Banking & Finance


More competition to drive fees up, not down

Sally Rose 6:06 PM   The government's plan to reduce superannuation fund fees by increasing competition in the $425 billion per year default fund market is set to backfire by driving up marketing costs and making fees more expensive.

MasterCard open to all payments newcomers

Ling Hai says MasterCard wants to serve all the stakeholders, whether they are somebody like Apple or Android, or an individual consumer.

Shaun Drummond 5:57 PM   MasterCard co-head of Asia Pacific Ling Hai says the company wants to accommodate all the new players in payments, including Apple and Google, apparently confirming a split with Visa, which looks to be siding with the banks in their fight with Apple.

Cyber security spending to grow: Stevens

Glenn Stevens says spending on cyber security will rise.

James Eyers 5:44 PM   The RBA governor says "the already-considerable resources devoted to IT security will grow" as awareness increases of cyber risk and its consequences".

CBA to pay out $80m in refunds

Commonwealth Bank is the country's most profitable.

Clancy Yeates 12:47 PM   CBA, the country's most profitable bank, will refund $80 million to customers for not honouring discounts, the third bank this year paying back money for its mistakes.

Comments 17

Maintaining high returns a risk to banks: S&P

The government confirmed APRA would take further steps to make sure bank capital was "unquestionably strong".

James Eyers 11:22 AM   Standard & Poor's says banks are sound but warned risks could build in the system as banks strive to maintain high shareholder returns.

Every second banker may lose job over next 10 years

There's tough times ahead for bankers if the former Barclays CEO predictions prove correct.

Steve Slater 9:33 AM   Banks across the world may cut up to half their jobs and branches in the next 10 years as they fight to stay relevant and profitable in the face of sweeping technological change, says the former head of British bank Barclays.

Comments 9

Telstra Super defends embattled portfolio manager

The superannuation fund has defended its failure to take any action or to disclose Greg Lee's former bankrupt status.

Sally Rose and Sarah Thompson 10:32 PM   Telstra Super stuck by the head of its $1.5 billion property portfolio Greg Lee after an internal investigation in mid-2014 revealed he was then an undischarged bankrupt.

Why our laziness is costing us $9.9b

More than one million households haven’t switched lenders, potentially wasting $9.9 billion.

Esther Han 7:52 PM   The can't-be-bothered attitude could potentially cost Australian mortgage holders $9.9 billion, new research shows.

Super gathering to digest regulator's latest warning on fees

ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer wants superannuation managers to be more transparent about hidden fees.

Sally Rose 12:15 AM   Superannuation and other managed funds will be forced to be more transparent and detailed in disclosing the costs they pass on to account holders via both direct fees and indirect charges. 

Chi-X kicks off warrants offer with CBA and BHP

John Fildes, CEO of Chi-X Australia, says they are aiming their new products at SMSFs.

Shaun Drummond   Chi-X Australia chief John Fildes says self-managed super funds are its chief target for a range of new investment products it rolls out from Wednesday.

Bank curbs weigh on property investor lending

Loans to property investors made up 34.9 per cent of new lending approved in the quarter, which was the lowest share in two years.

Clancy Yeates   Australian Prudential Regulation Authority data on Tuesday showed the value of loan approvals for property investors fell to $32.39 billion in the three months to September 30

Bankers are still paid too much

Within the investment bank, the firm will reduce the number of clients by about half.

Nicholas Comfort   Deutsche Bank co-chief executive officer John Cryan argues that bankers still earn too much money and shouldn't be paid like entrepreneurs.

Comments 9

FlexiGroup hires CEO from NZ life insurer

Andrew Abercrombie, chairman of FlexiGroup, wanted the next CEO to have a sales bent,

Shaun Drummond   FlexiGroup has appointed Symon Brewis-Weston, the boss of New Zealand's biggest life insurance company, Sovereign Assurance Company, as its chief executive.

NSW appoints six directors to $30b insurer

icare CEO Vivek Bhatia says his organisation is like an ASX20 company in that once the Finance Minister appoints the board, the board governs it.

Ruth Liew   National Australia Bank director Peeyush Gupta, former Herbert Smith Freehills chief Gavin Bell and HCF Group director Lisa McIntyre have been appointed to the board of the NSW government's $30 billion general insurance arm, Insurance & Care NSW (icare).

CBA signs start-up deal with Israel's chief scientist

Commonwealth Bank chief information officer  David Whiteing revealed the bank is experimenting with blockchain technology.

