The story of Westpac New Zealand. Another Australian owned bank that has been rorting the New Zealand taxpayer.
According to the Chch Press – 85% of New Zealand bank assets is concentrated in Australian-owned credit institutes.
In 2004 reserve Bank figures, leaked to the National Business Review, showed that the (Aussie) banks were paying an effective tax rate of 6.7%, rather than the normal corporate rate of 33%, or 1 million in 2003, instead of the 7 million if they had paid the full whack” – Listener, Converge website
In 2006 Westpac New Zealand was ordered to pay over .5 million back to customers for the incorrect charging of foreign transaction fees along with a fine of 0,000 and ,000 fees to the Commerce Commission. – NZ Commerce Commission
In 2007 just before the start of the first financial crisis, Australian Westpac staff made repeated calls to have the right to refuse to pushing financial products – such as insurance, credit cards and hefty personal loans – on customers who cannot meet their repayments. This was because the staff recognised that Australians had extremely high levels of household debt (like NZ). Unfortunately this did not go down well with the bank. – smh.com.au
In 2008/2009 Westpac Corp had their US operation secure a bail out from the US Federal Reserve for Billion +.
In 2009 after years of litigation and court cases Westpac and BNZ were found guilty of tax evasion via “structured finance transactions”. Westpac forced to pay 1 million. They only pay back 80%.
In 2010 Westpac staff were told there would be a pay freeze on their wages. While their CEO appointed in 2009 would earn a total package of .59 Million +. This great extravagance could be afforded because if the Bank performed badly it would not matter as since 2009 it has been guaranteed by the Governments Retail Deposits Scheme.
The CEO George Frazis believes he is truly worth this much and revealed at a staff Xmas party in 2010 that he was actually Superman.
Westpac has been the government “master banker” since 1989 when the government began selling off BNZ and other interests. This contract which is between all government departments (not SOE’s) has never been tendered out. This results in Westpac gaining nice profits from the interest on Crown accounts and wages to be paid to public servants.
In April 2011, there was a glitch in Westpac’s payment system resulting in 10,000+ Public Servants including Police, Health workers etc. not getting their wages on time.
Every year Westpac has donated figures in the thousands, usually ,000 to both Labour and National Parties. They have also gifted corporate boxes, gifts, and paid for other events for Treasury Staff and Government Ministers.
In 2011, Simon Power announced he would be leaving government for a position at Westpac NZ.
In May 2011, Westpac Christchurch Staff complained that they are being forced to push loans and insurance policies on financially struggling customers in the wake of the devastating February earthquake. Many staff felt stressed after being put on “Performance Plans” for not meeting targets. “Westpac tellers feel pressure to sell financial products where they don’t always feel they are in the best interest of the customers,” – Chch Press.
It is clear that Westpac is far from an ethical business. Their business/banking actions are predator like with the profile of a recidivist criminal. The intentions at a strategic management level are to sustain their greed at the expense of their workers, customers, and NZ Taxpayers.