Westpac registers growth in tech expenses

Technology expenses up 12 per cent for the year

Westpac's technology expenses grew 12 per cent in the 12 months to 30 September to $1.75 billion, the bank revealed today.

In the second half the group's technology expenses were up 14 per cent — $113 million per cent — on the first half of 2015, the bank reported today in its full year results.

The bank attributed the year-on-year increase to software amortisation and IT equipment depreciation relating to investment programs including digital, Asia and regulatory change initiatives.

In addition the bank registered growth in telecommunications expenses from investing in customer-facing videoconferencing.

The bank's investment spend for the full year was $1.03 billion, down 4 per cent year-on-year.

In the second half, tech initiatives by the bank included completing migration of business customers to its Westpac Live online banking platform and digital customer experience improvements.

The bank also spent $125 million on other technology initiatives, including its data centre consolidation program.

Server infrastructure was consolidated from 12 data centres down to two; Westpac said the program had reduced opex and boosted security.

Westpac revealed earlier this year a plan increase its annual investment spend by 20 per cent, with the bulk of it dedicated to technology, digital and simplification projects.

Westpac reported statutory net profit for the year of $8.01 billion, up 6 per cent.

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