By Paulina Duran
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s Westpac Banking Corp is exiting banking operations in China and some other Asian markets to focus on its core domestic and New Zealand businesses, as it grapples with capital constraints amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The country’s second-largest lender, whose capital has been eroded by a record lawsuit settlement and a surge in bad-debt provisions due to the pandemic, said on Wednesday it will exit operations in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Jakarta, where it does business with institutional clients.
It will instead consolidate its international operations into branches in Singapore, London and New York.
Under pressure from regulators to increase their capital bases, and from investors to show higher returns from their investments, Australian banks have been selling non-core assets, including their offshore operations.
Following a failed big push