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Banking & Finance


Cheap money fires home loan competition

Clancy Yeates and Jonathan Shapiro Australia's big banks are fuelling their hot competition in the home loan market by ramping up their use of cheap global financing, raising $125 billion on wholesale funding markets in the last financial year.


Home loan competition fuelled by cheap global money

Fuelling competition: Australia's big four banks.

Clancy Yeates and Jonathan Shapiro 5:49pm Australia's big banks are fuelling competition in the home loan market by ramping up their use of cheap global financing, raising $125 billion on wholesale funding markets last financial year.


Genworth profit climbs 40 per cent after listing

CEO Ellie Comerford says the result positioned the insurer well for the rest of the year.

Ruth Liew and Will Willitts 11:18am Lenders mortgage insurance giant Genworth reported a 40 per cent rise in underlying net profit of $133.1 million for the half year to June following its listing on the Australian Securities Exchange in May.


National Australia Bank cutting British ties with sale of troubled loans

Hiving off debt: NAB is taking risks out of its UK property portfolio.

CLANCY YEATES National Australia Bank has cleared another hurdle in its long-running attempt to cut ties to the British economy, selling a batch of troubled loans at a better than expected price.


ME undercuts big banks on fixed mortgage rates

Generic photo of Me Bank.

CLANCY YEATES ME Bank will undercut the big banks' record-low five-year fixed mortgage rates.


NAB sells $1.13b parcel of distressed property loans in UK

Hiving off debt: NAB is taking risks out of its UK property portfolio.

Mark Mulligan National Australia Bank has agreed to sell a £625 million ($1.13 billion) parcel of distressed loans from its UK commercial real estate portfolio to an affiliate of New York-based buyout group Cerberus Global Investors.


NAB says mortgages well under control


CLANCY YEATES Households are paying off their home loans faster as banks slash interest rates to record lows.


Activist Jonathan Moylan receives good behaviour bond over hoax 'ANZ' email

Jonathan Moylan outside the NSW Supreme Court.

An activist who temporarily wiped hundreds of millions of dollars off a mining company's value by issuing a fake press release has been sentenced to one year and eight months in jail.


ANZ joins fixed-rate mortgage fight


CLANCY YEATES Banks continue to cut fixed-rate mortgages as they fight to win new customers, with ANZ and Westpac the latest to reduce key interest rates below 5 per cent.


Fixed interest rates too good to pass up, say experts

Heading north: Experts are tipping interest rates to rise next year.

Su-Lin Tan Home loan customers should take advantage of low fixed interest rates and lock in now, experts say.


Macquarie spends $49 million to fix private wealth

Macquarie says its advisers have been given more than 11,000 hours of training to address problems.

Joyce Moullakis Macquarie Group has for the first time provided high-level detail on how it’s addressing a string of failings in its private wealth division.


Australians would rather float than fix on mortgages, despite low rates

Australians take out few fixed rate mortgages compared to markets overseas.

MELANIE KEMBREY The country's largest banks may have slashed their fixed mortgage rates, but historically home buyers prefer to try their luck when it comes to borrowing costs.


Banks should act like start-ups: Westpac

Brian Hartzer, Chief Executive of the Westpac Banking Corporation speaks at a CEDA panel discussion on financial services industry transformation.

CLANCY YEATES Senior Westpac banker Brian Hartzer says banks should try to act like start-up companies if they are to thrive in an era of sweeping technological change.


Macquarie reports soft first quarter

In the year to the end of May, gross loans and advances grew 46.2 per cent to $23.5 billion from $16 billion a year earlier

Joyce Moullakis Macquarie Group has reported a drop in its operating group’s contribution to profit in the three months ended June 30, compared to a year earlier, but stuck to its full-year guidance to match its bumper 2014 earnings.

Why our financial minnows are still too big to fail

RBA governor Glenn Stevens

MICHAEL PASCOE Sometimes you could feel a bit sorry for Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens.


