Updating Results

Westpac Group New Zealand

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Johnny Barbarich

6.40 AM

My alarm goes off and is immediately snoozed.

What I perceive to be 6.41 am

My alarm goes off again. I’ve clearly invented time travel because there’s no way that was 10 minutes.

6.50 AM

Up out of bed to have a shower and get ready for the day. As I’m ironing my shirt I think to myself “I really need to do all my ironing on Sunday so I don’t have to do it when I get up.” I probably won’t do it on Sunday.

7.30 AM

I’ve grabbed my pre-prepped breakfast and lunch, said goodbye to my partner Sarah, and jumped in the car on the way to the train station. I’ll usually listen to some chill music or an audiobook in the morning on my way into work. This morning it’s legendary martial artist Georges St. Pierre’s book Way of the Fight.

8.00 AM

I’ve arrived at work, chucked my lunch in the fridge and headed straight to the coffee machine. While the electronic barista is sorting me out with a double shot flat white, I get my breakfast into the microwave. Porridge with some toasted mixed nuts, a berry compote and a bit of coconut sugar is my go to. Writing this down now, it sounds way fancier than it actually is.

8.30 AM

The day’s kicked off with our normal weekly meeting, going through any updates or clarifications we have received in the past week and discussing any unusual situations we have come across to ensure a consistent team approach going forward. Our team all get on really well together, so our meetings are always filled with equal amounts of laughter and serious discussion.


8.45 AM

First thing in the morning is generally our most quiet time, so we will all crack into the emails from the previous evening before the phone lines start to pick up. There is a few pre-onboarding checks for enhanced due diligence customers waiting in the inbox, so we each grab one or two of them. This work keeps the team pretty busy throughout the day, typically with back to back phone calls from our customer facing teams right up until lunch breaks. Any gaps in the calls or emails are filled up by doing the prep work for our team working on the AML escalations to ensure they have all the information regarding transactions and account activity before the customers are contacted.

12.00 PM

I jump off the phone queue to join a conference call with our QA and ORCA teams to run through the new quick reference guides for Maori entities. Before joining the bank, my background was training and coaching (although I was teaching people how to throw punches/kicks, which is a little bit different than AML compliance!) so I always really enjoy getting the opportunity to develop new training material to help our customer-facing staff out with their day to day work.

A young professional at his office desk

We run through the most common pain points we hear from the customer-facing staff and look at the best way to cover off the information in the QRG. Having come from branch, I know just how varied the role can be and how important it is to have really clear guidelines to follow to ensure we are getting it right, especially when it comes to complicated ECDD organisations.

1.00 PM

Lunch time. Today’s menu is sesame chicken, rice, bok choy and gai lan. I catch up on the news on my phone while I’m eating, then head outside for a bit of fresh air and a wander around to get the legs moving. I head back inside and have a chat with the others on lunch until it’s time to head back to work.

2.00 PM

Conference call number two for the day. Still going through the new QRGs, this time for Look Through Companies (LTCs). This is a bit of a quicker call as LTCs tend to be less complicated to onboard compared to Maori entities. We take a bit of time to catch up with each other at the end of the call and discuss what other collaborative work we have coming up.

3.00 PM

Now that the call has wrapped up, I’m back on the phones and emails. It’s been a bit of a busy day so there is a fair amount of work to carry me through until 5pm.

5.00 PM

Done for the day. The final calls have been wrapped up and I’m heading out of the office to the train station. It’s not quite home time for me yet, as I’m heading straight from the office to training.

In the hallway

5.20 PM

I get back to my car at the train station and hop in. I put some music on to get into the mood for training. I have been listening to Australian metalcore band Polaris recently, and chuck on their most recent album. My long hair and band t-shirt days are behind me, but I’m still a fan of the music.

6.00 PM

I arrive at Team Hardcore Thai Boxing gym and quickly get changed into my training gear. There’s a beginners’ class running and our coach is currently in a leg cast, so I lend a hand demonstrating techniques at the start of the rounds.  Whether it’s onboarding enhanced entities or fighting, I always have a great time coaching.

6.30 PM

My favourite time of the week rolls around – Wednesday night sparring. We get warmed up with 10 minutes of skipping, then get our protective gear on – mouthguard, 16 oz. gloves, groin guard, shin pads – and pair up. We’ve got 12 rounds of sparring tonight, followed by five rounds of clinching (stand-up grappling – a bit like a hug but with more knees involved). A few of the guys have their first ever fights coming up, so everyone is training hard to get them ready.

7.30 PM

We’ve finished up and taken our gear off. I take a seat on the mats to have a stretch and chat about what went well sparring and what we need to work on next week.

8.30 PM

I finally arrive home, get cleaned up and have some dinner. Sarah’s out at her weekly acting class, so I sneak in the opportunity to play some PlayStation and load up Call of Duty Warzone.

9.30 PM

Sarah arrives home and we catch up on each other’s day. We get ready for bed and I check that the alarm’s set for the next morning, ready to do it all again.