Westpac re-homes technology function again in fresh restructure

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Westpac re-homes technology function again in fresh restructure

Intends to cut the size of corporate functions by one-fifth.

Westpac is restructuring where its technology services sit within the broader banking organisation, creating a new division that will be led by Scott Collary.

It’s the second shift in the internal positioning of technology in less than two years; the bank previously joined its operations and technology functions together in July 2020, which Collary - a former ANZ CIO - was brought in to front.

The bank said today that its latest restructure would “improve end-to-end accountability for customer products and services” and “involves moving support services including HR, finance and technology to the businesses and customers they support.”

"Today, we announced the next phase of organisational changes that build on our line-of-business model and assist in delivering head office restructuring," CEO Peter King told analysts.

"First implemented in 2020, our line-of-business operating model has created businesses responsible for our major customer offerings such as mortgages, and the model is intended to establish end-to-end accountability, help speed up decision-making, and shift decision-making closer to the customer.

"Today’s changes take this model a step further by moving more support functions such as finance and IT closer to the business, and delivers leaner and more focused head office."

An org chart released by the bank shows two divisions inside of a “shared services” grouping.

Technology will be folded into one of these divisions, called ‘Customer Services & Technology’.

“Customer Services & Technology will be responsible for functions that support our customers and benefit from operating at scale including operations, remediation, complaints and technology,” Westpac said in a financial filing.

“Scott Collary, currently chief operating officer, will lead this division as group executive, Customer Services & Technology.”

Westpac said the restructure - which forms part of a three-year plan to reduce the bank’s cost base to $8 billion by 2024 - would lead to “a smaller, more focused head office”.

This involved staff cuts, with Westpac saying it is “reducing the size of corporate functions by around 20 percent.”

“The changes have already commenced, with a reduction in headcount of more than 1100 during the past quarter,” Westpac said.

“The reductions include a mix of third-party contractors and staff.” 

King told financial analysts that 900 of the 1100 cuts last quarter were contractors.

It was immediately unclear how many of the reductions had directly impacted Westpac’s technology operations. 

Further comment is being sought from a Westpac spokesperson.

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