WBK - Westpac Banking Corporation

NYSE - NYSE Delayed price. Currency in USD
12.49
+0.16 (+1.30%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT
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Previous close12.33
Open12.28
Bid12.45 x 800
Ask12.46 x 800
Day's range12.28 - 12.49
52-week range7.98 - 20.56
Volume150,726
Avg. volume634,361
Market cap45.738B
Beta (5Y monthly)0.87
PE ratio (TTM)7.34
EPS (TTM)1.70
Earnings dateN/A
Forward dividend & yield1.10 (8.95%)
Ex-dividend date08 Nov 2019
1y target est15.96
  • Australian regulator loses legal appeal in Westpac bank lending case
    Reuters

    Australian regulator loses legal appeal in Westpac bank lending case

    An Australian appeals court on Friday threw out a regulator lawsuit against Westpac Banking Corp <WBC.AX>, saying the country's second largest lender's method for determining whether homebuyers could service their mortgages had not broken the law. The case became one of the most closely watched of numerous regulator lawsuits against leading banks after a financial misconduct inquiry in 2018 and 2019 prompted a crackdown on a sector accused of rampant fee gouging and irresponsible lending. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) had lodged the appeal after a judge found in the bank's favour last year, saying borrowers could cut back on "wagyu beef ... washed down with the finest shiraz" to make repayments.

  • Australia's crime regulator may broaden Westpac child exploitation lawsuit
    Reuters

    Australia's crime regulator may broaden Westpac child exploitation lawsuit

    Australia's financial crime regulator may add additional breaches of anti-money laundering laws related to suspected child exploitation transactions to its lawsuit against Westpac Banking Corp, the bank said on Friday. In a bombshell lawsuit in November, AUSTRAC sued the country's second-largest bank for 23 million alleged breaches of anti-money laundering laws, including payments between known child exploiters. After the lawsuit, the bank upgraded its systems and found additional breaches including suspicious matters related to potential child exploitation and issues involving 272 customers, the bank said in a statement.

  • ‘I Didn’t Mean to Break the Law’ Doesn’t Cut It
    Bloomberg

    ‘I Didn’t Mean to Break the Law’ Doesn’t Cut It

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- When a bank admits it may have transferred money to the Philippines for customers suspected of sexually exploiting children, you’d better hope it has a good excuse.That's not the case with Australia’s oldest lender, Westpac Banking Corp. A review the bank commissioned into 23 million breaches alleged by the country’s anti-money laundering agency Austrac concluded Thursday with a slap on the wrist.“While the compliance failures were serious, the problems were faults of omission,” Chief Executive Officer Peter King said in a statement released with the report. “There was no evidence of intentional wrongdoing.”That’s not good enough. We set banks far too low a bar if our standard is only that they don't knowingly aid and abet criminal activity. Ensuring that banks don’t unwittingly facilitate such breaches is precisely why they have compliance departments. It’s hardly a defense to admit that Westpac’s internal risk management was so threadbare that it failed to pick up obvious shortcomings over a period of years.Westpac’s review points to some very zeitgeisty explanations for its failure: that the alleged breaches happened at a time of rapid technological change; that regulators are more focused on financial crime; that the public has higher standards for companies these days; and that corporate boards are now expected to be more interventionist.Looking at the details of the cases, though, many of the places Westpac fell down would have been familiar to bankers as far back as the Medicis. Managers didn’t know enough about who their customers were, or scrutinize the patterns of their payments to detect suspicious activities. They didn’t look deeply enough into the relationships of their correspondent banks either, exposing themselves to risks one step removed via their banking relationships. And the board failed to interrogate and closely examine these activities.These aren’t novel mistakes driven by the dizzying speed of life in the 2010s — they’re failures in the compliance culture that should be at the core of operations for anyone in the business of lending money.Compliance officers have historically been resented within banks, because they’re seen as a cost center whose job is to stop their colleagues from making money. Before the 2008 financial crisis, the risk of a fine from regulators seemed remote, while the reward of revenues from sailing close to the wind was temptingly close. No one wanted internal auditors sticking their noses in and preventing profitable activities or setting up costly reporting protocols. That function is nonetheless crucial if we’re to maintain integrity in our banking system.For all the report’s talk about sins of omission, weak compliance by Westpac (and its larger peer, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which paid an A$700 million penalty, or roughly $483.2 million, in 2018 to settle a separate money-laundering case with Austrac) wasn’t an accident.The way to improve a bank’s compliance capability isn’t a mystery. You simply need to hire and pay more compliance officers and give them more authority throughout the organization, something that banks in most rich countries did after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Australia’s lenders kept partying like it was 2007.Indeed, the increasing sums that Westpac has been spending on compliance in recent years, eating into each profit release, are evidence that the lucrative go-go years weren’t generated by any special genius, other than the choice to turn a blind eye to weak internal regulation.Take a look at the cost-to-income ratios of Australian banks, a decent measure of how much cash they’re paying out on staff and systems in relation to their revenues. Only in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Sweden and Norway do large lenders manage to provide their services at so little internal cost. One way of looking at those figures is to assume that banks in those countries are simply more efficient than elsewhere — but compliance is difficult and expensive, and if you want it done well you may find that your profits aren’t what they once were.Westpac has promised to turn over a new leaf, just as Commonwealth Bank did after settling its Austrac case.“We completely accept that some important aspects of Westpac’s financial crime risk culture were immature and reactive,” King wrote, “and we failed to build sufficient capacity and experience in some important areas.”Let’s hope so — but the equity market reaction gives cause for concern. With the S&P/ASX 200 index barely up on the day, Westpac shares jumped as much as 5.4% at the open. If management has truly grasped the nettle on their compliance controls, shareholders are going to have to get used to that spending eroding their profits far into the future.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    FOCUS-British backing gives some RBS investors comfort in crisis

