Banking & Finance


Call to take super out of the budget cycle

Sally Rose   All sides of the usually fractious superannuation industry have rallied behind the idea.

'The surge is now coming'

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission this week said several lenders had flaws in how they were assessing borrowers for credit.

Clancy Yeates and Shaun Drummond   Non-bank lenders are bracing for a flood of loan applications from housing investors, as a regulatory clampdown forces banks to tighten the screws on landlord borrowers.

ANZ sacks rates trader after conduct breach

ANZ said it sacked one of its traders because of inappropriate conduct that breached its code of conduct and use of systems.

Jonathan Shapiro   ANZ has fired one of the seven traders it stood down as part of an investigation into interest rate manipulation.

Pepper sizzles on ASX debut

Pepper Group co-chiefs Patrick Tuttle and Mike Culhane together own about 40 per cent of the non-bank lender.

Shaun Drummond   As two more major banks turned off the home loan tap to investors on Friday, the share price of mortgage lender and loan servicer Pepper Group rocketed 27 per cent above the $2.60 offer price in its $471 million float.

Westpac jacks up rates for housing investors

The nation's largest lender to landlords has spent the past week fixing computer systems and processes that had prevented it immediately following its big bank competitors.

James Eyers   Westpac finally joins rivals in lifting rates for landlords after fixing a computer glitch that has cost it millions in lost interest income.

IAG appoints innovation boss in 'smart move'

Peter Harmer, who takes charge of the newly created IAG Labs, could be a strong group CEO successor candidate, say industry sources.

Ruth Liew   Insurance Australia Group has appointed former commercial insurance boss Peter Harmer as chief executive of its new digital innovation hub, as the $14.4 billion insurer ramps up its technology drive.

NAB foreign investors' big question for Thorburn

National Australia Bank's Andrew Thorburn says he is "watchful" on the housing sector.

James Thomson   When National Australia Bank chief Andrew Thorburn meets investors overseas, he knows exactly what they are going to ask. And housing is at the top of the agenda.

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Lending to landlords accelerates despite crackdown

Housing investor credit growth accelerated to 10.7 per cent in the year to June.

Clancy Yeates   The red-hot housing investor loan market is expanding even faster than thought, after billions in loans were reclassified as investor mortgages.

As low-rate party for investors ends, it may just start for owner occupiers

Housing investors will be paying more, but lenders might sweeten the deal for those people buying property as their home.

Megan Neil   Property investors will be paying more, but lenders may now instead sweeten the deal for those people buying property as their home, analyst says.

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Nab gets its mojo back as business lending division returns to growth

NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn says the bank has its confidence back.

James Thomson   National Australia Bank chief executive Andrew Thorburn says the company has its "confidence back" as its returns to growth in its crucial small and medium business banking division, and works through the sell-off of its problem US and UK assets.

Flaw in credit lending standards to be revealed

Greg Medcraft, chairman of ASIC, will soon release a report on banks lending assessment flaws.

Clancy Yeates and James Thomson   An official review of lending standards in the red-hot investor property market is set to reveal flaws in how various lenders have been assessing customers for credit.

US rates play on minds as investors stay cautious

Andrew Formica, chief executive of Henderson Group, believes the US rate rises could be a "very messy affair".

Ruth Liew   A move by the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates represents the biggest worry among investors as they remain cautious about where to spend their funds, according to Henderson Group.

Loss of brand loyalty the real disrupter, says APRA chief

Wayne Byres says brand loyalty could test the banks in the future

James Eyers   The real disruption to banking doesn't come from technology per se but from lower brand loyalty by young customers, who are increasingly willing to put their trust in the latest digital offerings, the nation's top banking regulator says.

Capital standards a 'work in progress'

Glenn Stevens says: "it is a matter of balancing how much tail risk we are prepared to leave in the system and what the cost is of taking some of that tail risk out".

James Eyers   It can't be known whether the higher levels of capital being imposed on banks will be sufficient to protect the financial system from another crisis, says Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens.

CBA app to target Westfield shoppers as they walk in the door

Westfield says retailers hope the app will dive shoppers into their stores.

