UPDATE 1-Australia’s Westpac to sell auto loans business to Cerberus

(Adds details on financial aspects of deal, background)

June 28 (Reuters) – Westpac Banking Corp said on Monday it will sell its auto finance business to U.S. private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management for an undisclosed amount.

Australia’s second-largest lender has been offloading assets over the past year to focus on its core banking operations after a series of scandals ramped up regulatory scrutiny.

It marks the second sale of one of its businesses to Cerberus, which in August last year bought Westpac’s vendor finance business.

Westpac said it will transfer around A$1 billion ($759 million) of wholesale dealer loans to Angle Finance, a Cerberus company.

The lender will generate an accounting gain on the sale, which is expected to add six basis points to its common equity tier 1 capital, it said.

The latest sale comes as the Sydney-based bank plans to slash costs by around a fifth, including by closing branches, as it focuses on beefing up its…

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