    Best known as Britain's biggest financial crisis failure, some investors and analysts view majority state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland as the lender likely to emerge strongest from the coronavirus downturn. RBS had built the largest capital surplus of any major British bank before the pandemic struck, some 14 billion pounds ($17 billion) above the regulatory minimum, and had hoped to use much of this to buy back the government's 62% stake. Now investors are betting this capital cushion, which will help it absorb loan losses resulting from the economic crunch, will help RBS gain greater market share and potentially restore a dividend ahead of rivals.

  • Scandal-hit Westpac picks insider to head financial crime and compliance
    Reuters

    Scandal-hit Westpac picks insider to head financial crime and compliance

    The scandal rocked Australia's second-biggest bank after it was accused of millions of breaches of anti-money laundering laws, including allegations that it enabled illegal payments between known child sex offenders. Les Vance, the current chief operating officer of Westpac's consumer division, has been with the lender since 2008. Earlier this month, Westpac admitted it breached anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws but denied that it enabled those illegal payments, according to a filing with a federal court.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    NatWest appoints Westpac executive as retail banking boss

    British state-backed bank NatWest has appointed Westpac executive David Lindberg as chief executive of its retail banking business. Lindberg will be tasked with steering one of Britain's largest retail banks through the coronavirus crisis, at a time when millions of customers have been offered relief by lenders on loan repayments to help them cope financially. NatWest's current personal banking CEO, Les Matheson, is stepping down and the bank said he will return to Australia where he has strong family ties.

  • Trade Alert: The Independent Chairman of the Board Of Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC), John McFarlane, Has Just Spent AU$160k Buying A Few More Shares
    Simply Wall St.

    Trade Alert: The Independent Chairman of the Board Of Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC), John McFarlane, Has Just Spent AU$160k Buying A Few More Shares

    Investors who take an interest in Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) should definitely note that the Independent...

  • Westpac Banking Corp. (WBK) Q2 2020 Earnings Call Transcript
    Motley Fool

    Westpac Banking Corp. (WBK) Q2 2020 Earnings Call Transcript

    WBK earnings call for the period ending March 31, 2020.

