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Westpac is now locally incorporated

Reserve Bank of New Zealand

1 November 2006

Westpac is now locally incorporated


The Reserve Bank has registered Westpac New Zealand Limited as a registered bank. Westpac New Zealand Limited is a New Zealand incorporated subsidiary of Westpac Banking Corporation.

The establishment of Westpac New Zealand Limited means that, in line with the Reserve Bank local incorporation policy, all systemically important banks operating in New Zealand are now locally incorporated.

Until now Westpac's New Zealand business has been conducted by a branch of the Australian incorporated bank. Agreement was reached with Westpac in late 2004 to incorporate in New Zealand. Since then the Reserve Bank has worked closely with Westpac to assist the local incorporation process.

Westpac New Zealand Limited will conduct the retail banking business previously conducted by the New Zealand branch of Westpac Banking Corporation. The branch will continue to undertake wholesale banking business in New Zealand and will remain a registered bank.

Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard commented, local incorporation provides, among other things, a well-understood legal framework for the conduct of business in New Zealand and a local board to act in the best interests of the New Zealand bank.

Further details on the Reserve Bank's local incorporation policy are available on its website at www.rbnz.govt.nz.

ENDS

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