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Media releases

Westpac strengthens its presence and capability in Asia


8 April 2014

Establishment of a Sub-Branch in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone

Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) has received the approval from China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) to become one of the first foreign banks to set up a sub-branch in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

The approval marks a significant milestone in the extension of Westpac’s service offering in China across trade finance, structured commodity finance, debt capital markets, derivatives and FX.

Gail Kelly, Chief Executive Officer Westpac said, “As Australia’s largest trading partner, China is an extremely important market for Westpac and our customers. We are committed to helping our customers build stronger opportunities within China and our presence in the Free Trade Zone marks a significant step toward providing even deeper support.”

The Shanghai Free Trade Zone has the potential to bring large benefits to foreign companies including fewer restrictions on raising capital in China, and more simplified requirements and procedures for trade.

According to Westpac Institutional Bank Chief Executive, Rob Whitfield, Westpac’s market leadership in CNY/AUD trade is facilitating the beginnings of a strong and regional financial hub of which Australia can play a key role.

“A large number of our corporate and commercial customers already have business dealings with China and already demand, or expect their use of CNY-related services to increase,” Mr Whitfield said.

Appoints Asia Business Leader Simon Israel as Non-Executive Member to Asia Advisory Board

Westpac Institutional Bank (WIB) has today appointed Asia business leader and Chairman of SingTel Ltd, Simon Israel as non-executive member to its recently established Asia Advisory Board.

Highly regarded for transforming strategies of Asia Pacific businesses, Mr Israel was appointed Chairman of one of Asia’s largest telecommunications companies, SingTel in 2011 and has been instrumental in guiding SingTel’s transformational strategy to become a telecommunications technology solutions provider in the Asia Pacific.

Mr Israel served as the President of Temasek Holdings from 2010 to 2011 and as a board member since 2005, contributing to its evolution as an international investor before retiring in July 2011.

Prior to that, he was Chairman, Asia Pacific of the Danone Group.  Mr Israel also held various senior positions in Sara Lee Corporation before becoming President (Household & Personal Care), Asia Pacific.

WIB Chief Executive and Asia Advisory Board Chairman, Rob Whitfield said “Mr Israel’s appointment will add both strategic depth and critical insights to support the development of Westpac’s Asia strategy as we look to deepen our capability in the region.”

Westpac’s Asia Advisory Board was created in November 2013 to provide guidance on its considered and deliberate strategy in Asia. It will advise management on its strategies and initiatives to continue to strengthen the business’ current positioning in Asia.

Mr Israel is the second non-executive member to be appointed to the Advisory Board joining Ms Hwee Hua Lim who was appointed in November last year.

Westpac has been operating in Asia for 40 year delivering a broad range of financial services to individuals, corporate and institutional customers with branches in Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Mumbai as well as a representative office in Jakarta.


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.