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Banking & Finance

Lack of regulation allowing latitude to rogue financial planners

Adele Ferguson and Ruth Williams 12:15am Meritum, a financial advice operation wholly owned by National Australia Bank, finally made a call on high-profile and long-serving financial planner, Alfie Chong in June.

Josh Frydenberg rebuffs calls for financial planning commission

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CLANCY YEATES 4:06pm The Assistant Treasurer says the government has no plans for a royal commission into financial advice after the latest revelations at National Australia Bank, saying it is already responding to problems in the industry.

Goldman Sachs bankers reaped $2.6 billion from share awards last year

Options bonanza: Goldman's current partners have accounted for an outsize portion of the payoffs.

Michael J. Moore 11:57am While Goldman Sachs employees may get less compensation than in the past, many cashed in last year for a payday they've been awaiting since the depths of the financial crisis. Employees exercised options worth $US2.03 billion ($2.59 billion) in 2014, most of them granted in 2008.

Simon Marais dead after battle with cancer

Over his career Simon Marais built a reputation as a

Staff reporters 11:36am Renowned contrarian investor and Allan Gray chief executive Simon Marais has died after losing his battle with cancer.

Money3 profits double despite looming regulatory scrutiny

Money3

James Eyers Payday lender Money3 has more than doubled its net profit for the half year as its acquisition steak continued ad increased its full-year guidance despite looming regulatory scrutiny on the controversial sector. 

IOOF still on hunt for takeover targets as underlying profit jumps 39pc

The wealth management company said its first-half underlying net profit rose 39 per cent to $80.58 million.

SALLY ROSE IOOF Holdings chief executive Chris Kelaher has told shareholders the acquisition of smaller rival SFG Australia last year is on track to add $20 million to the group's bottom line within two years and flagged the wealth manager remains on the lookout for more takeover opportunities.

APRA chief Wayne Byres flags financial planning penalties

APRA's Wayne Byres says the banking regulator is examining the financial planning scandal at National Australia Bank.

James Eyers The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has told banks to review risks that may be lurking in their financial planning divisions as it examines the scandal at National Australia Bank.

ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft says watchdog will expand NAB probe

Greg Medcraft says ASIC was using its formal legal powers to gather more information from NAB.

CLANCY YEATES The corporate regulator has entered into talks with National Australia Bank to review compensation of financial advice clients.

ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft announces expanded probe into NAB

Greg Medcraft says ASIC has expanded its work at NAB.

Mathew Dunckley and Gareth Hutchens The corporate watchdog has revealed it exercised "formal legal powers" as part of an expanding investigation into National Australia Bank's under-fire financial planning division and its big bank peers.

Henderson Group doubles net profit

Ruth Liew Henderson Group has more than doubled its net profit to £258.5 million for the year to December, after the dual-listed fund manager reported its best year of investment inflows.

Wilson flags write-down, cost cuts as interim profit climbs

Brad Gale of Wilson HTM Investment Group.

Joyce Moullakis Wilson HTM Investment Group has flagged cost cutting and a possible accounting write-down that will follow the spin-off of its securities unit. The stockbroking and funds management company outlined its plans as it posted an increase in interim profit on Wednesday.

Financial Services Council wants stricter rules on getting a pension

Retirement

James Eyers The government should make it tougher to qualify for the age pension and shift public expectations that it is an entitlement available to all, the Financial Services Council argues, changes that would alleviate pressure on the federal budget and give the superannuation system a bigger role providing retirement income.

Life insurance business boosts ClearView Wealth profit

ClearView's life insurance sales soared 37 per cent to $101.4 million compared with the same period in 2013.

Ruth Liew ClearView Wealth has posted a 9 per cent increase in underlying profits to $9.9 million for the half-year to December.

Veda swings to first-half profit

Nerida Caesar, CEO, Veda Advantage...

Shaun Drummond Data company Veda Group will benefit from a lengthening list of regulatory and market changes that require extensive ID checks in the next few years, but has kept its low double-digit earnings growth forecast for 2015.

McMillan looks to diversify as half year profit up 62%

Mike Salisbury, CEO of McMillan Shakespeare

Shaun Drummond Australia's largest salary packager and car fleet financier, McMillan Shakespeare said its first-half net profit rose 62 per cent as it recovers from the shock of Labor's pre-election plans for car tax break changes.

