Banking & Finance


The snowball effect: Suncorp under departing CEO Patrick Snowball

Ruth Liew   It was a little bit of luck and a lot of tough decisions to turn around a fragmented company that marked Patrick Snowball's successful reign as Suncorp Group's chief executive for the past six years.

Volatility to pump up Macquarie earnings

Morgan Stanley said there were 10 "swing factors" that could affect Macquarie's 2016 earnings growth.

Joyce Moullakis   Optimism about Macquarie Group's earnings momentum is growing – and the bullishness is spilling into 2016.

Patient Goldman Sachs goes against consensus, wins big

Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, has a reason to smile.

Lloyd Blankfein stuck with trading businesses that competitors pared and now he's delivered Goldman Sachs's best result in five years.

Rotten structure is teetering

The crisis in confidence springs from a series of exposes in the financial planning arms of some of the country's biggest banks.

Adele Ferguson   ANZ bank's revelation that it misled customers by charging them for advice they didn't receive is appalling but not surprising.

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ANZ to pay $30m in advice compensation

ANZ on Thursday said it expected to compensate about 8500 customers after the bank failed to provide them with a documented annual review.

Clancy Yeates   The announcement has re-ignited​ calls for a royal commission into the financial advice sector.

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Insurance companies warned about threat of driverless cars

Insurance companies have been warned they need to keep pace with evolution in the driverless-car market when planning their future policies.

Ruth Liew   Insurance companies specialising in vehicle cover could see their revenue streams vanish in a few years if driverless motor vehicles and new motor technology take off, new research warns.

Goldman Sachs Australia profit soars

Last year was a successful one for Goldman and it finished the year in top spot on the announced mergers and the equity capital markets Dealogic league tables.

Joyce Moullakis   Fees earned on Medibank Private's multi-billion float helped Goldman Sachs Australia to more than double its profit last year.

Stop obsessing about iron ore: ANZ's Smith

Michael "Mike" Smith, chief executive officer of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ), pauses as he speaks during the Commonwealth Games Business Conference in Glasgow, U.K., on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. With less than two months to go before the Sept. 18 referendum on independence, the pound remains a key area of contention along with Scotland's membership of the European Union, pensions and social security spending. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Michael Smith

Clancy Yeates   ANZ chief executive Mike Smith says the price of iron ore should not be equated with the broader economy's health.

Insurers warned to allay consumer fears or face more regulation

"I am saying to the industry now, you get on with the job as a matter of urgency," said Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Ruth Liew   Australia's troubled life insurance sector needs to quickly tackle consumers' distrust or face more government intervention, says Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

More questions over NAB culture after huge Clydesdale fine

The scandals at Clydesdale raise more questions about NAB's behaviour at home.

Adele Ferguson   NAB’s behaviour in Britain raises broader questions about its culture in Australia.

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US-based OnDeck to set up in Australia

OnDeck Australia chief executive Cameron Poolman says OnDeck is growing at a 100 per cent a year in the US.

Shaun Drummond   US online business lender OnDeck has chosen Australia as its first market outside North America, using soon-to-list accounting software vendor MYOB as a distribution channel to challenge the banks.

Clydesdale fine won't delay UK exit: NAB's Andrew Thorburn

NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn on Wednesday said the fine, announced Tuesday night, was a 'very disappointing' outcome.

Clancy Yeates   National Australia Bank chief executive Andrew Thorburn says a $40 million fine imposed on its United Kingdom arm Clydesdale Bank over mis-selling will not delay his plans to sell the lender.

Dastyari cautioned over bank 'show trial'

Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says political show trials may unfairly damage the reputation of bank bosses.

James Eyers   Labor Senator Sam Dastyari has been warned by Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg against conducting "show trials" at the expense of senior business leaders.

More bank regulation on the way: Aussie Home Loans

Aussie Home Loans CEO James Symond says banks are already taking a more cautious approach to their lending.

Clancy Yeates   New Aussie Home Loans chief James Symond believes regulators will impose 'further levers' on the banks in response to rising house prices.

NAB's Clydesdale Bank fined $40m by UK regulator

Britain's financial regulator has fined Clydesdale Bank $40 million.

Britain's financial regulator has fined Clydesdale Bank a record £20.7 million ($40 million) for failings in how it handled insurance mis-selling claims.

