To simplify the bank, improve accountability and reduce costs, Westpac Group is restructuring and creating a smaller, more focussed head office, reducing the size of corporate functions by around 20 percent.
"We are building a simpler bank, streamlining our organisation and lowering the cost of running the Group. This is key to delivering better services for customers and better results for shareholders," said Peter King, Westpac CEO.
The restructuring will mostly impact head office and support functions, and not customer-facing roles.
"Bringing our workforce closer to the frontline, combined with the increases we have already made to the number of bankers, will further strengthen our franchise for customers," Peter added.
According to the company statement, the changes have already commenced, with a reduction in headcount of more than 1,100 during the past quarter. The reductions have impacted both, third-party contractors, as well as staff.
Key Executive Changes
As per the revised structure, the roles of Chief Risk Officer (CRO) and Group Executive, Financial Crime, Compliance and Conduct will be combined, leading to some key resignations. Two new divisions will also be created to drive further efficiency and productivity - Corporate Services and Customer Services & Technology.
Chief Risk Officer, David Stephen has decided to leave the Group after more than three years of service. "David led the Risk function through significant change and has helped the Group navigate a challenging external environment while also improving the Group’s risk capability and culture," the company said, in a statement.
Les Vance, Group Executive, Financial Crime, Compliance and Conduct will also be exiting the Group, later in the year. In the interim, he will continue to support the Customer Outcomes and Risk Excellence (CORE) program for a period and report to Peter King.
Ryan Zanin will take on the combined role as Westpac Group Chief Risk Officer. In his most recent role, he was working with the Group in the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) in New York, where he is Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer.
King said, “Ryan Zanin will build on the work underway, as we continue to drive our risk transformation. Ryan is a proven risk leader with extensive risk management experience, having held senior risk roles at some of the world’s largest financial services companies, including Fannie Mae, GE Capital and Wells Fargo.”
David will remain in his current role until May, when Ryan joins the Group subject to regulatory approval.