Woolworths reminded it isn't a bank

Woolworths might offer financial services but it can't call itself a bank.

JARED LYNCH Woolworths has been forced to stop using the word ‘‘banking’’ in the marketing of its financial services after it attracted attention from regulators.


Mortgage war erupts as Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac cut fixed rates

NAB was quick to hit back at CBA's fixed rate mortgage cuts.

CLANCY YEATES Three of the country's largest banks have slashed their fixed mortgage rates, fighting to win new customers by allowing borrowers to lock in longer-term interest rates of less than 5 per cent.


BKI earnings rise on company dividends

Digging for returns: Payouts from companies such as mining giant BHP helped boost the investment firm's earnings.

Ruth Liew BKI Investment Company posted an 11 per cent rise in profit for the year to June thanks to strong dividend income from some of Australia’s biggest companies.


Big banks boost home loan market share

All of the major banks, except NAB and BankWest, increased their share of mortgages processed.

Shaun Drummond Big banks have gained market share in mortgages in the past year despite some smaller lenders achieving strong loan growth, according to the country’s biggest mortgage broker, AFG.


CommBank slashes fixed rate

It is the first time the Commonwealth Bank has dropped its five-year fixed rate below 5 per cent.

CLANCY YEATES The Commonwealth Bank has slashed its five-year fixed mortgage rate to a new record low for the lender, a sign competition in the mortgage market remains intense.


ANZ chief Mike Smith tells B20 meeting banks have to re-earn trust

Mike Smith

James Eyers Global banks must restore trust before politicians are convinced by business calls for regulation to be pared back to encourage lending for infrastructure and trade, ANZ chief Mike Smith says.


RBS fined $1.6 million after rigging local interest rate

ASIC said that RBS had found evidence of rate rigging its BBSW submissions to benefit the bank’s derivatives positions.

Jonathan Shapiro Royal Bank of Scotland is the latest bank to be penalised for its role in manipulating Australia’s bank bill swap rate.


Banks' role in real estate's foreign investors questioned


CLANCY YEATES Australian banks' role in helping to fund foreign investment in real estate is coming under scrutiny, as politicians investigate overseas buyers' activity in the housing market.


Financial inquiry head David Murray ponders advice, super

David Murray.

ELIZABETH KNIGHT The head of the Financial System Inquiry admits its interim report has canvassed some 'brave' ideas, writes Elizabeth Knight.


Banking regulator gets tough on home loans

APRA logo.

CLANCY YEATES The financial regulator takes its housing market concerns to the boardrooms of the big four.

APRA regulator's push for big banks to set aside more capital

Real Estate.

CLANCY YEATES A senior regulator has floated changes to narrow the gap between how much capital major banks and the rest must set aside against home loans, a key complaint of smaller banks.


Don't give us more rules, warns ANZ's Mike Smith

No more: Rule changes to banks are already impacting growth in some countries, argues the ANZ boss.

CLANCY YEATES ANZ Bank chief Mike Smith has warned against imposing more rules to make the financial system safer, putting one of the country's biggest banks on a collision course with the government's financial system inquiry.


Mercer finds Regal winner among fund managers

Bank stocks and resources boosted funds managers' performance over the past year.

Ruth Liew Regal Funds Management, Katana Asset Management and Perennial Investment Partners were the three best-performing Australian equities fund managers in the year to June after each reaping more than 30 per cent returns for investors.


Banks dividend bonanza could end after Murray report

The financial system inquiry led by David Murray has floated policies that include forcing banks to hold larger capital buffers.

CLANCY YEATES The strong growth in big bank dividends could be threatened by David Murray's intention to make Australia's largest lenders more resilient in the face of future financial crises.


Super system failing retirees' needs

Few retirees use products with longevity risk protection

Karen Maley and Ruth Liew Australia's superannuation system is failing to provide enough choice to allow people to manage risk in retirement, and failing to give guidance to retirees as they make complex financial decisions, the Murray inquiry has found in a damning verdict.

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