Banking & Finance

 

Does New Zealand have the key to cool the housing market?

Narayanan Somasundaram 10:29 AM   The nation's regulators are flashing warnings. Banks are vowing to curb lending. But that may not be enough to damp Sydney's surging home prices, economists say. It may be time to look across the ditch.

Norway's $1.15 trillion wealth fund curbs coal investments

Coal on the nose of the Norwegians.

Saleha Mohsin and Mikael Holter 9:59 AM   Norway's parliament reached an agreement to ban the country's $US890 billion ($1.15 trillion) sovereign wealth from investing in companies that base at least 30 per cent of their business on coal or revenue from the fuel.

AIMS closes BBY deal after Wednesday creditors meeting

AIMS, led by George Wang, has signed an agreement to acquire BBY.

Joyce Moullakis 9:34 AM   AIMS Financial Group has signed an agreement to buy the remnants of failed stockbroking and advisory firm BBY, as about 150 creditors came together in an attempt to gain clarity on money owed to them.

Dimon chides 'lazy' shareholders who follow proxy advisers

The JPMorgan boss doesn't hold back when it comes to people following proxy advice on company resolutions: "You probably aren't a very good investor."

Hugh Son 8:59 AM   Bank boss shoots back after proxy advisers had recommended investors reject its pay packages because the company didn't give a good reason for giving Dimon his first cash bonus in three years.

ASIC's market cop says high frequency trading fears unfounded

Greg Yanco, ASIC's senior cop watching market trading, says there have always been some traders with an advantage and today's high-frequency traders only "might have a millisecond or microsecond advantage".

Shaun Drummond 8:46 AM   ASIC's head of markets surveillance, Greg Yanco, says investor fears about high frequency trading are out of date, saying there have always been traders with a speed advantage.

AIMS completes asset purchase agreement with BBY administrators

AIMS, led by George Wang, has completed an asset purchase agreement with failed broker BBY.

Will Willitts 8:05 AM   AIMS Financial Group has completed an asset purchase agreement with administrators of BBY Holdings, the first step in the broker's restructuring after it missed a loan repayment to St. George Bank.

Bank regulatory action creates opportunity for Pepper

Patrick Tuttle and Mike Culhane, co-CEOs of Pepper Group.

Shaun Drummond 8:31 PM   Pepper Group co-chief Patrick Tuttle said they are gaining borrowers as banks globally slow down lending due to regulatory pressure, but has rejected views that they will get a big boost from the actions.

Bank clamp down only having a 'small' impact, says RBA

RBA deputy governor Philip Lowe: "My subjective assessment would be the level of risk in bank mortgage portfolios has risen over the past couple of years."

James Eyers and Clancy Yeates 6:35 PM   Rising property prices, household debt and unemployment have increased the risks in bank mortgage books, says Philip Lowe, the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

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Radio Rentals' owner Thorn Group boosts profit 8.5pc

Thorn Group has reported a jump in profits for 2015.

Shaun Drummond 6:21 PM   The chief of Radio Rentals' owner Thorn Group, James Marshall, said it will merge its online lending platforms to take better advantage of demand for short-term loans amid low consumer confidence.

Banking culture 'needs to shift now'

ASIC's Greg Tanzer says the regulator's investment banking team has recently delivered a questionnaire "to a number of investment banks to better understand their appetite, attitude and approach to conduct".

James Eyers 6:02 PM   The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has issued reports to the boards of several investment banks on potential deficiencies in their corporate culture, as scrutiny of remuneration and potential conflicts of interest in investment banking gathers pace.

The biggest deal you'll ever make is a shot in the dark

Michael Pascoe

Michael Pascoe 5:04 PM   Maybe banks are speaking publicly about trimming discounts for property investors to avoid bringing attention to tougher standards for all loans.

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Suncorp spends $75 million on technology upgrade

"I have always said there is more gas in the tank and beyond the next wave of efficiency gains we can now demonstrate the benefits of our diversification," Patrick Snowball, chief executive of Suncorp Group, said.

Ruth Liew 4:23 PM   Insurance giant Suncorp Group is pouring $75 million into a technology program that aims to reap $170 million in benefits by 2018.

Goldman's new cop is FBI agent who put away Bernie Madoff

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 13: A Bernard Madoff New York Mets baseball jacket is displayed during a press preview of a U.S. Marhals Service auction of personal property seized from Bernard and Ruth Madoff November 13, 2009 in New York City. The property includes jewelry, furs, artwork and other items forfeited in connection with the criminal prosecution of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme.   Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP

Patricia Hurtado 3:36 PM   ​The FBI agent who oversaw the Bernard Madoff investigation and helped pioneer the use of wiretaps that yielded dozens of insider-trading convictions is now working for Goldman Sachs. He's the latest in a line of former feds who've moved to Wall Street firms.

100 advisers ready to follow ex-UBS Wealth chief to Crestone

"There are roughly 100 advisers currently employed at UBS Wealth Management and we have now received indications from 100 per cent of them that they are also keen to come over to Crestone," Mike Chisholm says.

