The Westpac (ASX:WBC) share price has fallen in the last week. Here’s why

Westpac shares have struggled over this past week. Here are the details.

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The Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC) share price has slipped into the red over the last few days and, at the time of writing, is trading at $25.18.

Whereas the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has fallen 2.3% over the last week, Westpac’s shares have dipped 2.7% into the red.

Let’s take a look at what’s causing these selling pressures for the banking giant’s shares.

What’s up with the Westpac share price lately?

The big market mover for the Westpac share price has been the company’s announcement to trim its savings rates by 0.5%.

Specifically, it cut rates on its “life savings” products by 0.5% for account holders aged 18-29 and 0.1% for all other ages. The introductory rate on its “eSavers” account is also 100 basis points lower after the decision.

Westpac has carried the haircut through to each of its subsidiaries, St George, Bank of Melbourne and Bank SA.

The “Big 4” member’s decision marks its third rate cut within the last year, after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) adjusted the cash rate in November 2020.

Following this decision, the Westpac share price has plummeted from $26 and seems set on a southward course.

Adding more fuel to the fire is a recent note out of leading broker Bell Potter Securities on Westpac’s shares.

In its analysis, the broker reiterated its hold rating and feels Westpac shares are trading on a rich valuation at the moment.

It also was dissatisfied to see the company’s approximate 90% sale of Westpac Bank PNG Limited was blocked by Papua New Guinean authorities.

As such, Bell Potter sees better value elsewhere – although, as The Motley Fool’s James Mickelboro notes, Citi has the opposite view of Bell Potter. It has a buy rating and a $30 price target on the Westpac share price.

The sum of these two events appears to be some of the fuel that is propelling the Westpac share price lower this past week.

Westpac share price snapshot

It’s not all doom and gloom for the banking giant’s share price.

Westpac shares have climbed ahead of the broad indices this year and have posted a return of 29% since January 1.

Over the last 12 months, the Westpac share price has gained a further 52%, well ahead of the broad index’s gain of 25%.

Despite this, Westpac shares are down around 3% over the last month as well.

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The author Zach Bristow has no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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