Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) is Australia’s oldest bank operating a significant banking franchise in Australia and New Zealand. WBC is considered an ASX Blue Chip Share. The company has balanced exposures to retail, corporate and institutional sectors.
Westpac has been one of the more acquisitive banks domestically with successful takeovers of Bank of Melbourne and Challenge Bank and Trust Bank in New Zealand. More recently WBC has aggressively expanded its wealth management activities with the acquisition of Rothschild Australia Asset Management, BT Funds Management and Hastings Funds Management.
Westpac today held their AGM where it warned that the European debt crisis will continue to impact the price and possibly the availably of funding to Australia’s banking sector.
CEO Mrs Gail Kelly said the outlook for the global economic outlook remained mixed with Australia not immune to these headwinds, with growth slowing and consumer and business spending cautious.
Mrs Kelly also hinted that WBC may not pass on future interest rate cuts to borrowers in full, citing the impact of higher funding costs on interest rate margins.