Westpac provides a full range of banking and financial services, including online banking, bank accounts, home loans/mortgages, credit cards, personal loans, foreign exchange, insurance, KiwiSaver funds management, investment funds, and business banking.

Currently, Westpac NZ offers a full-service to approximately 1.5 million customers, and 197 branches nationwide. It is the dominant provider of banking services to small to medium business, corporate and institutional organisations, and is the banker of the New Zealand government. As of June 2022, it is the third largest bank in New Zealand, with a market share of 19%.

Parent company is Westpac Banking Corporation – an Australian multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in Sydney, New South Wales.

Source: wikipedia.org/wiki/Westpac

Woke Rating

We rate Westpac as woke, but much less woke than the other major NZ banks (ASB, ANZ, BNZ, Kiwibank).

Woke Summary

  • Virtue Signalling – not much virtue signalling found, much less virtue signalling than other major banks in New Zealand.
  • Gender Ideology & LGBTQ – Westpac is Rainbow Tick Certified. Involved in LGBTQI+ events and initiatives
  • Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) – has DEI policies. Applies gender recruitment targets. Committed to 40:40:20 gender split.
  • Climate Change – supports the Paris Agreement, and has emissions reduction targets. Westpac is a member of the UN’s Net Zero Banking Alliance.

Woke Policies

Wokeness and virtue signalling distracts a company from its core business, which is to make a profit for shareholders while delivering excellent, affordable products and services to its customers. Businesses should not be distracted from this core purpose, otherwise there will be unnecessary costs which are ultimately passed onto consumers. Woke ideologies are typically unfriendly towards the traditional family unit.

Westpac has some woke policies but is much less woke than the other major NZ banks (ASB, ANZ, BNZ, Kiwibank).

Virtue Signalling

Westpac displays much less virtue signalling than other major banks in New Zealand.

This ad/post below is a prime example of virtue signalling and tokenism…

Gender Ideology & LGBTQ+

Westpac NZ was one of the first companies in New Zealand to be awarded Rainbow Tick Certification, and Westpac has been involved in LGBTQI+ events and initiatives, including Pride Month, Pride Parade etc. 

“We look to create a safe, respectful and inclusive work environment for our LGBTTQIA+ employees and customers. We have been accredited with the Rainbow Tick since 2014, which recognises our commitment to Rainbow inclusion and that we welcome sexual and gender diversity in the workplace.”

“We have a strong partnership with Rainbow Auckland, New Zealand’s largest LGBTTQIA+ membership association providing support and advocacy for the Rainbow community. We have had the honour of hosting several events for Rainbow Auckland and deeply value this partnership.”

Source: www.westpac.co.nz/about-us/sustainability-community/partnerships/


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Westpac has DEI and ESG policies and applies gender recruitment targets. Committed to 40:40:20 gender split (40 percent, 40 percent male, and 20 percent non-binary) on the Westpac Board of Directors and Executive Team. 

Previously we’ve written about Westpac canceling men in their marketing materials, campaigns and websites.

Westpac supports Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) initiatives and targets. 

Source: Westpac Corporate Governance Statement.pdf

Source: Westpac AnnualReport-2023.pdf

Climate Change

Westpac supports the Paris Agreement, Agenda 2030 and 2050, and has emissions reduction targets. In 2022, Westpac Group joined the United Nations-convened Net-Zero Banking Alliance, committing to the global transition to a low emissions economy by 2050. As a signatory to the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, Westpac Group has committed to:

  • Aligning Westpac Group’s lending portfolio to net-zero by 2050
  • Setting 2030 emissions reduction targets for certain material, high emitting sectors, aligned to limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100

Westpac has already set a specific Net-Zero Banking Alliance target for the agriculture sector, including emissions targets for farms it loans to.

Source: www.westpac.co.nz/about-us/sustainability-community/climate-action/

Source: www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/502461/westpac-sets-intensity-based-emissions-target-for-farms-it-loans-to

“Westpac NZ supports urgent action on climate change.”

Source: www.westpac.co.nz/about-us/sustainability-community/climate-action/

“Westpac Group is committed to reducing the Group’s direct operational and financed emissions in line with a 1.5°C pathway to net-zero by 2050.”

Westpac was New Zealand’s first Carbon Zero Certified bank and a founding member of the Climate Leaders Coalition.

“As signatories to the Climate Leaders Coalition, we are committed to working together to accelerate our transition towards a zero-carbon and climate resilient future where Aotearoa, and all New Zealanders, can thrive. We honour the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.”

Climate Leaders Coalition signatories must meet these four minimum requirements:

  1. Measuring our emissions, having them independently verified, and reporting them publicly;
  2. Adopting short-and-long-term gross absolute science aligned targets for scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions to support the delivery of substantial reductions needed to limit future warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius;
  3. Assessing climate change risks and opportunities (including in the value chain), setting objectives and/or target(s) to reduce these risks and maximise opportunities, and publicly disclosing them;
  4. Proactively enabling our employees, board members, customers, and suppliers to reduce their emissions and reduce their climate change risks

Climate change is one of the defining issue of our times and Warm Up is just one of the initiatives we’re rolling out to meet this challenge:
* Warm Up expanded and EV chargers and solar batteries added alongside solar panels, clean heating, insulation and ventilation.
* Westpac Group, including Westpac NZ, has today announced it has signed up to the UN-convened Net-Zero Banking Alliance – a commitment to a net zero lending portfolio by 2050.
* We’re piloting new Sustainable Agribusiness Loans offering discounted loan pricing for sustainable farming practices
* We’re launching Westpac NZ’s Responsible Banking and Investment Position summarising for customers our position on a myriad of ESG issues from lending to coal mining to payday lenders to firearms and tobacco.

Positive Policies & Activities

Sponsorships and Partnerships

  • Westpac Rescue Helicopters – a 24/7 free service that responds to accidents and medical emergencies, carries out search and rescue missions.
  • NZ Landcare Trust – NZ Landcare Trust partner and support farmers, agencies and community catchment groups to improve the quality and future of Aotearoa’s waterways and landscapes. 
  • Rescue Rashies – Westpac created the Rescue Rashie; a rash vest for kids, with CPR instructions under the zip. 
  • iSPORT – helping young Kiwis be physically active and participate in sport regardless of their circumstances.
  • Duffy Books in Homes – new books are gifted to children from low decile schools and early childhood centres.

Dementia-Friendly Banking – Westpac is New Zealand’s first dementia friendly bank. The aim is to help people with dementia to plan ahead, access financial services and get help to remain independent for as long as possible. www.westpac.co.nz/about-us/sustainability-community/partnerships/dementia-friendly-banking/

Accessibility Tick – Committed to becoming more accessible and inclusive of customers and employees with disabilities.

DVFREE Tick – Helping our employees impacted by domestic violence to feel safe and supported through our policies, procedures and learning solutions.

Employee Benefits include:

  • Up to 10 days bereavement leave
  • Paid Parental Leave – 26 weeks paid primary carer’s leave and 4 weeks paid support carer’s leave
  • School holiday programme subsidy
  • Career break leave between 3 and 12 months unpaid

Volunteering – Two paid days per year for employees to support a charity or social enterprise they care about.

Note – This page was updated as of 20th May 2024. Please contact us if you’ve discovered other relevant information about Westpac or other businesses pushing woke agendas. You should also contact us if you discover some positively woke-free businesses.

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