The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has acquired BankWest and St Andrew’s Australia in a bid to bolster its presence in Western Australia.

The $2.1 billion purchase in early October from parent Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) does not extend to HBOS’s other Australian businesses – Capital Finance Australia, BOS International (Australia) and HBOS’s Australian Treasury operations. St Andrew’s, which provides life insurance and wealth management products to the Australian marketplace and has funds under management and advice of more than $2.4 billion, is expected to be integrated into the broader group.

The deal includes Queensland-based financial planning business Whittaker Macnaught, which was purchased by St Andrew’s in 2007.

“BankWest provides a significant opportunity to further develop the group’s business in the fast growing Western Australian market,” says Ralph Norris, Commonwealth Bank chief executive officer.

“It complements our existing operations and will deliver additional growth opportunities in key market segments, as well as enhanced product and service delivery opportunities for customers.”

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