  • Australia’s Banking Payout Party Comes to an End
    Bloomberg

    Australia’s Banking Payout Party Comes to an End

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- While their peers in other countries weathered a season in hell after the 2008 financial crisis, Australian banks partied.Spared the recession that devastated lenders elsewhere, valuations soared to as much as three times book value — extraordinary levels when most banks in developed countries were trading at a discount to book.At one point in 2011, all of the country’s big four banks (Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp., National Australia Bank Ltd. and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.) were worth more than Bank of America Corp. in terms of market capitalization. Now, the U.S. lender is worth more than all four — put together.The road to the dismal present has been paved with money-laundering scandals, government inquiries, super-taxes, a housing market downturn and of course the coronavirus, but it’s another factor that has been most crucial: dividends.Bank valuations, after all, aren’t a disinterested vote on the credit quality of a company. Instead, they’re shareholders’ best guess of the current value of future payouts, adjusted for the risk that the share price itself may rise or fall.That’s been particularly important in Australia, thanks to the outsize influence of individuals managing their own retirement savings through so-called self-managed superannuation. In most of the world, fund managers focused on capital growth dominate the stock market, to the extent that many tech companies treat paying cash back to shareholders as a failure of imagination. In Australia, the retirement savers who make up a fifth of the stock market prize a steady and stable income, so generous dividend-payers like the country’s banks have consequently done well.Even when its valuation peaked at three times book in 2015, Commonwealth Bank, the biggest of the four, was still paying out dividends equivalent to more than 6% of its share price. Australian banks were offering all the income security of owning a bond, but with equity-style returns. There was just one problem. Much though they may have behaved like bonds to their investors, Australian bank shares were equity all along — and with the party finally ending, it’s shareholders who are ultimately taking the hit. On Monday, Westpac joined ANZ in deferring its decision about whether to make a payout this year. NAB went one step further last week, cutting its payout by about two-thirds and tapping shareholders for cash by selling A$3.5 billion ($2.2 billion) in new stock.It’s a sign of how crucial payouts have become to Australian bank shareholders that even with an unemployment rate tipped to hit 10% this year, both Westpac and ANZ are presenting their moves as delayed decisions rather than outright cancellations. Even in a crisis, giving up the gospel of dividends risks breaking the implicit contract between management and shareholders that’s supported valuations (and paid for executives’ Maseratis) for a generation.The trouble is, shareholders are already voting with their feet. Price-book valuations have slumped to positively European levels; only Commonwealth Bank is now valued at a premium to its net assets. Unlike other countries, which have spent more than a decade deleveraging, Australian household debt was at record levels relative to income just before the coronavirus struck.As rising unemployment and falling property prices eat into borrowers’ ability to repay, investors are (rightly) making the assessment that the first call on banks’ cash for the foreseeable future is likely to be funding defaulted loans. Next will be fines, like the A$1.06 billion Westpac set aside Monday for dealing with a money-laundering case.The silver lining is that those plunging share prices are making dividends, in isolation, look more attractive than ever. If the coronavirus downturn proves less drastic than feared and Westpac ends up paying out full-year cash in line with last year’s, it would be yielding around 11% at current share prices — not bad at a time when its best one-year term deposit account is paying 1.2%.It’s a mark of how bad things have gotten for Australian banks that even the perennial promise of payouts isn’t enough to tempt shareholders back this time.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Australia's Westpac braces for $1.4 billion hit to earnings on coronavirus impact
    Reuters

    Australia's Westpac braces for $1.4 billion hit to earnings on coronavirus impact

    About A$1.6 billion of the impairment charges are predominantly related to COVID-19 impacts, the country's second-largest lender said, while the remaining A$600 million relate to certain other individual provisions and net write-offs. The impairments are in addition to provisions of A$1.43 billion after tax the lender announced earlier this month, mostly for an expected fine over accusations it enabled millions of illegal payments including between known child sex offenders. After Westpac's disclosure, two of the country's "Big Four" lenders have now detailed a hit to upcoming earnings, with No. 3 lender National Australia Bank making an A$1.22 billion provision in late-April.

  • How Does Westpac Banking's (ASX:WBC) P/E Compare To Its Industry, After The Share Price Drop?
    Simply Wall St.

    How Does Westpac Banking's (ASX:WBC) P/E Compare To Its Industry, After The Share Price Drop?

    To the annoyance of some shareholders, Westpac Banking (ASX:WBC) shares are down a considerable 30% in the last month...

  • Is the Westpac Banking share price cheap?
    Stockopedia

    Is the Westpac Banking share price cheap?

    Westpac Banking (ASX:WBC) is a large cap thatprovides a range of banking and financial services across consumer, business and institutional banking and wealth8230;

  • Business Wire

    WBK FINAL DEADLINE TODAY: ROSEN, A TOP RANKED LAW FIRM, Reminds Westpac Banking Corporation Investors of Important March 30 Deadline in First Filed Securities Class Action – WBK

    Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of Westpac Banking Corporation (NYSE: WBK) between November 11, 2015 and November 19, 2019, inclusive (the "Class Period") of the important March 30, 2020 lead plaintiff deadline in the securities class action first commenced by the firm. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for Westpac investors under the federal securities laws.

  • WBK DEADLINE - Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC Reminds Westpac Banking Corporation Shareholders With Losses Exceeding $100K of Class Action and Lead Plaintiff Deadline: March 30, 2020
    Business Wire

    WBK DEADLINE - Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC Reminds Westpac Banking Corporation Shareholders With Losses Exceeding $100K of Class Action and Lead Plaintiff Deadline: March 30, 2020

    Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC notifies investors that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Westpac Banking Corporation ("Westpac" or the Company") (NYSE: WBK) and certain of its officers, on behalf of shareholders who purchased Westpac securities between November 11, 2015 and November 19, 2019, inclusive (the "Class Period"). Such investors are encouraged to join this case by visiting the firm’s site: www.bgandg.com/wbk.

  • Business Wire

    ROSEN, A TOP RANKED LAW FIRM, Reminds Westpac Banking Corporation Investors of Important Deadline in Securities Class Action – WBK

    Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of Westpac Banking Corporation (NYSE: WBK) between November 11, 2015 and November 19, 2019, inclusive (the "Class Period") of the important March 30, 2020 lead plaintiff deadline in the securities class action commenced by the firm. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for Westpac investors under the federal securities laws.

