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Westpac focuses on small-business market

Westpac (ASX: WBC) is looking to boost its share of the small-business market and has for the first time hired a senior executive dedicated to the sector.

Whilst the bank already boasts 640,000 small business customers, it has recognised that small and medium-size businesses are a “critical contributor” to the economy, and that it is vital that they are provided with every opportunity to get off the ground and plan for their future. As such, it has hired Julie Rynski as general manager of the division as of Monday.

Westpac-owned St George Bank also announced earlier this month that it was focused on small-business banking, given that confidence is rising due to the low interest rates environment.

The move by both Westpac and St George could help the group climb from its position of maintaining the smallest share of the business lending market of any of the big four banks with just 15.5%. In comparison, National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) controls 24.1%.

Foolish takeaway

Despite the growth opportunities being sought by the big banks, their shares have become overpriced and remain very unlikely to deliver market-beating returns in the long-term. Instead, it may be a good idea to look elsewhere for investment ideas.

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

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