Westpac chief set for Australian banking probe

20 January 2011

The chief executive of Sydney-based bank Westpac is due to appear before an Australian Senate enquiry into the country's recent financial sector reform later this week, it has been revealed.

Gail Kelly will speak to the Senate Economics Reference Committee (SERC) on Friday (January 21st 2011), after a scheduled Brisbane hearing was scrapped due to the floods which have hit much of Queensland.

Other senior figures from the industry - including bosses from the other 'big four' banks - who have addressed the panel insisted it remains in good condition despite ongoing global jitters and claimed competition is strong down under.

Ms Kelly's attendance will be the first chance she has had to comment on treasurer Wayne Swan's regulatory overhaul, which has so far met with a largely positive response from executives who have discussed the issue with the SERC.

Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Australian banks may require fresh equity of around AU$19 billion ($15 billion) in order to comply with new global rules intended to strengthen capital requirements.

By Claire Archer

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