Bankwest surrenders business brand to CBA, zeroes in on retail-focused tech transformation

Bankwest Business CBA

Bankwest has announced it will move its business customers to products and services hosted by its parent company, The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), with the Perth-headquartered bank shifting its focus onto its more dominant retail arm.

Business products and services will thus no longer be offered under the Bankwest brand, with existing business customers to be transitioned over to CBA.

In a statement, Bankwest said it would embark on a “new technology investment” to support its singular retail customer focus, with its less prominent business arm to be progressively folded into the CBA Group’s operations (though WA-based staff will remain to service business customers).

Without disclosing the precise sum, Sinead Taylor, CBA chief operations officer, who also heads Bankwest’s business transition, said Bankwest’s retail focus will be backed by a CBA-led investment program.

“Our technology investment aims to give Bankwest colleagues the capability to design, build and deliver market-leading products and services that meet changing customer needs nationwide.”

Taylor added: “The banking sector is evolving rapidly, creating an environment where investment at scale is critical to meet our customers’ needs and expectations of banking products and services.”

Bankwest declined to add further detail on this investment, following a request for comment by FST Media.

Taylor, in her statement, noted that Bankwest has predominantly been “a national retail business”.

“Ultimately, the Bankwest of the future will be a WA-based national retail banking business focused 100 [per cent] on meeting the everyday banking and home buying needs of people in households across Australia,” she said.

“We believe offering our business customers access to CBA’s market-leading products and services is the best way to meet their needs and support them in continuing to achieve their goals in today’s demanding market.”

She added that the company is “strongly positioned to compete and deliver great customer outcomes due to its significant scale and the investment planned to enhance its technology capability”.

Despite the branding change, Bankwest said it will continue to provide support to the group’s business customers through its existing WA-based team.

“Our Business Bank team has created a powerful legacy, helping many businesses grow and create new jobs to expand the WA economy over many decades, and they will no doubt continue to contribute to WA’s bright future.”

Bankwest was acquired by CBA in 2008.