HBOS yesterday stepped up its international expansion plans with an aggressive push into Australia’s lucrative east coast banking market. Daily Telegraph. The Times. The Independent. The Guardian

HBOS’s BankWest subsidiary is to open 160 branches in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and other key centres along the east coast. It will target busy high streets and shopping malls with high levels of footfall, where 50% of Australia's population lives.

BankWest already has 86 branches in Western Australia and four in the east.

The expansion is expected to require £160m of investment.