First Westpac Branch in India

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Westpac organised a Diwali Extravaganza this year, attended by Indian dignitaries and customers and staff.

Mr.Damien MacRae, General Manager and Head of Westpac’s Premium Financial Services division said, “Westpac has a proud history of working with the Indian community in Australia and we know how important it is to help migrants from the sub-continent to get the best start possible in their new lives here. That is why we’re celebrating Diwali with our team and customers.”

With Indians now representing nearly 16 per cent of all total migration into Australia on an annual basis, the country’s financial services companies could not afford to ignore this influential and economically-important section of the population, he said.

With an ever growing Indian population in Australia, Westpac has deepened their Indian banking network announcing a more dedicated and sophisticated service offering to meet the Indian community’s growing needs in Australia.

Mr MacRae added “Westpac has been taking the lead in providing tailored banking services as we recognise the importance of having great local teams of bankers on the ground where it matters most and to have the support of wider Westpac group in this increasingly sophisticated and complex world. On this festive occasion I’m delighted to share that we are opening our first ever branch in India which will offer tailored services to potential migrants looking to come here while helping the Indian community here to do business there.”

Balaji Swaminathan will be Westpac’s General Manager for Asia.

“Our Mumbai branch will help deepen trade and investment flows with one of Australia’s major trading partners, particularly in the energy, natural resources and agribusiness sectors in which Westpac has significant expertise,” said Mr Swaminathan

“We are also keen to offer non-resident Indians living in Australia, banking services, such as deposit accounts and electronic transfers,” he said.

“Through our representative office in India since 2007, we have built strong customer relationships and a deep understanding of their financial needs,” added Mr Swaminathan.

“We are looking forward to helping support those lndian citizens that are looking to make Australia their new home and making that transition easier by taking their bank with them.”

Westpac was granted a banking licence to operate in India in April 2012 and the branch, which will be operated by Westpac Institutional Bank (WIB) is expected to open for business later next month.

The branch will offer wholesale and retail banking services including trade finance, deposits, remittances, payments and receivables, savings and current account, foreign exchange and treasury services predominantly in Indian Rupee.

Westpac’s new initiatives include:

* the opening of Westpac’s first branch in India, operating from Mumbai, that would help migrants plan their move to Australia;

* 65 branches located in areas here with large Indian communities;

* 1,500 Hindi speaking staff across the Westpac network;

* introduction of the first Hindi-language automatic teller machines in the Westpac network with seven ATMs at four branches in Parramatta and Blacktown in Sydney to go live from November 5 as part of a wider roll-out next year; The new Hindi language ATMs are located at the Westpac branches at 126 Church Street, South Parramatta and 266 Church Street in Parramatta.

* new innovative ways to do banking this year for small and medium sized enterprises to take advantage of the digital revolution including a dedicated banking app for the iPad and apps for smart phones.

According to the latest economic statistics, India is Australia’s fifth largest trading partner and fourth largest export market. Bilateral trade is set to double to A$40billion by 2015.Westpac has had a representative office in India since 2007 which has helped establish closer ties between the bank and this key growing market for Australia.

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