James Eyers   Commonwealth Bank signed a memorandum of understanding with the chief scientist of Israel on Monday, providing for collaboration on technology and innovation. The bank says it wants to work with cyber security and big-data start-ups.

Trust Company settles Australian Capital Reserve class action

Australian one-hundred dollar banknotes are arranged for a photograph in Sydney, Australia, on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. Direct trading between the Australian dollar and yuan started on April 10. Photographer: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg

Sarah Danckert   Investors in a company run by property spruikers who later pleaded guilty to making misleading statements to receive payout

Apps latest weapon in super wars

AustralianSuper says its new mobile app will help members track when their super is paid.

Sally Rose   The nation's largest industry superannuation fund, AustralianSuper, has warned errant employers its new mobile app will help members keep a closer eye on their contributions.

Macquarie taps investors with $400m hybrid

The bookbuild and announcement of the margin for the Macquarie notes is scheduled to occur on Friday.

Joyce Moullakis and Jonathan Shapiro   Macquarie Group has kicked off an attractively priced $400 million hybrid issue, as the firm attempts to circumvent investor fatigue for bank raisings and concerns about volatility in the hybrid market.

MLC discounts life policies

"The rate cuts will help more Australians to keep life insurance for longer, which is an important component in helping to save for retirement," said David Hackett, executive general manager of insurance at MLC.

Ruth Liew   MLC has become the first major Australian life insurer to slash the price of policies as it seeks to woo new customers amid some of the worst business conditions on record.

Xero: the new bank middleman

Rod Drury says Xero is a cheap customer-acquisition channel for banks.

James Eyers   Cloud accounting software company Xero is ramping up its efforts to build a "financial web" that will provide its small business customers with options for financing their growth.

Banks eye mortgage growth with fixed-rate cuts

Several banks have recently cut three-year fixed mortgage rates.

Clancy Yeates   Banks are competing for new home loan customers by cutting key fixed interest rates, new figures show.

Macquarie loses bid to dismiss Hertz spinoff lawsuit

The dispute stems from Hertz's $US2.3 billion acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group

David McLaughlin   Macquarie Group will have to face the fraud and defamation claims of an executive who says the bank ousted him from running Advantage Rent A Car.

Call to link super contributions to pay cycle

Nearly 7 per cent of Australians have unpaid super, with employers witholding $2.6 billion in contributions annually.

Sally Rose   Employers should have to pay their workers' superannuation fortnightly or monthly instead of only quarterly to stop workers being bilked of their entitlements, industry super funds are arguing.

'Poor-quality loans in high-risk areas'

"While Australian banks generally suffered lower losses in the years subsequent to the review period, HBOSA's loss record was significantly worse," the report says.

Clancy Yeates   The Bank of England has slammed former Bankwest owner HBOS's​ willingness to undertake risky transactions in Australia in the lead-up to the GFC.

Macquarie Group raising comes in at $547 million

Macquarie chief Nicholas Moore is on track to report a record annual profit.

Joyce Moullakis   Macquarie Group will accept all share purchase plan applications received from retail investors as part of its funding for the acquisition of Esanda's dealer finance unit.

Big banks looking 'bloody cheap'


Stephen Cauchi   Stocks in the big four banks have rallied hard over the past week - harder than the sharemarket in general - prompting analysts to suggest the sector has bottomed.

Westpac pilots SME lending with fintech Prospa

Prospa CEO Beau Bertoli is working on a proof of concept.

Shaun Drummond   Westpac has been quietly piloting a partnership with online business lender Prospa for the past two weeks.

Comments 13

Fiddling with super won't help women: AIST

Australian women, of all ages, are set to retire with, on average, half as much superannuation as men.

Sally Rose   Fixing the superannuation gender pay gap, actually has "nothing to do with super policies". But there is one simple change that could help.

$US, Italian bonds among Goldman's 2016 trade tips

In US equities, Goldman favours going long large-cap US banks relative to the S&P 500.

​Goldman Sachs sees a higher greenback as its top trade for 2016, and a devalued yuan as one of the three main risks to its outlook.

SMEs most prone to tech disruption, warns IAG

"My fear is that our current models, our current advice models, aren't capable of serving that segment properly," IAG's new chief executive, Peter Harmer said.

Ruth Liew   SMEs are the most likely to distrust large insurers or switch policies at the blink of eye.