Challenges.

As a major bank in New Zealand, we’re challenged every day with how we approach our economic, social and environmental impacts. We take this responsibility very seriously and take pride in ensuring that we’re doing the very best for our people, communities and environment.

View how we do business here.

Mark Weenink

Increased community and regulator expectations.


"Regulator, public and our own expectations, particularly around bank conduct and culture, continue to increase following reviews of the banking and life insurance industries in NZ. This is happening at the same time as a major programme of work at our bank to improve our customers outcomes (including service, experience, transparency and suitability). One element of this has been our mandatory “Best Customer Outcomes” training for our people to ensure that customer needs are understood and that the most appropriate product and service is delivered in a transparent and simple way. In the past year we have also reduced the time it takes us to resolve complaints and reduced or removed a number of fees and charges."

-
Mark Weenink, GM Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Legal Services.

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Managing the implications of climate change (transition and adaptation).

"The world is waking up to climate change, and the need to act is more urgent than ever. In 2019, Westpac became the first New Zealand bank to raise funding through the issuance of a green bond, transitioned 30% of its vehicles to EVs and provided more lending to climate change solutions. The bank also commenced a scenario analysis to better understand its exposure to climate risk, taking guidance from the recommendations of the Taskforce for Climate-Related Financial Disclosure. However, there is much more to do. Large financial institutions should be mindful of the influence they can exert on how society responds to climate change and how quickly it can happen. Westpac must be strategic about maximising urgency and impact, working with industrial, agricultural and government customers as New Zealand transitions to a low emission economy."

- Sir Rob Fenwick, Sustainability Advisory Panel.

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Maintaining the integrity and stability of the financial system.

"Westpac is continuously working on ways to improve and secure the financial crime environment, to protect our customers and contribute to a safe and prosperous New Zealand. We recognise that New Zealand is not immune to the threat of financial crime, which can distort prices, reduce competitiveness and introduce uncertainty and risk into the market. It can also divert resources away from key priorities such as education, health and infrastructure. Westpac remains committed to upholding the highest ethical standards in order to support New Zealand’s economic development."

- Carolyn Kidd, Chief Risk Officer.

Simon Power

Improving New Zealanders' financial wellbeing.

"Our vision is to help our customers and communities prosper and grow, but we know too many New Zealanders are still being left behind financially. In 2019 we took a major step towards greater equality and fairness by becoming the first New Zealand bank to pay all our workers the Living Wage. Our Managing Your Money workshops helped improve the financial literacy of 8,464 New Zealanders last year. But there is a lot of work to be done to create sustainable lending solutions for vulnerable customers to help them out of debt, and displace the predatory lending practices of some operators that add to hardship in our communities."


- Simon Power, GM Consumer Banking and Wealth

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A changing workforce.

"The days of the 9-5, Monday-Friday working week are long gone. To get the best out of our people, we offer flexibility around rostered hours and working remotely. The challenge is to ensure our people can achieve work/life balance without negatively impacting their team or our customers. We encourage our people to “leave loudly” and own their decision to leave the office to attend important appointments or events."

- Gina Dellabarca, GM Human Resources and Corporate Affairs

Fonteyn

Inclusion and diversity.

"New Zealand is becoming increasingly diverse, and Westpac is changing as we reflect the communities that we are part of. We have people from more than 200 different ethnic backgrounds, others choosing to work differently to accommodate our changing lifestyles, and some facing barriers through mental illness that is still not talked about openly. These challenges provide opportunities for change as we embed our culture of inclusion. This year we became the first bank to receive the Accessibility Tick, have taken bold action to address our gender pay gap, continue to support our people and the market to “leave work loudly” supporting our people to live life fully and empower Iwi and Māori whānau through programmes like our shared equity housing work.

"Toitū te whenua, toitū te tāngata, toitū te putea” supporting sustainable financial future through better land use, helping people to prosper, and changing our systems to create greater access to financial help."

- Fonteyn Moses-Te Kani, Head of Māori, Inclusion and Diversity.

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Our business transformation.

"Adapting to the changing needs and habits of our customers is one of the biggest challenges we face. Consumers are increasingly wanting more and more banking services offered online, and a seamless user experience. Our business transformation is about delivering continuous product improvements, improving our interactions with customers, and empowering our people to deliver better and faster outcomes."

- Karen Silk, GM Experience Hub.

Matt Haigh 2015 White Background

Digital disruption in banking.

"The age of open banking is upon us. We have already introduced technologies that are examples of open banking, and we look forward to doing more work in this space. We think it will provide customers with an improved user experience, through enhanced choice, convenience and functionality. However, our priority must always be keeping our customers’ information safe, and we will only work with third parties when we know they have the systems in place to protect people’s data."


- Matt Haigh, Chapter Lead Open Banking.