Banking & Finance


Mutual lenders call for return of capital raising power

Shaun Drummond 3:50 PM   Credit unions, building societies and mutual banks want regulators to let them raise equity that pays franked dividends and counts as loss-absorbing capital to ensure they stay competitive with listed banks.

Former Provident Capital director cops two-year ban

ASIC found John Sweeney guilty of misleading and deceptive conduct.

Sarah Danckert   A former director of subprime lender Provident Capital, which collapsed in 2012 owing thousands of investors $130 million, has been banned from working the financial services industry for two years after being caught providing faulty reports to a subsidiary of embattled financial services giant IOOF.  

IOOF chairman to front Senate

Labor senator Sam Dastyari says IOOF will not be able to sweep misbehaviour 'under the rug'.

Adele Ferguson and Sarah Danckert   The Senate has added IOOF chairman Roger Sexton and company secretary Danielle Corcoran as the company representatives it wishes to examine next week at a hearing in Sydney. 

ASX tech chief says overhaul unique

ASX chief information officer Tim Thurman has an extra 75 contract staff on top of his 200 IT staff on site every day to upgrade its systems.

Shaun Drummond   ASX Ltd chief information officer Tim Thurman is a veteran of exchange upgrades but he says the overhaul of the ASX's systems is unique in his experience because everything is being replaced, including some ancient technology.

Janus Capital snaps up 51pc of Challenger's Kapstream

Janus Capital Group counts bond guru Bill Gross among its investment personnel.

Ruth Liew   Janus Capital Group, which counts bond guru Bill Gross among its investment personnel, has snapped up a 51 per cent stake in Australian fixed-income manager Kapstream Capital.

ANZ tipped to sell Asia stakes in capital push

ANZ may sell its stake in Panin Bank in Indonesia and two Chinese banks to boost capital, says Deutsche.

James Eyers   The need for higher equity ratios will drive ANZ to sell its capital-hungry minority stakes in up to three Asian banks over the next couple of years, Deutsche Bank says.

HSBC eyes Australian-Chinese growth

HSBC executives said Australia was a priority market for the group, with the country's links to Asia being a key focus.

Clancy Yeates   HSBC has singled out the booming trade and investment flows between Australia and China as a key priority.

ATM use on the decline

42 per cent of customers do not use an ATM in a typical week, new figures show.

Clancy Yeates   More and more people do not use an ATM in a typical week, new figures show.

Hedge fund returns drop from 14.4pc to 4.2pc

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Joyce Moullakis   Annual returns in the hedge fund sector fell from 14.4 per cent in 2012 to just 4.2 per cent in 2014.

Money3 shares soar after ASIC deal

After pressure from ASIC Payday lender Money3 is reducing some fees and refunding some customers.

James Eyers   Shares in Money3 surged by almost 20 per cent on Wednesday morning after the payday lender said it had resolved a query from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission over a previous loan product. 

Qantas, Virgin revenue threatened by payment reforms

Cuts and caps to merchant card fees paid to banks, being considered by the Reserve Bank, could hit airline rewards businesses hard.

Shaun Drummond   Qantas and Virgin Australia’s frequent flyer businesses could lose at least $100 million in revenue from banks if the Reserve Bank implements the mildest of the reforms to payments regulation it is now considering.

Investment loans not slowing down

The big four banks remain the world's most profitable.

Clancy Yeates   Housing investor credit growth expanded at a quicker pace than the banking regulator's 10 per cent-a-year cap in May.

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Coinbase to push bitcoin in Australia after Westpac VC deal

Coinbase provides a range of services to the bitcoin economy.

James Eyers   The co-founder of Coinbase, Fred Ehrsam, says the Bitcoin company will engage with local regulators about cryptocurrencies as a precursor to potential expansion in Australia.

Professional indemnity prices remain flat for financial advisers

Mega Capital says the cost of  professional indemnity insurance has remained flat despite a flurry of dodgy planning practices in the past two years.

Ruth Liew   Despite a flurry of scandals that have hit the financial planning sector, the cost of professional indemnity insurance for financial advisers is expected to remain flat in the next year, thanks to increasing competition among insurers.

zipMoney in $5m backdoor listing

zipMoney boss Larry Diamond in 2009 when he was a banker at Macquarie Capital.

Shaun Drummond   A start-up that gives interest-free loans to online shoppers for anything from boob jobs to bicycles will raise $5 million via a backdoor listing to take the fight to established rivals like GE Capital and FlexiGroup.

