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Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett

Western Australia Treasurer Colin Barnett

Bankwest Legislation Passes State Parliament

Victor P Taffa

  • Legislation to enable Bankwest to comply with Federal policy passes State Parliament
  • Contains key provisions ensuring Bankwest’s continued commitment to WA

Legislation securing and strengthening Bankwest’s financial and operational commitments to Western Australia passed State Parliament yesterday.

Premier and Treasurer Colin Barnett said the legislation was designed to enable Bankwest and the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) to comply with Federal regulations requiring them to operate under a single banking licence.

Premier Barnett said the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority required Bankwest (which has been owned by the CBA since 2008) to cease operating as a separate company and operate under the same banking licence as CBA, or raise funds under its own Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI) licence.

The Treasurer said any change to allow Bankwest to operate under the CBA’s ADI licence meant amendments had to be made to the Bank of Western Australia Act 1995 in State Parliament.

Premier Barnett said key commitments already in the existing legislation would be maintained and updated, including continuing to carry on the type and scale of Bankwest’s business at June 2011 levels and keeping the location of the head office and management in WA.

The legislation also means that, for a period of at least five years, Bankwest will be required to:

  • Maintain a specified minimum number of points of presence (i.e. branches, business centres, etc) in WA, with no closure of regional branches except for amalgamations or relocations in a local area
  • Maintain four specified senior officers, in addition to the managing director, in WA
  • Maintain Bankwest sponsorship and community support activities in the State at no less than current levels.

Fact File

  • Bankwest is required to provide an annual certificate confirming compliance with the commitments

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