Westpac chief rails against extra regulation

The chairman of Westpac has warned against increasing regulation on banks, saying it is not in the interest of the economy, shareholders or customers.

The International Monetary Fund says Australia's big four banks should be forced to hold more in reserve as a safeguard against a crisis.

But Lindsay Maxted says that is unnecessary because Australian banks are among the strongest in the world.

He told Westpac's annual general meeting Australian banks were well funded, well regulated and low risk.

"On any comparable measure Australian banks are strong and well capitalised," he said.

"Indeed Westpac's capital ratio places it in the upper ranks of banks globally." He says that is through current and adequate supervision.

"Appropriate supervision and regulation including from APRA, from the RBA and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand," he said.

"Excessive regulation of capital would risk placing our institutions at a disadvantage against international peers and potentially limit the financial resources available to support our economies.

"That would not be in the interests of the economy, our customers nor indeed of you, our shareholders."

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