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Banking & Finance

Penske File exposed: Macquarie Group's cheat sheet made public

Adele Ferguson and Ben Butler It is the cheat sheet at the centre of the Macquarie Private Wealth scandal that the millionaires' factory and the corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, refuses to confirm or deny exists.

Banks

Scottish independence rejection a boost for NAB

NAB's new chief Andrew Thorburn.

CLANCY YEATES National Australia Bank's chances of selling its British assets have been bolstered by Scotland's decision to reject independence in this week's historic referendum.

Funds

Macquarie's secret interest in van Eyk funds

Documents reveal Macquarie had an option to take a sizeable share of any sale proceeds from the now-failed van Eyk Blueprint fund management business.

Sarah Thompson and Jemima Whytre Macquarie Group struck a secret deal to profit from the sale of the now-failed van Eyk Blueprint fund management business at the same time it was the responsible entity charged with protecting investor interests.

Ex-Goldman banker floats big four break-up

<i>Illustration: Chris Pearce</i>

CLANCY YEATES Former Goldman Sachs co-chairman Alastair Walton says policy-makers should consider breaking up the big four banks, as part of a radical overhaul aimed at boosting competition and improving stability.

Advice

We won't push property: Ray White defends financial advice move

Ray White

GEORGIA WILKINS Ray White, the country's biggest real estate agency, has defended its push into the financial advice space, saying it will not use the business to spruik property.

Payments

Bitcoin moves towards mainstream with eftpos cards

A trial of the first eftpos cards linked to bitcoin accounts will be done with about 100 people over the next couple of weeks, and then they will be made available generally.

Shaun Drummond Melbourne-based bitcoin exchange Coinjar is hoping to nudge the digital currency into the mainstream next month with the offer of the first eftpos card in Australia linked to a bitcoin account.

Regulation

Ray White move into financial planning advice raises concerns

A good financial planner sets aside some of your nest egg in cash,  enough to last two or three years.

GEORGIA WILKINS Consumer groups, lawmakers and financial planning bodies have expressed concern over the move by one of the country's biggest real estate agencies to enter into the financial advice sector.

ACCC

ASIC pings NAB and Westpac over misleading customers

NAB and Westpac are the first of the big four banks to be caught in the corporate regulator's crackdown on company ads and promotions.

CLANCY YEATES National Australia Bank and Westpac have been fined for making misleading statements to customers, becoming the first big banks to be caught in the corporate watchdog's campaign on corporate advertising this year.

Banking

Too big to fail proving tough to tackle as banks fight 'bail-in' bonds

Financial system inquiry chair David Murray.

CLANCY YEATES The government would still be likely to provide support if a local bank were distressed, despite the public debate about a "bail-in" regime for creditors.

Banking

Australian banks taking unnecessary risks, says US academic

GEORGIA WILKINS Australian banks are taking unnecessary risks by relying on large amounts of debt to fund their business, a leading US academic has warned.

Trade sale

Ezidebit founder Michael Dempsey to pocket $150m after US takeover

Credit cards

Shaun Drummond and Sarah Thompson Michael Dempsey will walk away with $150 million after selling his payment solutions business Ezidebit to US-based Global Payments for $305 million.

Banking

Macquarie cashes in on world's war machine

Macquarie Bank is among the Australian funds benefiting from heightened tensions in the world.

GEORGIA WILKINS Macquarie is among Australian funds, including superannuation funds, benefiting from heightened tensions around the world over the past year, with almost $1 billion in investments tied to major US defence companies.

Macquarie Group eyes return to boom days

On the rise: Shemara Wikramanayake’s division has reported higher profits.

Joyce Moullakis Macquarie Group is a step closer to returning to its profit heyday, prior to the global financial crisis, after it confirmed on Monday that higher performance fees from listed and unlisted funds would propel this year’s earnings above the $1.27 billion booked in 2014.

Van Eyk goes under

Van Eyk CEO Mark Thomas says there is life in the firm's research unit.

Sarah Thompson and Joyce Moullakis Van Eyk’s chief Mark Thomas has moved to distance the embattled firm’s research arm from its funds unit, noting expressions of interest in the former after the financial services company confirmed the appointment of voluntary administrators.

Banking

Westpac says businesses cautious about borrowing

Businesses are reluctant to borrow.

CLANCY YEATES Westpac says commercial lending growth has softened in recent months and a sharp recovery in the sector is unlikely, as many business owners are holding off on big investments.