Sally Loane urges government to focus on super, not pension

James Eyers Financial Services Council chief Sally Loane will urge the federal government to view superannuation as part of a national retirement income policy as concerns mount about pressure on the age pension.

Concerns as APRA reveals jump in interest-only loans as RBA cites 'unbalanced' property market

The growth in interest-only loans is not slowing down.

CLANCY YEATES The value of new interest-only loans issued by banks, credit unions and building societies expanded by 10.3 per cent to $40.1 billion in the December quarter.

ASIC complex product clampdown embroils banks

ASIC's concerns centre on a group of 10 licensees of such products including HSBC, Westpac Banking Corp, Commonwealth Bank of Australia's subsidiary Count Financial, Genesys Wealth Advisers, and Madison Financial Group.

Clancy Yeates and Joyce Moullakis Banks including the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank have been embroiled in a crackdown on complex financial products that has forced 10 advice businesses to take corrective action.

Bell Financial upbeat on 2015 despite profit drop

Colin Bell, executive chairman of Bell Financial Group, expressed optimism about prospects for 2015 due to increased offshore interest in Australian equities.

Joyce Moullakis Stockbroking and advisory firm Bell Financial Group is encouraged by the start financial markets have had in 2015, despite reporting a dip in full-year net profit.

COMMENT

Watching the watchdog: Secondments spell trouble at ASIC

Michael West dinkus

MICHAEL WEST When players from the industries ASIC is supervising are routinely seconded into its ranks, the public has a right to know.

ClearView wants term 'commission' axed but payments to stay

ClearView chief executive Simon Swanson.

Ruth Liew The boss of listed life insurer ClearView argues the term "commission" should be dropped and backs a crack down on anti-competitive behaviour in the life insurance industry.

NAB boss Andrew Thorburn defends bank after rogue planner scandal

NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn Andrew Thorburn's making his  lunch speech to the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) on Monday.

Nassim Khadem and James Eyers NAB boss Andrew Thorburn has defended the reputation of its financial planning arm following Fairfax's exposure of the rogue planning scandal.

Senate to grill top NAB executives over financial planning misconduct

Andrew Thorburn, managing director and chief executive officer of the National Australia Bank Group.

Nassim Khadem and Adele Ferguson NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn will have to face questions at a Senate inquiry as soon as next week following revelations of misconduct in the bank’s financial planning division, and the sacking of 37 of its financial advisers.

Lawyers investigate NAB, Macquarie compensation

James Eyers Law firm Maurice Blackburn says it will investigate the adequacy of compensation offered by National Australia Bank to its financial advice customers amid ongoing concerns that Macquarie Group is denying customers compensation by construing the definition of advice narrowly.

Wilson HTM Investment to spin off private wealth arm in $5m deal

Wilson HTM MD Sandy Grant said the spin-off will add value for shareholders.

Shaun Drummond and Joyce Moullakis Management and the largest shareholder of Wilson HTM will pay $5 million to buy out the private wealth and stockbroking division of the funds manager.

Higher capital demands might lead to lower dividends at Westpac Bank

Westpac has increased its dividend by 2ยข a share each half year since the first half of 2012.

James Eyers Westpac Banking Corp might review its dividend policy in 2016 if regulators introduce the high capital levels recommended by the financial system inquiry.

Adele Ferguson

NAB leaks: Senator's push for white collar royal commission gains steam

ADELE FERGUSON The Nationals senator who triggered a landmark senate inquiry into Commonwealth Bank of Australia and ASIC has submitted draft terms of reference for a royal commission into white collar crime to Treasurer Joe Hockey's office.

We will dig deeper into financial advice files, NAB boss Andrew Thorburn says

NASSIM KHADEM NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn says the bank will co-operate with a judicial inquiry into the financial planning industry if the Abbott government calls one.

Investors taking on more risk under record low rates

The ASX 200 last week touched a six-year high

CLANCY YEATES The country's two biggest margin lenders, CommSec and BT, have reported a significant rise in the number of margin accounts being opened each week.

Calls for wider inquiry into financial planning industry

The heat will continue to be on the NAB this week.

Clancy Yeates and Adele Ferguson Calls are growing for a Royal Commission into the entire financial planning industry, as new leaked documents reveal National Australia Bank identified five key areas within its advisory activities for further investigation.

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