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Westpac internal report finds risk governance 'immature and reactive'

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Westpac Banking Corp said on Friday it was launching a multi-year programme to fix shortcomings in its management of non-financial risk that an internal report found to be "immature and reactive".

[BENGALURU] Westpac Banking Corp said on Friday it was launching a multi-year programme to fix shortcomings in its management of non-financial risk that an internal report found to be "immature and reactive".

The second self-assessment since 2018 by Australia's second-biggest bank was triggered by a major money-laundering scandal late last year brought by the country's financial crime watchdog.

"Our reassessment confirms that our management of non-financial risk is currently not at the standard we set for ourselves," chief executive officer Peter King said in a statement.

The report found Westpac to be "overly complex which results in confusion around accountability and challenges in execution."

The scandal last year forced a major managerial shake-up, with Westpac just this week filling the last of its top three positions more than six months on.

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The new programme will focus on improving risk frameworks, setting higher leaderships standards and provide additional training to staff, it said.

In the first self-assessment in 2018, Westpac identified 45 recommendations to fix governance concerns but as of the bank's interim results in May, only 30 of them had been implemented, the report said. 

REUTERS

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