Government should lean on private sector for social services: US scholar

House being built - construction

Timna Jacks   The Australian government should outsource social services to the private sector by providing tax breaks to companies involved in projects that help the vulnerable, author and senior fellow at Harvard University, Mark Kramer, has said. 

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Australian banks well positioned to meet Asian demand; HSBC

Tony Cripps of HSBC says Asian growth will be a key target for banks.

Clancy Yeates   HSBC Australia chief executive Tony Cripps says Australian banks will have advantages over regional rivals as they look to target the growing demand for financial services in the region.

Private equity shakeout gathers pace, deals tipped to climb


Joyce Moullakis   A continuing shakeout of underperforming private equity firms in the Asia Pacific region will build a "firmer foundation" for growth in the industry, as funds grapple with more competition for assets and higher prices, according to Bain & Company. 

GE global sale unlikely to hit consumer benchmark

General Electric will sell most of GE Capital as it turns its focus to its industrial business and away from its now low return finance arm.

Shaun Drummond   GE's global chiefs don't expect the rest of GE Capital to achieve the twice book value it got on the $8 billion sale of its Australia and NZ consumer finance arm in March.

Fintech hub Stone & Chalk names CEO

Former  Australian Army captain Alex Scandurra ran the Barclays accelerator program in London for the past three years.

James Eyers   About 330 entrepreneurs from 120 fintech start-ups have registered to work in Stone & Chalk, which has appointed Alex Scandurra as its chief executive.

More parents use assets to help children into first homes

Canberra reported an auction clearance rate of 68.2 per cent over the March quarter

Clancy Yeates   The pace of house price growth is prompting more parents or other family members to put their assets on the line by guaranteeing home loans taken out by first home buyers, new figures show.

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Beefed-up investment team reviewing platform

The Findex board are hoping their new recruit's offshore experience will be a boon for their own growth ambitions.

Sally Rose   Chief investment officer Kieran Canavan and his new lieutenant Stefano Cavaglia are overseeing a complete overhaul of the offerings on the Findex Group's platform.

Macquarie advisers cheated on competency test and exposed clients

Illustration: Ron Tandberg

Adele Ferguson   Some financial advisers at the ‘‘millionaire’s factory’’, Macquarie Group, cheated on competency exams using a document circulated by management known as the ‘‘Penske File’’, a Fairfax Media investigation reveals.

Banks look vulnerable as lucrative loans market gets personal online


Clancy Yeates   Peer-to-peer lenders are yet another rival eyeing a cut of the concentrated money-lending industry.

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ANZ credit card late fees ruling overturned by Federal Court

The Federal Court has overturned a ruling on credit card fees that could have cost the major banks tens of millions of dollars.

Clancy Yeates and Timna Jacks   A landmark ruling that credit card late payment fees charged by ANZ were illegal has been overturned on appeal in the full Federal Court.

Cheers greet proposed changes for managed investment trusts

The government is now asking for feedback on the draft legislation for managed investment trusts.

Ruth Liew   Proposed changes to Australia's managed investment trust regime have been met with cheers from the investment community as they welcome the boost in certainty and tax treatments.

Trowbridge report will drive up life insurance costs: Mortgage Choice

One of the Trowbridge Report's recommendations is that planners get  an initial advice payment of no more than $1200 per customer.

Ruth Liew   Listed broker Mortgage Choice has criticised John Trowbridge's report into life insurance advice as playing "purely into the hands of insurance manufacturers", and said his recommendations would drive up the cost of cover for consumers.

New Credit Suisse chief talks opportunities

New chief of Credit Suisse Australia, John Knox.

Joyce Moullakis   Newly appointed Credit Suisse Australia chief John Knox has singled out accelerating an integration of the firm's private banking and advisory operations as his biggest future opportunity.

Sandwiches on the menu as corporate chiefs front tax inquiry

Michael West dinkus Dinkus

Michael West   There wasn't much time for lunch at the tax inquiry on Wednesday but there was a lot of discussion about Irish and Dutch sandwiches.

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Bank fee class action headed for High Court

The Federal Court has overturned a ruling on credit card fees that could have cost the major banks tens of millions of dollars.

Clancy Yeates   ANZ Bank successfully challenged a ruling that some credit card late payment fees were "extravagant, exorbitant and unconscionable".

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