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New Head of Westpac Institutional Bank Appointed

New Head of WIB Appointed

Westpac announced today that an internal candidate would fill the position of Head of Westpac Institutional Bank (WIB).

David McLean joined Westpac in February 1999 to head the Debt Capital Markets group in New Zealand. McLean has over 15 years front line experience in the New Zealand capital markets, and has a particular interest and expertise in securitisation, and structured debt transactions.

David has a LLB (Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington and is a Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. After leaving university David worked as a lawyer in private practice and as in-house counsel for Natwest, before joining the Capital Markets Group of Southpac/National Bank in 1988.

Prior to working for Westpac he was responsible for starting and developing a new debt origination business for Deutsche Morgan Grenfell. Mr McLean said he was excited about his new position.

“WIB measures its success in relation to how well we are meeting the needs of our customers, I am excited about the ongoing challenge of building on our successes to date and looking at ways to constantly differentiate ourselves” he said.

The Greenwich Large Corporate Banking survey 2003 ranked WIB as the number one bank in New Zealand for service and quality to large corporates in 2003, for the 3rd year running. The survey which measures the quality performance of New Zealand institutional banks revealed customers ranked WIB as not only the top bank for service quality but also customer satisfaction in this sector. This was in addition to Westpac Banking Corporation being named the NBR Bank of the Year for 2003 at the Vodafone INFINZ awards earlier that year.

Mr McLean believes New Zealand's financial markets are in a healthy state.

“Although there is still plenty of risk and volatility out there, New Zealand businesses are better able to deal with it than ever before. This is firstly, because New Zealanders are getting more savvy - although the weakness in the US Dollar and the rise in the Kiwi is hurting exporters, we are not seeing the same levels of financial stress being experienced as was the case in previous times of rapid rate changes. People are better prepared to deal with the unpredictable, and are getting much better at using the tools that are available to them. At Westpac we are seeing a much greater uptake on currency insurance by farmers and other exporters.

"Secondly because more and more, New Zealanders are making the most of what is available offshore, overcoming the disadvantage of being based in a small and distant market. An example of this is the range of investments available to investors in New Zealand. The options have expanded enormously over the past couple of years - allowing investors more high quality investment opportunities to choose from, many of which are based on techniques originally developed offshore.

"Large corporate borrowers also have a wider range of innovative ways to meet their borrowing needs - either by using concepts such as securitisation or in some cases by borrowing directly from offshore. WIB is seeing an increasing number of its large New Zealand corporate clients targeting offshore investors for funding,” Mr McLean said.

McLean sees transport infrastructure as one of New Zealand’s greatest challenges in the next few years.

“ An improved system will certainly assist to facilitate economic growth but some careful thinking is required as to the best way to finance this. Partnerships will need to be developed combining a mix of public and private sector funding to ensure the necessary projects are built, and built as fast as possible,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer Ann Sherry said she was thrilled David had accepted the position. “The role has changed to allow a real focus on developing the needs of our customers in New Zealand while still having very close links with WIB in Australia, which is really important for our large New Zealand clients” Ms Sherry said.

Mr McLean began his position on January 6 2004.

ENDS

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