Sally Rose   Former UBS Wealth Management chief Mike Chisholm says he's received numerous assurances from staff that they'll follow him to his new venture.

Deutsche Bank pays $US55m penalty to end US inquiry

The settlement closes the door on a five-year investigation into claims raised in part by former Deutsche Bank employees that the bank mispriced assets held in a large portfolio of derivatives to hide potential trading losses during the financial crisis.

Matthew Goldstein   Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay a $US55 million penalty to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to settle claims that its "inadequate internal accounting controls" violated federal securities law.

'The point is you're greedy': Trader called 'ringmaster' at rate-rigging trial

Tom Hayes leaving Southwark Crown Court following the first day of his trial in London on Tuesday.

Jenny Anderson   Tom Hayes, a 35-year-old former trader for Citigroup and UBS, was the "ringmaster" in a concerted effort to manipulate global benchmark interest rates to make as much money as he could, prosecutors said.

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Westpac hires CBA's Lyn Cobley to replace Rob Whitfield

Lyn Cobley was the Commonwealth Bank's group Treasurer from 2007 to 2013 and is currently the bank's executive general manger of retail products and third party banking.

Clancy Yeates   Westpac is hiring Commonwealth Bank executive Lyn Cobley to replace its long-serving institutional boss, Rob Whitfield, who is leaving the bank after missing out on the top job last year.

ANZ beats rivals into $18b ETF market

Danny Laidler and Adam Smith, the co-heads of ANZ ETFs.

Jonathan Shapiro   ANZ has become the first big bank to enter the fast-growing $18 billion exchange traded fund market, teaming up with London-based ETF Securities to list six new securities on the ASX.

Australia's bank-bloated stock index 'loaded with risk'

Lazard's Rob Osborn says if you look at the fundamentals it's difficult to see why you would own banks.

Jonathan Shapiro   The banks are driving a distortion in Australia's over-concentrated equity market, says Rob Osborn of Lazard, one the most experienced stock pickers in the Australian market.

Tighter credit to dampen housing boom

APRA figures show tentative signs of slowing in higher-risk parts of the mortgage market.

Clancy Yeates and James Eyers   The major banks' clampdown on lending to landlord buyers is set to help Reserve Bank keep interest rates at record lows by dampening the investor-led housing boom, economists predict.

OzForex share price dives again despite profit jump

OzForex chief executive Neil Helm reported his last annual results as he prepares to leave the helm after eight years on June 1.

Shaun Drummond   Investor worries about rising costs hit the share price of online money transfer company OzForex again on Tuesday despite its full-year net profit jumping 52 per cent to $24.27 million.

European lender joins small business loan rush

Shaun Drummond   Europe based Spotcap is the latest online business lender joining the rush to offer fast working capital loans to Australian small businesses.

Moody's eyes property risk for banks

Sydney and Melbourne Record levels of household indebtedness could be a long term risk for the banks says Moody's.

James Eyers   Ratings agency Moody's says "growing imbalances" in the housing market pose a long-term challenge to the banks' credit profiles.

Insider trader 'sought approval from bully father'

 The NSW Supreme Court has heard that a man used share investing to win the approval of his emotionally abusive father.

Patrick Begley   A man who snared more than $180,000 in insider trading deals used share investing to win the approval of his emotionally abusive father, a court has heard. 

UBS spins off local wealth unit

A UBS spokeswoman confirmed the buyout on Monday, but was unable to comment further.

Joyce Moullakis   UBS Australia is offloading its wealth management unit through a management buyout, after months of uncertainty over the future of the unit.

ASIC bans ex-Macquarie adviser

ASIC said Brett O'Malley breached financial services laws by falsely representing to clients.

Joyce Moullakis   ASIC has banned former Macquarie Equities stockbroker and adviser Brett O'Malley from providing financial services for five years.

Westpac cuts investor loan discounts

Westpac chief information officer Dave Curran said the bank is expecting big savings from a cloud computing push.

Clancy Yeates   Westpac has followed the other major banks to slow the rapid growth rates in loans to landlords as regulatory pressure over Sydney's red-hot housing market intensifies.

Bank of Queensland beefs up home loan credit checks

Bank of Queensland has moved to apply tighter affordability checks to home loans.

Clancy Yeates   Bank of Queensland has moved to apply more thorough affordability checks for home loans, after the corporate regulator found its processes did not comply with responsible lending laws.

Bank capital lift tipped to curb house prices

S&P says requirements for banks to hold more capital against mortgages will make the Australian financial system safer.

James Eyers   Ratings agency Standard & Poor's says it will view positively any move by the prudential regulator to force big banks to hold more capital against their mortgage books, because it will reduce the rate of growth in home lending and take the pressure off house prices.

Genworth Financial faces lawsuit for Australian arm

Genworth's Australia chief executive, Ellie Comerford.

Ruth Liew   US pension fund New Bedford Contributory Retirement System has joined a class action against Genworth Financial, alleging the US giant misled shareholders over the outlook of its Australian insurance arm's initial public offering.