Macquarie Group tips 'slightly' higher annual profit

Monday’s statement is more upbeat than previous guidance that pointed to Macquarie matching its bumper 2014 earnings of $1.27 billion.

James Thomson and Joyce Moullakis Financial services giant Macquarie Group says it now expects its full-year 2015 results to be “slightly up” on last year’s $1.27 billion, thanks to an improved performance from its funds division.

Mining companies turn to smaller lenders as banks move to cut debt

Mining worker

CLANCY YEATES Private credit funds are stepping in to fill the void created as big banks cut their lending to mining contractors, amid growing financial distress in the sector.

Finance

Macquarie writes to dead people

Macquarie bank logo

Adele Ferguson and Ben Butler Macquarie Private Wealth has sent letters to dead people as part of its mailout to 160,000 current and former clients who may have received shoddy financial advice.

M&A

Damage done: Banks steer clear of financial adviser deals

Banks are avoiding financial adviser deals in favour of mortgage broker acquisitions.

Duncan Hughes Banks are ditching deals for financial adviser networks and buying lower risk mortgage brokers instead.

Wal-Mart snubs Apple Pay, sparking payments race

Apple Pay won't be appearing in any Wal-Mart stores.

Danielle Douglas Wal-Mart said it will not join Apple's new mobile payment system and will continue developing a separate one, setting up a high-profile race to define how Americans will pay for products in the future.

Banking

NAB will move Clydesdale to England if Scotland secedes

NAB said re-registering Clydesdale, which also owns the Yorkshire Bank brand, would

CLANCY YEATES National Australia Bank will move its Glasgow-based Clydesdale Bank to England if Scotland votes for independence at next week's referendum.

Banking

Australian dollar fall all about fundamentals, says ANZ

The recent sell-off in the Aussie resembles last year’s taper tantrum, where carry trade currencies were dumped when the Fed signalled the beginning of the ‘tapering’ of its asset purchase program.

JENS MEYER The Australian dollar is finally getting back to basics after stubbornly resisting calls for a correction, ANZ says.

Banking

Big banks at risk of ratings downgrade, S&P says

“One of the peculiarities of the Australian system is our high reliance on foreign debt and most of that is channelled through the banking system.

Karen Maley Australia’s major banks could be hit with a ratings downgrade and find it more expensive to borrow money in overseas markets if their bond-holders are forced to incur losses in the event of bank failures, according to Fabienne Michaux, head of Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services Australia and New Zealand.

Legal

CBA wins in executive dismissal case

Commonwealth Bank has won a landmark appeal.

CLANCY YEATES The Commonwealth Bank has won a landmark High Court appeal over its move to make a long-serving executive redundant as part of a national restructuring drive.

Payments

It's up to Apple when you can pay with your iPhone

IPay, you pay, we all pay: Apple boss Tim Cook presenting the

CLANCY YEATES Australian customers will have to wait to be able to use one of the most hyped features of the latest iPhone: the ability to make “tap and go” payments at retailers.

CUA profit declines as new loans begin to accelerate

CUA's Chris Whitehead.

Shaun Drummond The country's biggest credit union, CUA, has reported a 13.7 per cent fall in profit for 2014 to $49.6 million, despite new loans growing by 16.7 per cent to $309 million and its loan book rising 4.9 per cent to $9 billion.

Counterfeiting on the rise, warns Reserve Bank

A counterfeit 50 dollar note that was seized in Western Australia earlier this year.

Jessica Sier Counterfeiting activity was becoming more frequent as technology made it easier to replicate Australian bank notes, analysis by the Reserve Bank of Australia has found.

Self managed super wide open to crooks

Scams: Counterfeiting of bank notes is also slowly edging up.

Georgia Wilkins and Clancy Yeates The self-managed retirement savings of Australians are being increasingly targeted by financial criminals for fraud and money laundering, bank experts warn.

Scottish independence could be costly for NAB

Close race: Scotland goes to the polls on September 18 for a referendum on independence.

CLANCY YEATES National Australia Bank could face one-off costs of more than $100 million if Scotland votes for independence.

Lending

Investors still driving new housing loans

Growth in new home loans is being fuelled by investors.

Mark Mulligan Property investors are not far off snapping up the majority share of Australia's new home loans, taking out a record proportion of Australia's new housing finance in July.

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