The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Westpac faces the (Christmas) music

There's not much to celebrate at the Australian bank, despite the festive parties being back on.

It took a while to get to item one at the Westpac AGM on Thursday.

Before considering the financial reports that normally constitute the first order of business, chairman Lindsay Maxsted asked for any questions about the Austrac matter – the damning report alleging that Westpac committed money-laundering offences that enabled transfers of money linked to child abuse.


Lindsay Maxsted,

More than three hours later, the questions were still coming in.

The tone was set by Chris Schacht, a former Labor senator, who was the second to get the microphone, after the bow tie-wearing activist group Bank Warriors.

Schact said one Westpac customer who sent A$115,000 to the Philippines through the bank did so “to get access to the most vile abuse of human rights short of murder”.

“How the hell did this go on for five years, and Austrac [the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre] warned you last year and the year before? What are we going to do to the restitution of our reputation?”

There was plenty more of this.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree