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Banking & Finance


UK banking watchdog wants bonuses to fund fines

James Titcomb 1:06am The United Kingdom's top financial watchdog has told the banks at the centre of the foreign exchange rigging scandal that their huge fines should be funded out of this year's round of bonuses.

Big overhaul for financial adviser standards

Adele Ferguson dinkus Dinkus

ADELE FERGUSON The financial planning industry is set for a massive overhaul of its education standards, level of professionalism and ethics, after a powerful set of recommendations by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services.


Watchdog bites Commsec over using clients' money


GEORGIA WILKINS An independent expert will review the Commonwealth Bank's online broker, Commsec, as part of increased scrutiny over the brand's handling of client accounts.

Clive Palmer media adviser Andrew Crook detained over alleged kidnapping: reports


Latika Bourke and Bevan Shields Clive Palmer's media adviser, Andrew Crook, has been detained in raids connected to the alleged kidnapping of a bank executive, according to reports.


Banks agree to Murray call to hold greater capital

The big four: Two have agreed.

Clancy Yeates and James Eyers Two of Australia's biggest banks, NAB and ANZ, have signalled they are confident of being well-placed to meet tougher capital rules stemming from the government's financial system inquiry.


ANZ distances itself from Timbercorp troubles but victims want bank's compassion

Angry: Protesters outside the Melbourne Town Hall during the Senate hearing into the collapse of Timbercorp.

GEORGIA WILKINS ANZ has attempted to distance itself from its involvement in the collapse of agribusiness scheme Timbercorp despite desperate pleas from investors that the bank is culpable and needs to show compassion.


NAB chair Michael Chaney backs Murray report

James Eyers National Australia Bank chairman Michael Chaney has backed the financial system inquiry’s move to create a stronger financial system by forcing banks hold more capital as a buffer against a crisis, which suggests NAB may be less aggressive than some of its competitors in opposing the Murray report.


ANZ flags more details on loans to carbon polluters

Some shareholders want to change the bank's constitution to force it to publish details on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions it is financing via loans and investments.

CLANCY YEATES The bank, which has been a key target of environmentalists because of its large exposure to the resources sector, says the power stations it funds emit less carbon than the national average.


Call to axe lucrative advance payments for financial planners

upfront payment

Ruth Liew Exorbitant initial payments that tempt financial advisers to book profits ahead of clients’ interests need to be scrapped, an interim report says.


SMSF assets hit almost $560 billion

Self-managed super funds now account for 99 per cent of the number of super funds in Australia.

Ruth Liew The number of DIY super funds has ballooned 29 per cent in the past five years to hit 534,000 retirement saving vehicles with $557 billion in assets.


ANZ at impasse with union over working conditions

ANZ Bank branch in Nelson.

CLANCY YEATES ANZ Bank is in a stand-off with union representatives over working conditions, despite offering many staff pay rises well above the rate of wage growth across the economy.


NAB sells £1.2 billion in high-risk UK loans

NAB Bank

James Thomson, Clancy Yeates, James Eyers National Australia Bank has taken another step in its bid to exit the British market, selling a £1.2 billion ($2.3 billion) parcel of higher-risk loans from its UK Commercial Real Estate portfolio to an affiliate of Cerberus Global Investors.


ANZ Bank faces carbon pressure

ANZ faces pressure over financing fossil fuels.

CLANCY YEATES ANZ Bank's lending to big carbon emitters will be under the spotlight at this week's annual meeting of shareholders, after other banks have boosted their disclosure of climate-change risks.


Banks bet on the farm, rather than on resources

Stressed loans in agriculture are roughly twice those of mining but the important thing to note is that the stress in the mining sector is growing, while the stress in the agricultural sector is actually going down.

Matthew Cranston Australia’s prosperity in the past decade may have been underpinned by the resources industry but it might be worth knowing that the big four banks have roughly twice as much exposure to agriculture than they do to resources.