Victory for Cabcharge competitors but little gained

Analysts and Cabcharge's competitors have mixed views on the ACCC's move to allow rivals to process its cards.

Shaun Drummond   The late Cabcharge founder Reg Kermode would not be pleased with the competition watchdog's move to force open its taxi payment system and allow rivals to process its cards, but he would be happy with how little the company gave away in the deal.

Westpac bets on Bitcoin

Reinventure has taken a stake in Bitcoin company Coinbase, which has 2.3 million users and 3 million digital "wallets".

James Eyers   In a deal that will put Westpac in the box seat as cryptocurrencies develop, the bank's venture capital fund, Reinventure Group, has invested in Coinbase, one of the world's pre-eminent Bitcoin companies.

ANZ Bank granted Thai banking licence

The banks are good value, with interest rates set to lower, Morgans says.

Clancy Yeates   ANZ Bank has been given the green light to offer a wider range of financial services in Thailand after it was granted a banking licence by the country's regulators.

ACCC confirms Cabcharge agrees terms for rivals' access

Cabcharge is to allow rival payment processors to process Cabcharge cards on their own taxi payment terminals.

Shaun Drummond   The competition watchdog has forced Cabcharge to allow competitors to process its cards after years of complaints it has continued to frustrate access.

DirectMoney eyes July 7 float

Direct Money founder and CEO David Doust, left, with executive chairman Stephen Porges.

James Eyers   DirectMoney is expecting to list on the ASX on July 7 after the 'marketplace lender' was forced to issue a supplementary prospectus responding to concerns about its valuation.

NZ's Smartpay claims taxi wars advantage

Bradley Gerdis, managing director of Smartpay, claims it has the scale in New Zealand to survive the Aussie taxi wars

Shaun Drummond   Smartpay, one of two companies that dominate payments in New Zealand, claims it has the scale to survive the ferociously contested taxi payments sector in Australia after entering the fray in December, but investors are yet to be convinced.

Greece will close banks

People queued to use ATM machines to withdraw cash at a bank in Athens before Alexis Tsipras shuttered the banks.

George Georgiopoulos and John O'Donnell   Greece will shut its banks and stock exchange on Monday as it moves to avert the collapse of its financial system.

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Charity LIC seeks $550 million raising

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Ruth Liew   Magellan Asset Management, Paradice Investment Management and Hunter Hall Investment Management will be some of the high-profile fund managers that will lend their expertise in a new charity listed investment company chaired by former QBE chairman Belinda Hutchinson.

Independent directors tipped to drive super fund mergers

APRA member Helen Rowell is pleased with the government's proposal to force more independence on super fund boards.

Sally Rose   The government's proposed shake-up of superannuation fund boards will help break the stranglehold of union representatives who are preventing sub-scale funds from pursuing mergers, leading to better value for members, experts say.

Big four banks still world leaders at raking it in

The big four banks remain the world's most profitable.

Clancy Yeates   Investors may have fallen out of love with Australian banks, but they remain among the most profitable lenders in the developed world.

'I can't trust anyone' - inside IOOF's stretched research team

Illustration: Simon Bosch.

Adele Ferguson and Sarah Danckert   IOOF paraded its research division as industry leading, insiders have a very different view, describing an overworked unit that doctored reports in possible breach of regulations.

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Industry and retail super funds in stoush over new board rules

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Sally Rose   Australia's $650 billion non-profit superannuation sector has hit back at the Abbott government's claim that there is a need to lift governance standards of funds and introduce independent directors.

Wilson HTM's Gale says broking model not broken

Deutsche Bank boss James McMurdo, Wilson HTM chief Brad Gale and Craigs Investment Partners boss Frank Aldridge in Sydney.

Joyce Moullakis   Wilson HTM head Brad Gale is confident profitability can be maintained and that the local stockbroking and private wealth model isn't broken, as he prepares to lead the firm after investors approved a spin-off from its parent.

IOOF's 'copy and paste' team cut corners

Until this week, IOOF has managed to bury the alleged misconduct in its research division.

Adele Ferguson and Sarah Danckert   Embattled financial services giant IOOF runs its research division on the 'smell of an oily rag', earning its team the nickname the 'Ctrl C, Ctrl V' team.

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Wilson HTM shareholders approve spin-off

Deutsche Bank's James McMurdo, Wilson HTM's  Brad Gale and Craigs Investment's Frank Aldridge.

Joyce Moullakis   Wilson HTM shareholders have overwhelmingly voted in favour of spinning off the securities unit, marking a new era for the company.