Bankwest announces strategic referral relationship with Allianz Finance

Sydney, 23 September 2008

Sydney: BankWest today announced it had entered into a strategic referral relationship with Allianz Finance to provide debtor finance products to the bank’s customers nationally.

Under the agreement, BankWest will refer all new debtor finance customers to Allianz Finance while existing debtor finance clients will be transitioned to Allianz over the next two months.

Chief Executive Officer of Allianz Finance, Brad Bartlem, said: "As a specialist provider of debtor finance Allianz welcomes the opportunity to enter into this referral arrangement with BankWest and looks forward to building a strong working relationship with BankWest over coming years."

"With the growing turmoil in the global credit markets, Allianz Finance is pleased it can play its part in helping Australian companies facilitate growth through the provision of dependable cashflow funding," Mr Bartlem added.

"In these challenging times, access to cash is more vital than ever to enable business owners to finance growth and acquisition, as well as cover ongoing expenses such as wages," he said. "For those business owners who do not have ‘bricks and mortar’ they can offer as security, debtor finance is a vital form of finance that can help them achieve their business growth aspirations."

Allianz Finance will offer existing BankWest clients debtor finance (or invoice discounting) under the same or similar pricing structure without the ‘red tape’ typically associated with many types of loan facilities. As an added bonus, customers might also be eligible for Bad Debt Insurance, which helps protect business owners in the event customers cannot pay their bills. Allianz Finance will also absorb the legal fees associated with a client’s transfer from BankWest.

Allianz Finance provides a range of debtor finance solutions such as invoice discounting to Australian business and is part of Allianz Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of the worldwide Allianz Group, one of the world’s largest financial services companies.

Mr Tony McCabe, National Director, International Trade Finance, Corporate & Business Division, BankWest, said: "It was paramount to us that we selected a partner who would continue to deliver high service levels to our customers and provide the peace of mind that goes with partnering a local Australian company that’s part of a strong global brand."

"We believe Allianz Finance, a specialist provider of debtor finance and part of Allianz Australia, one of the country’s largest general insurers, is the ideal company to provide debtor finance to our customers."

"Given the current challenging economic conditions, we’re confident that additional benefits such as Bad Debt Insurance will also appeal to our business customers," Mr McCabe added.

Media enquiries

Nicholas Scofield
Allianz Australia
Ph. 02 9390 6596
0416 088 414

Allianz Australia

The Allianz Australia Group operates in Australia and New Zealand. It is one of Australia’s largest general insurers, a leading private workers’ compensation insurer, and also provides life insurance.

Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services. Allianz is proud to be of service to more than 2 million policy holders and over 50% of Australia’s top 200 BRW listed companies have some form of insurance cover with the group.

Allianz Australia has approximately 3300 staff. In 2007, the company achieved a gross written premium exceeding AU$2.4 billion and investment assets of approximately AU$5.5 billion. Allianz Australia Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the worldwide Allianz Group, one of the world’s largest financial services companies.