Big banks back overhaul of advice industry but baulk at funding compo

CLANCY YEATES Big banks are supporting the creation of a public financial adviser register, more disclosure of licence ownership, and tighter rules on who can call themselves an adviser.


Funding, not reserves key question for banks, says Westpac's Lindsay Maxsted

Handbrake: Lindsay Maxsted opposes the need to hold more loss-absorbing capital.

CLANCY YEATES Westpac chairman Lindsay Maxsted has responded cautiously to David Murray's call for banks to hold more capital, saying the need for strong banks must be balanced with the costs imposed on the economy.


Older men are financial advisers' best customers

Leave it to me, Honey: Older men are twice as likely to seek advice as women, new data shows.

Ruth Liew Australians' interest in financial advice soars substantially when they hit their mid-40s, and older men are twice as likely to seek advice as women, new data shows.

Risky loans: an alarm that needed sounding

Elizabeth Knight Dinkus Dinkus

ELIZABETH KNIGHT The move by the banking regulator, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, to fire a shot across the bows of home lenders to curb riskier practices has two important ramifications.


Macquarie Group could be forced to rethink property lending strategy under APRA scrutiny

Nicholas Moore.

James Eyers, Jonathan Shapiro, Shaun Drummond Macquarie Group’s lending to property investors is growing eight times faster than the rate the prudential regulator considers prudent.


Financial regulators united in attack on risky loans

Moves to curb risky lending could take some of the heat out of Sydney and Melbourne's property markets.

Georgia Wilkins and Nassim Khadem Australia's financial regulators have launched a joint attack on risky home lending as investment and interest-only loans threaten the stability of the financial system.


ASIC must be stronger, more proactive, says David Murray

GEORGIA WILKINS Australians aren't getting enough protection from bad elements in the financial advice industry because the corporate watchdog is too weak and not proactive, financial system inquiry chief David Murray said.

Bank shares surge on Murray report

Bank stocks have lept after the capital requirements proposed by the Murray inquiry turned out to be not as onerous as some had feared.

MAX MASON Investor fears of much tougher recommendations from David Murray’s Financial Services Inquiry have not come to fruition.


Bendigo tipped a winner in Murray Inquiry reforms

Bendigo boss Mike Hirst has warned the Murray Inquiry's recommendations could lead to an

Shaun Drummond Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is firming as the biggest bank winner if the financial system inquiry’s recommendations are implemented in full.


Banks could be pulled into global race for capital

The Murray report recommended Australian banks’ capital standards be “unquestionably strong.”

James Eyers Australian banks could be dragged into an international arms race to build capital in the wake of the Murray report, analysts have warned. Shareholders seemed unfazed, with bank stocks posting early gains as some said demands weren't as bad as feared.

Murray inquiry: Be brave or nothing will change

ASIC, led by Greg Medcraft, needs to toughen up.

ADELE FERGUSON The success or failure of the Murray inquiry's recommendations will depend on the government, the industry and the regulator’s appetite for change.

Murray inquiry explained: What do big bank reforms mean for your mortgage, super?

Finance industry

Jonathan Shapiro, David Potts, Georgia Wilkins What does the Murray financial system inquiry mean for the average Australian?


The lines are drawn: Let the big bank battle begin

Former Commonwealth Bank boss turned bankbuster David Murray.

James Thomson If you thought the release of David Murray’s financial system inquiry was exciting, then you ain’t seen nothing yet – get ready for some of the biggest lobbying battles in years. Here are the battle lines - and the likely winners.

New trust fund scheme promises to protect subcontractors against phoenix companies


ANNA PATTY The NSW government is launching a trust-fund scheme designed to prevent construction companies that collapse from keeping money owed to subcontractors.


Rattled banks up the ante

Michael West dinkus Dinkus

MICHAEL WEST When it comes to reports to government there is a deep schism between recommendations and implementations.

Murray sides with the crowd on internet funding

Banks should be more heavily regulated than new tech start-ups, the Murray inquiry says.

Shaun Drummond The Murray financial system inquiry has rejected calls from some large banks that new digital competitors should face the same regulations they do.

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