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McFarlane shrugs off BankWest threat

McFarlane shrugs off BankWest threat

(18 July 2007 - Australia) ANZ chief executive John McFarlane does not see BankWest's expansion on Australia's east coast as cause for concern. He said that any new competitor in the Australian market would take some market share from rival banks, particularly one leading with a price based strategy, but did not see this impacting bank profits.

Wait and see was also McFarlane's message, saying until BankWest had successfully executed their strategy it would be difficult to gauge the effects on the market.

ANZ, for its part, is set to open 80 new branches by the end of this financial year. The bank said its differentiator was convenience but that it was also being defensive on price to retain customers notwithstanding it believed the majority of customers in Australia did not buy for price reasons alone.

Last week BankWest announced it will open 160 new branches on Australia's eastern seaboard over the next three to four years.
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