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Banking & Finance


Financial planning scandal threatens CBA customer service title

James Eyers 3:08pm Commonwealth Bank of Australia is within a whisker of losing its coveted No.1 ranking for overall customer satisfaction in retail banking, with its slip in the closely watched Roy Morgan rankings coinciding with the scandal in the bank’s financial advice business.


AMP eyes $2 billion for new infrastructure fund

Stephen Cauchi 3:26pm AMP Capital is tapping into the worldwide demand for infrastructure by launching a new fund which it hopes will exceed $US2 billion.


ASIC will keep a watchful eye on financial advice from six biggest planners

ASIC head Greg Medcraft has said the regulator is mindful of the appeals process with sanctioning financial planners.

GEORGIA WILKINS The corporate watchdog will target the financial planning arms of the big four banks plus Macquarie and AMP as part of future surveillance of financial advice laws.


Credit card-debt decline sparks price war

More people are paying off their credit card debts.

JARED LYNCH More people are paying off their credit cards as they attempt to rein in household debt.


ANZ chief Mike Smith plays down housing fears but worries over household debt

ANZ chief Mike Smith says while parts of the Australian housing market are

GEORGIA WILKINS ANZ chief executive Mike Smith has played down fears about the housing market, saying there are still parts of the market in high demand. 

Commonwealth Bank head Ian Narev confident mortgage book can withstand a housing shock

Commonwealth Bank boss Ian Narev says he's

James Eyers Commonwealth Bank of Australia directors have performed a six-scenario stress test on the bank's $400 billion mortgage book.


NAB forced to cut price in Great Western float

NAB chief Andrew Thorburn couldn't get the US subsidiary's float off the ground without lowering the price.

James Eyers National Australia Bank has been forced to price stock in the float of its US lender Great Western Bank $US3 below the lower end of the expected range as volatility spikes in global equity markets.


Seize the day, buy banks, fund manager says

Stocking up on the big four banks may be a good move after recent share price declines and ahead of their dividend payouts, according to some investment managers.

Bianca Hartge-Hazelman Australian banking stocks have been hammered since the start of September as part of a broader market sell-off. But with three of the big four paying out dividends in the near future, some investment managers are urging clients to seize the moment and buy.


Banks cannot ignore bitcoin, warns Labor senator Sam Dastyari

Australian banks have been highly sceptical and cautious in dealing with bitcoins. Earlier this year, NAB retreated from digital currencies including bitcoin, arguing they were too risky.

Ruth Liew and Jessica Sier Labor senator Sam Dastyari has warned Australian banks not to “act like a bunch of ostriches” with their “heads in the sand” when confronting the rise of bitcoins, as he urged ­companies to provide feedback to a ­Senate inquiry into how to regulate the highly volatile digital currency.

Financial planner register pre-empts government site

ADELE FERGUSON A national register of financial planners armed with a consumer-led rating system could become a “game changer” for an industry that lacks transparency and has raised alarm bells for years.

Banks should declare lending links to climate change exposured companies, says lobby group

Banks are under pressure to declare links to companies exposed to climate change action.

James Eyers and Amanda Saunders Banks should be forced to disclose how much of their lending goes to companies exposed to action on climate change, according to resolutions proposed by the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility ahead of the big banks’ annual general meetings.


MDA members knock back merger

Ruth Liew A proposed merger between two of Australia’s most prominent medical insurers, MDA National and Medical Insurance Group Australia, has collapsed after MDA members voted against the deal on Saturday.


Bankers' bonuses not likely to boom in 2014

Lacklustre equity trading volumes have again weighed on investment banks' income.

Joyce Moullakis Investment banking executives and recruiters say bonuses for 2014 are shaping up to be in line with or slightly better than last year, dampening expectations of a return to big paydays despite a jump in local capital markets and merger activity.

Lending limits coming, but interest rates will remain steady

Ross Gittins dinkus Dinkus

ROSS GITTINS With fast-rising house prices, but the dollar coming down and the unemployment rate now steady, can a rise in the official interest rate be far off? Yes it can.

CBA client still waiting for information pack


James Eyers Former clients of the disgraced financial planning arm of the CBA are still waiting to receive information about how to make a claim.

Heat is on for life insurance advisers

Seniors, bowls and insurance

Duncan Hughes and Ruth Liew Advisers are being coaxed away from big commission up-front payments by insurers trying to prevent churning and build market share, according to industry specialists.


Regulator rules out limit on low-deposit home loans

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chairman Wayne Byres (left) and Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer.

