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Westpac’s new strategist

With an aim to drive growth and increase productivity, Westpac (ASX: WBC) has appointed Gordon Goetzmann as its new strategy chief, who will report directly to the bank’s CEO Gail Kelly.

Although Australia’s big four banks were recently recognised as the most profitable lenders in the world for the third year running, demand in traditional markets such as home loans remains low. As such, the banks are eagerly searching for strategies that will provide them with new avenues for growth.

One avenue that Westpac has taken this year has involved offshoring a number of jobs in order to cut costs, as well as to expand its opportunities overseas. According to The Australian Financial Review, the company considered offshoring 130 jobs earlier this year and has set a goal of increasing revenue generated from the Asian market to $750 million within five years – an amount which represents around seven times the amount generated from Asia at present. ANZ (ASX: ANZ) is already well positioned for growth in this market.

Aiming to improve upon its recent record profits, Goetzmann will bring experience to Westpac in implementing new strategies, whilst he “understands the structural changes currently impacting the sector and their flow-on to regulation, productivity and balance sheet management”, according to Ms. Kelly.

Foolish takeaway

With experts suggesting there is a 60% chance of an interest rate cut when the RBA meets next month, Westpac and the other banks should start to see improvements in the home loan market, increasing profitability for investors.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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