  • WBK INVESTOR ALERT - Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC Reminds Westpac Banking Corporation Shareholders With Losses Exceeding $100K of Class Action and Lead Plaintiff Deadline: March 30, 2020
    Business Wire

    WBK INVESTOR ALERT - Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC Reminds Westpac Banking Corporation Shareholders With Losses Exceeding $100K of Class Action and Lead Plaintiff Deadline: March 30, 2020

    Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC notifies investors that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Westpac Banking Corporation ("Westpac" or the Company") (NYSE: WBK) and certain of its officers, on behalf of shareholders who purchased Westpac securities between November 11, 2015 and November 19, 2019, inclusive (the "Class Period"). Such investors are encouraged to join this case by visiting the firm’s site: www.bgandg.com/wbk.

  • Shareholder Alert: Robbins LLP Announces It Is Investigating Westpac Banking Corp. (WBK)
    Business Wire

    Shareholder Alert: Robbins LLP Announces It Is Investigating Westpac Banking Corp. (WBK)

    Shareholder rights law firm Robbins LLP announces that it is investigating Westpac Banking Corp. (NYSE: WBK) for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and whether the Company's officers and directors breached their fiduciary duties to shareholders. Westpac provides various banking and financial services in Australia, and internationally.

  • WBK LOSS NOTICE: ROSEN, A GLOBALLY RECOGNIZED FIRM, Reminds Westpac Banking Corporation Investors of Important March 30th Deadline in Securities Class Action – WBK
    Business Wire

    WBK LOSS NOTICE: ROSEN, A GLOBALLY RECOGNIZED FIRM, Reminds Westpac Banking Corporation Investors of Important March 30th Deadline in Securities Class Action – WBK

    Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of Westpac Banking Corporation (NYSE: WBK) between November 11, 2015 and November 19, 2019, inclusive (the "Class Period") of the important March 30, 2020 lead plaintiff deadline in the securities class action commenced by the firm. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for Westpac investors under the federal securities laws.

  • What Is Westpac Banking's (ASX:WBC) P/E Ratio After Its Share Price Tanked?
    Simply Wall St.

    What Is Westpac Banking's (ASX:WBC) P/E Ratio After Its Share Price Tanked?

    Unfortunately for some shareholders, the Westpac Banking (ASX:WBC) share price has dived 38% in the last thirty days...

  • Business Wire

    ROSEN, NATIONAL TRIAL COUNSEL, Reminds Westpac Banking Corporation Investors of Important Deadline in Securities Class Action First Filed by the Firm – WBK

    Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of Westpac Banking Corporation (NYSE: WBK) between November 11, 2015 and November 19, 2019, inclusive (the "Class Period") of the important March 30, 2020 lead plaintiff deadline in the securities class action commenced by the firm. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for Westpac investors under the federal securities laws.

  • Notice of Lead Plaintiff Deadline for Shareholders in the Westpac Banking Corporation Securities Class Action Lawsuit
    Business Wire

    Notice of Lead Plaintiff Deadline for Shareholders in the Westpac Banking Corporation Securities Class Action Lawsuit

    Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP announces that a securities class action lawsuit has been filed in the District of Oregon on behalf of purchasers of Westpac Banking Corporation (NYSE:WBK) securities between November 11, 2015 and November 19, 2019 (the "Class Period"). The case is captioned Byrne v. Westpac Banking Corp., No. 20-cv-00171, and is assigned to Magistrate Judge John V. Acosta. The Westpac securities class action lawsuit charges Westpac and certain of its officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The lead plaintiff motion deadline is March 30, 2020.

  • Shareholder Alert: Robbins LLP Reminds Investors Westpac Banking Corp. (WBK) Sued for Misleading Shareholders
    Business Wire

    Shareholder Alert: Robbins LLP Reminds Investors Westpac Banking Corp. (WBK) Sued for Misleading Shareholders

    Shareholder rights law firm Robbins LLP reminds investors that a purchaser of Westpac Banking Corp. (NYSE: WBK) filed a class action complaint against the Company for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 between November 11, 2015 and November 19, 2019. Westpac provides various banking and financial services in Australia, and internationally.

  • Why Westpac Banking Corporation's (ASX:WBC) High P/E Ratio Isn't Necessarily A Bad Thing
    Simply Wall St.

    Why Westpac Banking Corporation's (ASX:WBC) High P/E Ratio Isn't Necessarily A Bad Thing

    Today, we'll introduce the concept of the P/E ratio for those who are learning about investing. We'll show how you can...

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