Questions asked at the 2021 Westpac AGM

December 26, 2021

Here is the text of some of the questions asked at the 2021 Westpac AGM. There was at least two more but I forget to keep a copy of them.

Did any of the main proxy advisers - ACSI, Ownership Matters, Glass Lewis and ISS - recommend a vote against any of today's resolutions? Which of the proxy advisers are covering us and has their been a material proxy protest vote against any of today's resolutions? Will you disclose the proxy votes before the debate on today's resolutions so shareholders can ask questions if there have been any protest votes?

The $3.5 billion off market buyback was meant to be closing on December 17 but you have now extended it until February 11. How many shares had been tendered at the time you announced the extension and did you change the discount range from 8-14% to 0-10% before it had become apparent the take-up rate would be substantially below $3.5 billion, mainly because the fully franked dividend component was going to be less than 50% of the total return for participants.

The chairman made much today of how bureaucratic Westpac was before he joined the board and how important it was to completely overhaul the management team, given the poor performance. What does that say about the historical performance of new CEO Peter King who joined Westpac in 1994 and had been CFO since 2014? How can Peter talk about Westpac being "profoundly different" from two years ago when he was a key executive who built the business up until 2019. Could Peter comment on what mistakes he felt Westpac made during his 5 year stint as CFO?

The pledge to cut costs from $13 billion to $8 billion by 2024 is incredibly ambitious. How much are we currently spending maintaining our Australian branch network, how large was our branch network at the peak after the St George acquisition, what is it down to now and what will the numbers likely be at the end of 2024?

Westpac has slipped from being close to the most valuable Australian bank after the St George acquisition in 2008, to now being the 5th most valuable bank having even fallen behind Macquarie Group in recent weeks. As the former CEO of ANZ, could John McFarlane please comment on what has led Westpac to be the worst performing major bank for shareholders over the past decade?

Given the interesting discussions across a range of topics today, including this constitutional amendment, could the chair undertake to make an archived copy of the webcast plus a full transcript of proceedings available on the company's website. Nine Entertainment chairman Peter Costello, who appreciates the benefit of a parliamentary Hansard transcript where MPs don't have to scroll through old videos to find out what was said, recently made this change & had a full transcript of Nine's AGM online before the end of the day. Can we match this?