James Eyers Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chairman Wayne Byres says “macroprudential” tools are already being applied to banks to cool house prices, but he rules out limiting low-deposit home loans as an additional measure.

'Unacceptable level of failure': ASIC report damns life insurance industry

A dollar sign written in the sky, high above, Martin Place, Sydney. ... Money, Interest Rates, Finance, Banks, Business, CBD Rents, Dollar, SMH Generic.. Pix by Quentin Jones. qcj100409.001. SPECIAL 125468

Sally Rose, Ruth Liew Sweeping changes have been pledged for the life insurance industry to protect more than 1 million policyholders in the wake of a damning report that found one in three advisers focused more on winning commissions than serving their clients.

ABS data problems make job harder for economists

The ABS has been under fire over the accuracy of its employment data.

GARETH HUTCHENS Economists warn their jobs have become harder since the Bureau of Statistics lost control of its unemployment data, and equities strategists warn Australia’s reputation as a major financial centre has been put at risk.


'Unacceptable level of failure': ASIC takes aim at financial advisers over life insurance information

Around 37 per cent of financial advisers failed to prioritise clients needs and give correct advice, ASIC says.

Ruth Liew and Sally Rose More than one in three financial advisers have failed to comply with laws around giving clients appropriate life insurance advice - representing an “unacceptable level of failure”, a damning report by the corporate watchdog has found.


BoQ boosts profit by 20 per cent on lower costs

The rise in cash net profit came on the back of lower funding costs and cost cuts, but lending to households almost stalled.

Shaun Drummond Bank of Queensland acting chief executive Jon Sutton says it will boost its poor mortgage lending growth through the increased use of brokers, new incentives for franchise owners and the elimination of "archaic" paper processing.


NAB flags profit drop on $1 billion in UK write-downs

NAB projects a 14 per cent fall in full-year cash profit in the range of $5.1 billion to $5.2 billion, compared with year-earlier profit of $5.94 billion, and a Bloomberg consensus estimate of $6.18 billion.

James Eyers and Su-Lin Tan National Australia Bank (NAB) has been forced to make about another $1 billion write-down on its troubled UK operations and warned that its full-year cash profit would fall by about 14 per cent.


CBA to refund $2.2 million in expired travel card money

Commonwealth Bank's Travel Money card can be used for payments overseas.

Shaun Drummond The Commonwealth Bank will return $2.2 million left on 45,000 expired CBA Travel Money Cards the cards' owners following an investigation by the corporate watchdog.


Bears bite but banks expected to post hefty profits


Shaun Drummond The banks are expected to post big annual profits again for 2014 despite investors dumping them ahead of the Reserve Bank’s decision to keep the cash rate at 2.5 per cent on Tuesday afternoon.


National Australia Bank acquires majority stake in Orchard Street Investment Management

NAB appears to have jumped straight back into the UK property space.

SALLY ROSE NAB Asset Management, the wealth management division of National Australia Bank, has acquired a a close to 75 per cent interest in Orchard Street Investment Management, a £4 billion ($7.34 billion) London-based fund focused on investments in commercial property assets.


Murray inquiry has investors split on bank stocks

Banks lose shine: the threat of new laws is the most often quoted reason for a sharp fall in bank share prices through September.

PATRICK COMMINS The Murray inquiry has investors spooked. The threat of new regulations requiring the big banks to put aside more money for capital reserves - cash that could have been returned to shareholders - is the most often quoted reason for a sharp fall in bank share prices through September.

Life insurers brace for ASIC report

Commissions paid on life insurance policies could be heading for a fall.

SALLY ROSE Australia's biggest life insurers are bracing ahead of the release of a report from the corporate watchdog.

ANZ frustrated as stake in Indonesian Panin Bank remains in limbo

Frustrating: ANZ chief executive Mike Smith.

James Eyers ANZ Banking Group's stake in Indonesia's Panin Bank remains in limbo, frustrating chief executive Mike Smith, who is looking to exit minority positions in Asian banks to avoid extra capital charges or to move those positions to full control.


Hackers' attack on 10 banks could be retaliation for sanctions on Russia

JP Morgan logo

Matthew Goldstein, Nicole Perlroth and David E. Sanger The huge cyberattack on JPMorgan Chase was one of the most serious computer intrusions into a US corporation.

Real estate agent warns on macro-prudential policy as banks say no change in consumer behaviour yet

Home buyers face new restrictions as RBA signals intent to take action against galloping housing markets.

Michael Koziol and Alana Schetzer One of the nation's largest real estate agents has warned the Reserve Bank of Australia against putting limits on home loans.

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