Clancy Yeates   Commonwealth Bank is ramping up efforts to promote the "digital wallet" with a new app tie-up with Westfield shopping centres.

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New class action against Cash Converters

Cash Converters is facing fresh class action proceedings.

Australia's largest payday lender Cash Converters has exceeded the legal limit for interest rates and charges to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, a fresh class action alleges.

AFG to offer SME loans from cashflow lender Prospa

Prospa's Beau Bertoli has signed a deal with mortgage broker AFG to promote its loans.

Shaun Drummond   Online small business lender Prospa has secured a deal with newly listed mortgage aggregator AFG to sell the start-up's loans via AFG's 2300 brokers.

Gillard says it's time to tackle 'unconscious bias'

Julia Gillard with David Gonski at the ANZ Women's Initiative lunch in Sydney on Wednesday.

Ruth Liew   Former prime minister Julia Gillard says we are still driven by cultural stereotypes that must be challenged.

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AMP Bank halts lending to housing investors, jacks up rates

AMP will cease accepting or assessing new loans for property investors.

Clancy Yeates   AMP Bank will stop writing new loans to property investors and is raising interest rates for landlord borrowers by 0.47 per cent in response to the financial regulator's moves to address risks in the housing market.

Treasury Group sells RARE for $200m

RARE was founded in 2006 and focuses on global listed infrastructure.

Ruth Liew   Listed fund manager Treasury Group and Northern Lights have sold their stake in infrastructure investment house, RARE Infrastructure, to Legg Mason for $200 million.

ANZ offers women free super advice

ANZ's Joyce Phillips says new measures directly targeting advice, superannuation and financial education are designed to help improve the financial security of women at ANZ.

Ruth Liew   ANZ is offering customers free financial advice if they have less than $50,000 in superannuation and will pay staff a $500 a year super top-up – if they're female.

Complete ban 'less likely' on SMSF investment property borrowing

The SMSF Association's Graeme Colley is hopeful the government will compromise rather than restoring an outright ban on borrowing in super.

Sally Rose   The federal government is less likely to impose an outright ban on the $550 billion self-managed super fund industry borrowing to buy investment property, according to industry groups.

Westpac swings into action to fix interest rate headache

Westpac's multi-brand strategy has created complexity and prevented fast action on raising rates.

James Eyers   Westpac Banking Corp shareholders expressed confidence on Tuesday that the bank would be able to promptly resolve issues with its systems that is preventing the bank from following its competitors and raising interest rates for property investors.

Lenders split on looming securitisation changes

Changes to securitisation rules should garner more interest from investors, but will also make it harder for smaller lenders.

Shaun Drummond   Big and small banks disagree on whether impending changes to a vital source of funding will help or hinder them.

Square thinks outside the box in Australia

Square and Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey. The payment challenger has had to think twice about challenging the banks in Australia.

Shaun Drummond   Big investments in high-security chip and PIN cards and tap-and-go payment terminals by Australia's dominant banks and supermarkets has slowed the advance of Jack Dorsey-led payment upstart Square.

Tindall named AMP Capital chief

Adam Tindall will head the investment arm of AMP, which has a market value of $18.8 billion, from October.

Ruth Liew   Wealth giant AMP has named Adam Tindall as managing director of its investment management arm, AMP Capital, as Stephen Dunne. 

Is IT Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer's biggest challenge?

For Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer, the fragmentation of the bank's IT systems was always going to be a key challenge.

James Eyers   In the new digital world, banks have essentially become big technology companies. For Brian Hartzer, Westpac's IT systems may be a bigger challenge than initially thought.

Super funds hunt tax wins as returns fall

Qantas Super chief investment officer Andrew Spence is focused on improving after tax returns.

Sally Rose   Heading into one of the toughest periods in decades for superannuation returns, those entrusted to manage our retirement savings are under added pressure to reduce costs and ensure the tax office is not getting more than its fair share.

Feud simmers between dealers, Asia Pacific Prudential

AIMS chairman George Wang (left) and Asia Pacific Prudential Group chief executive Craig Mason.

Joyce Moullakis   Securities dealers that traded through the now defunct BBY are feuding with the re-branded Asia Pacific Prudential Group, accusing the firm of failing to release client data and attempting to steal their customers.