Westpac eyes forex opportunity in broker channel

Westpac has flagged that there are foreign exchange opportunities for mortgage brokers who deal with overseas clients.

Speaking at a broker event on Sunday, Westpac general manager of broker distribution Tony MacRae said 70 per cent of Westpac customers introduced through the broker channel fall under the category of ‘affluent’.

Mr MacRae said Westpac’s broker channel leads the way in cross-sell, with the lender on its way to hitting five products per customer.

In addition to expanding its wealth products through BT, Westpac is in the early stages of opening its institutional bank and foreign exchange capabilities to brokers.

Mr MacRae highlighted the fact that a growing number of Westpac third-party partners and their clients do business overseas.

“We are working with our institutional bank to ensure that your overseas customers, or those customers that trade overseas, will have access to the best foreign exchange rates in town,” Mr MacRae said.

“The broker who solely focuses on the transaction and the home loan is slowly disappearing,” he said.

“The new and successful breed of broker is offering far more services for their customer. We will continue to strengthen this area by bringing together experts in our segment fields so we can deliver more to you and you can deliver more to your customers.”

In February, Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens said the Australian financial system needs to be “well prepared” for a sharp increase in the use of China’s currency for trade purposes.

Speaking at the launch of the official Australian renminbi (RMB) clearing bank in Sydney in February, Mr Stevens said the key direct benefit of the official bank is that it can more efficiently facilitate transactions between Australian firms and their mainland Chinese counterparts using the Chinese currency.

“Bank of China (Sydney)'s ‘official’ status – which was granted by the People's Bank of China (PBC) – affords it more direct access to the Chinese financial system, with flow-on effects for local financial institutions and their customers,” he said.

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