Australia’s Westpac Banking is an international finance firm. The company provides a range of banking and financial services, including consumer, business and institutional banking and wealth management services. Westpac operates through five divisions: Consumer Bank, Business Bank, BT Financial Group Australia, Westpac Institutional Bank and Westpac New Zealand. The bank and its affiliates have branches that serve approximately 13 million customers across the Pacific region, mostly in Australia and New Zealand.
Westpac Banking has outlined its vision to be a sustainable banking leader. The bank has lent over $1 billion to affordable housing projects, and it offers a variety of social and environmental impact bonds. Additionally, Westpac has made over $6 billion available for investments in clean technology and environmental services. 61% of the bank’s electricity financing portfolio is directed towards renewable energy generation, too. Westpac has enhanced its Equator Principles reporting policies and recently introduced disclosures on its exposure to the mining sector and the emissions intensity of its electricity financing. The bank is in the midst of a five-year Sustainability Strategy to reduce its footprint, already leading to a paper usage reduction of 116 tons, recycling rate increase to over 60% and annual decreases of GHG emissions, energy usage and water consumption. Westpac is a carbon-neutral bank and screens its top 80 suppliers for ESG criteria, accounting for roughly 68% of its supply chain. Almost half of the bank’s leadership roles are held by women.
Westpac faces class action lawsuits over allegedly excessive default fees and improper billing of insurance premiums. Furthermore, the bank’s asset management division is not a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment.
To the best of our knowledge the above information is accurate and was obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Neither the information presented above nor any opinion expressed shall be construed as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy the security. The views expressed are those of portfolio management as of 12/31/16 and may not reflect current opinions or subsequent events.