​Westpac CEO to oversee tech functions

Westpac CIO Dave Curran will no longer be reporting to chief operating officer John Arthur, but will now report directly to Brian Hartzer, the new CEO of the company.

Westpac Group's new CEO Brian Hartzer has announced that while no changes will be made to the company's executive team and their responsibilities under his leadership, some reporting lines will change, including the bank's technology division.

Hartzer, who commenced the CEO role on Tuesday following the departure of Gail Kelly, said Westpac's technology function will now report directly to him, and no longer to chief operating officer John Arthur.

He said that given the changing ways of how customers are choosing to manage their finances, particularly through online, digital, and mobile solutions, the bank's technology function will be critical in helping the company achieve its strategy.

"As such, it is appropriate that Dave Curran's role will report directly to me," Hartzer said.

Other changes that will be made include the elimination of the Australian Financial Services division, which in turn will see all retail product development, marketing, analytics functions, and group-wide operations become the responsibility of the chief operating officer.

"The close coordination of our Australian business has served us well. To maintain this momentum and ensure I personally stay close to customers, the CEOs of each customer-facing business will report directly to me," Hartzer said.

The changes are effective immediately.

Hartzer also outlined that the group will continue to deliver its customer-centric strategy, which has so far seen the bank undergo a digitisation program.

"[Our priorities] include digitally transforming our business, increasing our investment in wealth, business banking, and Asia, and working more closely with innovation industries and disruptive technologies that are transforming our economy," he said.

"At the same time, we will continue to improve productivity, and make sure that our risk and business practices continue to set the standard for sustainability, in line with changing regulatory and community expectations."

As part of the digitisation program, Westpac has launched a new online banking platform, contactless payment functionality, cardless ATM withdrawals, and consolidated its core banking platform with St George.