Lender review

Bankwest

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LoanCaddie Opinion

Borrowers should feel a degree with familiarity with BankWest since it is a part of CBA. CBA is one of the four major Australian banks. As with the other major four banks, Australians have a love/hate relationship with CBA. There is a disdain for the major banks but Australia cannot live without them. Australian financial regulation protects the four major banks from takeover making them highly profitable and uncompetitive (akin to a utility company). Although they are strongly incentivsed by profit, they also operate on a social license which means they cannot ignore the demands of the government. Hence, although we reluctantly put up with their poor service levels, if there is a financial institution that is going to help Australian's out of a tough financial position, it will be one of the four major banks.

Facts and lender background
History

In 1895, the Government of Western Australia established the Agricultural Bank of Western Australia. In 1945, the Agricultural Bank became a full trading bank and changed its name to the Rural and Industries Bank of Western Australia. The bank was incorporated in 1990, and then in 1994 changed its name to the Bank of Western Australia Limited, with the trading name Bankwest, in preparation for privatisation. In December 1995, the Bank of Scotland acquired the bank, and as part of the sale agreement, offered 49 per cent of the shares in Bankwest to the public. In September 2008, Lloyds TSB bought HBOS in a deal worth over £12.2 billion. This was followed in October 2008 when, with significant problems of their own, HBOS/Lloyds TSB agreed to the sale of Bankwest and St Andrews Insurances to Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) for an initial purchase price of A$2.1 billion.

Size

Credit Rating

BankWest is rated AA- by S&P. The Australian Government's guarantee on deposits under the Financial Claims Scheme applies to deposits held with BankWest.

Ownership

BankWest is owned by the Commonwealth Bank. Commonwealth Bank is publicly listed on the ASX.

Funding

25% of Commonwealth Bank's funding is from the wholesale capital market.

Customer service
Product Review Rating
1.5

average is 2.1 / 5

Branch network

As at 30 June 2016, Commonwealth Bank had 1,000 branches (1,131 including Bankwest stores). You are able to transact at more than 3,200 Australia Post outlets that display the Bank@Post sign. This provides you with real-time deposits and the ability to draw cash.

Internet banking

Internet banking is available.

ATM/EFTPOS

Customers can withdraw cash free of charge from any of the major banks ATMs.