared to 2017. Key features of this result were:

 

§
     
a 2% increase in net operating income before operating expenses and impairment charges with:

 

     net interest income of $16,505 million, an increase of $989 million or 6% compared to 2017, with total loan growth of 4% and a 7 basis point increase in net interest margin to 2.13%; and

 

     non-interest income of $5,628 million, a decrease of $658 million or 10% compared to 2017, primarily due to a decrease in trading income of $257 million, the non-repeat of a large gain of $279 million on disposal of an associate in 2017 (BTIM), an impairment loss of $104 million on the Pendal (formerly BTIM) investment in 2018, and additional provisions for estimated customer refunds and payments recorded as negative income. These items were partly offset by income related to the exit of the Hastings business ($135 million);

 

§
     
operating expenses were $9,692 million, an increase of $258 million or 3% compared to 2017. The rise in operating expenses included annual salary increases and higher technology expenses related to the Group’s investment program, an increase in regulatory and compliance costs and costs associated with the exit of the Hastings business. These increases were partly offset by productivity benefits and lower amortisation of intangibles; and

 

§
     
impairment charges were $710 million, a decrease of $143 million or 17% compared to 2017. Asset quality remained sound, with stressed exposures as a percentage of total committed exposures at 1.08%, up 3 basis points over the year. The decrease in impairment charges was primarily due to reduced individual provisions on larger facilities.

 

A review of the operations of the Group and its divisions and their results for the financial year ended 30 September 2018 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 2018, Westpac has announced a final ordinary dividend of 94 cents per Westpac ordinary share, totalling approximately $3,229 million for the year ended 30 September 2018 (2017 final ordinary dividend of 94 cents per Westpac ordinary share, totalling $3,191 million). The dividend will be fully franked and will be paid on 20 December 2018.

 

An interim ordinary dividend for the current financial year of 94 cents per Westpac ordinary share for the half year ended 31 March 2018, totalling $3,218 million, was paid as a fully franked dividend on 4 July 2018 (2017 interim ordinary dividend of 94 cents per Westpac ordinary share, totalling $3,156 million). The payment comprised direct cash disbursements of $2,897 million with $321 million being reinvested by participants through the DRP.

 

Further, in respect of the year ended 30 September 2017, a fully franked final dividend of 94 cents per ordinary share totalling $3,191 million was paid on 22 December 2017. The payment comprised direct cash disbursements of $2,881 million with $310 million being reinvested by participants through the DRP.

 

New shares were issued to satisfy the DRP for each of the 2017 final ordinary dividend and the 2018 interim ordinary dividend.

 

d)
Significant changes in state of affairs and events during and since the end of the 2018 financial year

 

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

 

§
     
increased public scrutiny of financial institutions (including Westpac) and regulators from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, with Westpac participating in the Royal Commission to date, and in the course of that participation, providing the Royal Commission with documents, witness statements and submissions;

 

§
     
the issuance of A$1.69 billion AT1 securities, known as Westpac Capital Notes 5, which qualify as Additional Tier 1 capital under APRA’s capital adequacy framework;

 

§
     
the buy back and cancellation of $623 million of Westpac convertible preference shares and the conversion of $566 million of Westpac convertible preference shares into ordinary Westpac shares; and

 

 

 

 

 

56

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

 

 


 

Directors’ report

 

 

§
     
ongoing regulatory changes and developments, which have included changes relating to competition, capital, financial services (including the provision of additional powers to regulators), taxation, accounting standards, 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 2018 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Westpac Group Annual Report

57

 


 

Directors’ report

 

 

Directors’ interests in Westpac and related bodies corporate as at 5 November 2018

 

 

 

Number of Relevant Interests in Westpac

Number of Westpac

 

 

Ordinary Shares

Share Rights

 

 

 

 

 

 

Westpac Banking Corporation

 

 

 

 

 

Current Directors

 

 

 

 

 

Lindsay Maxsted

 

22,017

 

-

 

Brian Hartzer

 

109,611

 
1

613,341

 
2

Nerida Caesar

 

9,985

 

-

 

Ewen Crouch

 

78,450

 
3

-

 

Alison Deans

 

14,392

 

-

 

Craig Dunn

 

8,869

 

-

 

Anita Fung

 

-

 

-

 

Peter Hawkins

 

15,880

 
4

-

 

Peter Marriott

 

20,870

 

-

 

Peter Nash

 

8,020

 

-

 

Former Directors

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Elstone

 

12,096

 
5

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1
    
Brian Hartzer’s interest in Westpac ordinary shares includes 23,692 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, 882 Westpac Capital Notes 4 and 1,370 Westpac Capital Notes 5.

5
    
Figure displayed is as at Robert Elstone’s retirement date of 8 December 2017.

 

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).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

58

2018 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 Wes