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Westpac appoints first dedicated senior bank executive to help small business


28 October 2013

  • Julie Rynski takes on role as General Manager, Small Business
  • Appointment signals increased focus for key sector of economy

Westpac has built on its support for small business by appointing the first dedicated senior banker to help the sector to grow its contribution to the economy and expand employment.

Julie Rynski, whose career in financial services spans more than 25 year and encompasses business and retail banking in various roles, has taken on the role of General Manager, Small Business, in Westpac Retail and Business Banking (WRBB). Ms Rynski is currently acting General Manager for Regional, Commercial and Agribusiness in WRBB.

Ms Rynski’s new post is the first time that Westpac has had a senior executive solely focused on small and medium-sized enterprise businesses and her appointment reflects the increasing importance of the sector to the future growth of Australia.

“Small and medium size businesses are a critical contributor to the economy and as well as providing much-needed employment are the lifeblood of our communities across the country,” said Ms Rynski.

“That is why it is of equal importance that we do everything that we can to support small business whether it is lending a hand to get them off the ground, providing advice, planning for the future, extending financial help or helping them to adapt to the changes being brought about by the digital revolution.

“Westpac is the best bank to do that, having the largest number of small business bankers in Australia. This is thanks to our investments in Westpac Local that brought back these specialist bankers into our 680-strong branch network and now, through our Bank Now program of new branches, the 24/7 services that are ideally suited to the needs of small business.”

Small businesses would also benefit from a major investment by Westpac in new digital services, making it easier for them to make and collect payments, manage their finances and operate their business plans whether it was via their desktop, smartphones or tablets said Ms Rynski. Further initiatives would be unveiled in the coming months she indicated.

Ms Rynski said this knowledge and experience was underpinned by the number of small businesses that are supported by Westpac. The bank has 640,000 small business customers which is an increase of 70,000 since 2008 and is ranked second of the major banks in the sector with its SME customer advocacy at record high levels.

Westpac also has the highest rated satisfaction level amongst business customers of the four major banks, according to the latest data from Roy Morgan Research. Westpac rating of 68.5% in RMR’s Business Single Source Survey released last week (October 23) cemented the bank’s lead in the sector that it assumed in August 2011.

“With the Prime Minister declaring that ‘Australia is open for business’, business confidence is up and with interest rates at historic lows, we know our business customers are keen to capitalise on this mood of optimism,” said Jason Yetton, Group Executive of Westpac Retail and Business Banking.

“I’m delighted therefore that Julie has taken on this important role in supporting our small and medium sized business customers. She is absolutely the right person for this post, she has a dynamic track record in helping customers and is passionate and excited about the sector’s prospects.”

Note to Editors:

For the past six months, Julie Rynski has been Acting General Manager, Regional Commercial & Agribusiness Banking in Westpac Retail and Business Banking, where she has national responsibility for Commercial and Agribusiness in all regional areas of Australia, including a lead role in Westpac's Indigenous partnerships.

Prior to that, she was State General Manager of Westpac Retail Banking in Victoria for nearly three years, having re-joined Westpac in 2010 from BankWest, where she headed the business banking division.

Ms Rynski has held a number of key roles at Westpac including Head of CEO’s office, Head of Human Resources Pacific Banking, General Manager of Sales and Service and National Manager of Middle Markets and Property.

She holds an Executive MBA and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. She also attended the Senior Executive Programme at the London Business School in 2007.