Banking & Finance


Westpac swings into action to fix interest rate headache

James Eyers 7:39 PM   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 3:48 PM   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 3:43 PM   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 2:42 PM   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 10:29 AM   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 9:19 AM   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.

Computer glitch costs Westpac $1m a day


James Eyers and Clancy Yeates 12:15 AM   Westpac Banking Corp's information technology systems have prevented it joining the other major banks to raise mortgage interest rates in response to growing regulatory pressures.

Westpac launches $750m hybrid offer

Westpac's raising comes as the hybrid market recovers from a sharp correction following CBA's $3 billion PERLS VII raising in the third quarter of 2014.

Jonathan Shapiro   Westpac has officially launched a $750 million offer of hybrid securities, or capital notes, at a margin of 4 to 4.2 percentage points over the bank rate.

NAB raises rates on interest-only loans

NAB says interest-only loans were the "predominant structure for investors."

Clancy Yeates   National Australia Bank is raising interest rates on interest-only home loans, a move it says is aimed at slowing down housing investor credit growth.

Wealth groups support ethics drive for advisers

Australia's big four banks and AMP have been pushing for higher education and ethical standards for their advisers.

Ruth Liew   AMP, Macquarie Bank and Commbank are among wealth giants that have pumped funds into a new ethics training program.

Small banks hunt for margin and share in rate hikes

Smaller banks are manoeuvring to take back some profit as well as market share as big banks raise rates to satisfy new capital needs

Shaun Drummond   Small banks are likely to take a different approach to repricing existing loans to claw back profits as well as market share.

Borrowers can bank on more rate rises after ANZ and CBA move

Analysts expect more mortgage rate rises.

Clancy Yeates   ANZ and CBA maintain that the regulator's 10 per cent a year cap on housing investor credit growth is a key reason for their moves to raise rates for these customers by 0.27 percentage points.

Flinders Investment Partners looks to smaller companies for growth

Westoz Investment Management boss Steve Tucker, flanked by Flinders Investment Partners co-heads Andrew Mouchacca, at left, and  Richard Macdougall.

Sally Rose    Retail investors in the Australian sharemarket need to turn to small caps, because low interest rates and a lacklustre economy mean blue chip stocks will struggle to deliver capital growth in the years ahead.

CBA hits housing investors with higher rates

CBA has raised interest rates for housing investors by 0.27 percentage points.

Clancy Yeates   The biggest bank in the country is jacking up interest rates for housing investors, as lenders act to rein in the boom in borrowing by landlord buyers.

Watchdog hopes for sharper teeth post-review

ASIC says it welcomes the government's review,

Sarah Danckert   The Abbott government's decision to launch a review into the capabilities of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has raised hopes that the powers of the corporate watchdog will be expanded.

NAB pays $25m in compo to 62,000 customers

National Australia Bank is paying $25 million in compensation to more than 60,000 clients who were underpaid what they were owed.

Ruth Liew   National Australia Bank is repaying 62,000 wealth customers a total of $25 million after internal errors meant clients were not paid all the money they were owed.

Blackstone's CFO said to be joining Airbnb

Laurence Tosi, 47, has been CFO of Blackstone since 2008. He's said to be joining Airbnb in a similar capacity shortly.

Devin Banerjee, Eric Newcomer and Leslie Picker   Airbnb is close to hiring Blackstone's Laurence Tosi as CFO, it has been said.

Why Bitcoin Group's float is still in limbo


Shaun Drummond   The second Bitcoin miner to try a listing on the ASX has said it will be a further two weeks before it can resubmit its prospectus.

Credit Suisse returns to profit in strong start for new CEO

The results bolstered the position of Tidjane Thiam, who became Credit Suisse's chief executive this month.

Chad Bray   Swiss bank Credit Suisse has returned to profit in the second quarter, helped by stronger results in the Asia-Pacific.

Sherman Ma sues Sherman Ma in $25m Macquarie stoush

Macquarie filed its action against Sherman Ma's Juno in NSW, after a court in the Netherlands upheld Macquarie's claim to be listed as a creditor to Juno.

Sarah Danckert   A company linked to Liberty Financial's embattled managing director Sherman Ma is suing another company associated with ... Sherman Ma.

Finance, mining sectors told to lift game on mental health

Mental illness still carries significant stigma in many workplaces, BeyondBlue has warned.

Clancy Yeates   Australia's mining and finance giants are being urged to publish more information about the way they support the mental health of their staff, with a new report finding these industries lag overseas peers.

Australia may miss out on an M&A frenzy

While still at healthy levels, Australian M&A is far from boom levels. Large deals this year have included offshore based tilts for companies including Toll Holdings.

Joyce Moullakis   Bankers and lawyers globally may be on the cusp of the seventh merger and acquisitions boom in living memory, but activity in Australia so far this year has fallen short of bumper levels, according to King & Wood Mallesons.

Macquarie talks up equity raising, upgrades guidance

Macquarie CEO Nicholas Moore said the group would likely raise capital for any significant acquisitions.

Joyce Moullakis   Macquarie Group has given a strong assurance it will look to raise equity to fund potential acquisitions, as it adopts more bullish guidance for 2016 that puts the company well on its way to return to record profits.

ANZ lifts investor home loan rates

The change is significant because while other banks have reduced discounts for new investors, ANZ's move affects existing loans.

Clancy Yeates   ANZ Banking Group is raising interest rates on home loans held by property investors 0.27 percentage points, the most dramatic step yet by a bank to comply with a clampdown on lending to landlords.

McMillan takes another step to diversify earnings

McMillan Shakespeare has added another acquisition in direct auto finance, a relatively new area for the salary packager.

Shaun Drummond   The country's biggest salary packager, McMillan Shakespeare, has made another purchase to diversify away from novated leases, with the acquisition of United Financial Services for $42 million.

Macquarie gets bullish on 2016 earnings

In May, Macquarie said its 2016 full-year result would be "slightly up" on this year's $1.6 billion profit, but has now opted to ditch the word "slightly".

Joyce Moullakis   Macquarie Group is well on its way to returning to record profits after adopting a more bullish tone in its guidance for 2016, saying it expects profit to be up on the previous year.

Can the millionaires factory make billions?

Elizabeth Knight

Elizabeth Knight   The year is 2007 .. It's pre the Global Financial Crisis and the big punt occupying the minds of market traders is whether Macquarie Bank share will reach that $100 mark - by May it was inches away hovering at more than $98.

PEXA becomes CITIC CLSA's first big client

Marcus Price, chief executive of PEXA, Australia's new property exchange, says it will be Citic's most important client.

Shaun Drummond   Property Exchange Australia is CITIC CLSA Capital Markets' first big client after the property transfer site confirmed it had appointed the adviser to assess the prospects of a possible $1 billion listing or sale some time in the next two years.

IOOF moves on planners, closes brands

IOOF is believed to have reported 13 adviser-related breaches to ASIC in the past two years.

Adele Ferguson and Sarah Danckert   Scandal-ridden financial services giant IOOF has closed its My Adviser and Plan B financial planning arms after moving on 33 out of 48 advisers at My Adviser for claiming they were out of step with the company's culture, according to sources.