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Media releases

Westpac Granted Derivatives Licence in China


6 February 2014

Westpac Institutional Bank (Westpac) has been granted a General Derivatives Licence by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC). Westpac is only the third bank in China to be awarded such a licence under the new regulatory framework introduced in January 2011.

With the new licence, Westpac’s Shanghai and Beijing branches will be able to launch its new derivatives business and establish the required technology and infrastructure to focus initially on developing G7 interest rate derivatives.

Rob Whitfield Chief Executive Westpac Institutional Bank, said receipt of the licence from the CBRC is a critical step in enabling the Bank to further support the increasing flow of trade and capital for customers onshore in China.

“China is a very important market for Westpac and this licence not only forms a significant milestone for the growth of our local business, but further demonstrates our commitment in deepening our RMB capabilities across all our core markets in Asia,” he said.

Bala Swaminathan General Manager Asia, said: “In volume terms, Australia’s exports to China rose by an average annual growth of 17.3 per cent, compared to Australia’s total world-wide ex-China export volume growth rate of just 2.7 per cent.

“A key growth area for our business is supporting the rapid development of the currency and financial markets in China. Over the last twelve months we have made significant investments in our dealing rooms in both our Shanghai and Hong Kong branches to support the increasing RMB flows. This licence allows Westpac to broaden our offering and capture this growth,” Bala said.

Mr Whitfield added: “The granting of this licence will enhance our product capability in China, further supporting our customers as they grow in the region.”

Westpac was the first Australian bank to open an office in China in 1982 and is among the only two Australian banks that have been granted permission to operate as a market maker to directly trade between the Australian dollar and RMB.

The bank’s strategy is to deepen its presence in regions where it has existing leadership positions and to expand product and service capability in these regions across Trade, Structured Commodity Finance, Debt Capital Markets as well as Derivative and FX products.

About Westpac

Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) was founded in 1817 and was the first bank established in Australia. Today, the Westpac Group has branches and controlled entities throughout Australia, New Zealand and the near Pacific region and maintains offices in key financial centres around the world including London, New York, Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore and India. Westpac Group employs approximately 36,000 people and has three key customer facing divisions through which we serve around 12 million customers.

About Westpac Institutional Bank

Westpac Institutional Bank (WIB) delivers a broad range of financial services to commercial, corporate, institutional and government customers with connections to Australia and New Zealand.

WIB operates through dedicated industry relationship and specialist product teams with expert knowledge in transactional banking, financial and debt capital markets, specialised capital, and alternative investment solutions.

Westpac Institutional Bank, a division of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL 233714.