Westpac (ASX:WBC) share price lower despite Consumer and Business changes

The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC) share price is lower on Wednesday despite announcing changes to its Consumer and Business divisions…

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The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is trading lower on Wednesday despite the release of a positive announcement.

In afternoon trade the banking giant’s shares are down 0.25% to $24.67.

What did Westpac announce?

Late this morning, Westpac announced a further initiative which aims to simplify its business.

According to the release, the bank is combining its Consumer and Business divisions into a new Consumer & Business Banking division. This change will happen from the start of next week on 22 March.

Leading the new division will be Chris de Bruin. He is currently the Chief Executive of the Westpac Consumer division.

One person that won’t be sticking around, though, is Guil Lima. The current Chief Executive of the Business division will be leaving Westpac following the changes.

Why are the changes being made?

Westpac’s CEO, Peter King, explained that the bank’s new lines of business operating model had enabled it to consolidate divisional management and simplify the business.

He said: “Our new lines of business operating model has given us a solid foundation for this change, with greater clarity on accountability and a common management approach across each of the six business lines.”

Mr King expects the changes to simplify things and also help reduce costs.

The CEO added: “The combined division will drive simplification of banking and help to reduce cost, including by consolidating support functions. The change will enable more efficient utilisation of common assets such as branches and call centres, and better capitalise on the work underway to improve our capabilities, particularly in service, digital and data.”

Positively, the chief executive believes the division is in safe hands with Chris de Bruin.

“Mr de Bruin has significant experience running both consumer and business banking functions at a large multinational bank, as well as a strong background in fintech and digital banking, which will be particularly valuable as we better support customers’ needs,” said Mr King.

The Westpac share price is up almost 26% year to date.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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