Banking & Finance

 

Huge card profits driven by the poor

Shaun Drummond 1:54 PM   Regulators and politicians are turning up the heat on a very profitable corner of retail banking that relies on poor people: credit cards.

Ex-Mac banker to chair NSW insurance arm

Former Macquarie Bank executive Michael Carapiet.

Ruth Liew 12:47 PM   Former Macquarie Bank executive Michael Carapiet has been named the chairman of a new state government general insurance arm.

Shadforth acquisition helps boost IOOF profit

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Matthew Smith 12:03 PM   IOOF's results reveal a $7.3m contingency for "defending complaints and claims brought against it" amid allegations of misconduct.

Bendigo, ME Bank jack up investor loan rates

Bendigo Bank says raising interest rates for housing investors will help it limit loan growth in this part of the market.

Clancy Yeates 7:31 AM   Bendigo Bank and ME Bank are joining rivals in jacking up interest rates for property investors in response to a regulatory clampdown on lending to landlords.

Veda falls despite profit beating expectations

CEO of Veda, Nerida Caesar, says profit growth will slow a little in 2016 due to investments needed to accept masses of extra data under new "positive" credit report rules

Shaun Drummond 6:26 PM   The data and credit check company beat market expectations but its shares fell 4 per cent on a weaker than expected growth outlook.

Sally Bruce appointed head of AMP Bank

Sally Bruce will take the helm at AMP Bank from Michael Lawrence.

Ruth Liew 4:52 PM   Wealth giant AMP has appointed former National Australia Bank chief financial officer of business and personal banking, Sally Bruce, as the new head of AMP Bank.

APRA urged to 'hold fire' as mortgage clampdown hits home

APRA said it would prefer "if lenders themselves maintain a healthy dose of common sense in their lending practices".

James Eyers 4:01 PM   The chief executive of the country's largest mortgage broker says regulatory measures already in place to cool investor lending are "starting to bite".

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Mining towns feel mortgage pain

Mining regions are experiencing higher rates of mortgage arrears, Fitch Ratings says.

Clancy Yeates   Job cuts in the resources sector are causing more households in mining regions to fall behind on their home loans, highlighting the risk to banks from the commodities slump.

Exempt ASIC from act so it can raise pay

David Murray says there is an asymmetry between ASIC and the government in the funding process.

Shaun Drummond   The corporate cop must have more money independent of the government because it is busiest when governments are cutting back and should be exempt from the Public Service Act so it can pay its people more, financial system inquiry head David Murray says.

APRA talks down Kiwi-style home loan curbs

APRA believes lending criteria should be consistent across the country, regardless of the hot markets in Sydney and Melbourne.

Clancy Yeates   The banking regulator has played down the case for city-specific restrictions on lending in the booming Sydney and Melbourne property markets.

Steadfast flags EPS growth

"Each acquisition met our criteria for cultural and strategic fit as well as being cash-EPS accretive," Steadfast boss Robert Kelly says.

Ruth Liew   Steadfast Group is signalling an increase in its earnings per share this new financial year, after delivering a 38 per cent rise in underlying net profits.

ClearView raises profit 4pc to $20.5m

Simon Swanson says ClearView's 2015 year included  the merger of Matrix, the upgrade to LifeSolutions product range and the launch of Wealth Foundations.

Ruth Liew   ClearView has posted a 4 per cent rise in underlying profits to $20.5 million for fiscal 2015 after several years of integration and expansion at the listed life insurer.

Google-backed start-up joins Sydney fintech breeding ground

Fintech hub Stone & Chalk chairman Craig Dunn.

James Eyers   A group of 41 start-ups has joined Sydney's Stone & Chalk fintech hub, which was officially opened on Tuesday night.

China worries 'overblown', global growth 'positive'

ANZ's Mike Smith says there is still huge potential in China.

Clancy Yeates and Misa Han   ANZ's Mike Smith says concerns over China's economy are 'overblown' and yields in local stocks made them a 'no-brainer', while Qantas CEO Alan Joyce argued the low oil price would help stimulate the economy.

Banks reject call for account number portability

The major banks are being accused of gouging customers with startling high interest rates.

James Eyers   Competition in retail banking could be enhanced by allowing customers to keep their bank account number if they switch banks, like a mobile number, a report says.

Investor loans grow at twice APRA's limit

An average wage earner in Sydney cannot afford to buy a median-priced house.

Shaun Drummond   Bank loans to property investors grew at twice the banking regulators' 10 per cent annual growth limit in the past year.

Travel money card win for consumers

The best travel cards have flexibility, low fees and good exchange rates.

Esther Han   ANZ Bank will no longer seize leftover funds on travel money cards that have expired.

WAM combs for M&A opportunities

Chris Stott from Wilson Asset Management says "opportunities will continue to present themselves".

Ruth Liew   WAM Research has posted a 23 per cent increase in profits to $19.5 million for the year ended June, as the listed investment company combs for more opportunities.

BBY clients, liquidator move forward on collapse

Stephen Vaughan and Ian Hall of KPMG arrive for a BBY creditors meeting.

Joyce Moullakis   The NSW Supreme Court has allowed former BBY equities and exchange-traded options clients to file their own case against the failed stockbroking firm in tandem with action by liquidator KPMG.

What's fair in world of plunging bank stocks?

The manner in which banks have raised equity from retail investors has been a source of controversy but recent share price moves have forced us to reconsider the narrative.

Jonathan Shapiro   Bank shares have been among the hardest hit in a violent rout of risk assets, which has wiped $43 billion of value from the majors in August alone.

Temasek's Fullerton sees opportunity in Asia market carnage

Manraj Sekhon, says Fullerton expects Australia to be one of its biggest markets within five years.

James Eyers   Like other Asian investors, Fullerton's portfolios were hit hard on Monday. But the Singapore fund manager's chief executive says the market carnage will inevitably provide investment opportunities as stock valuations look more attractive.

DirectMoney to sell loans through Loan Market and Finsure

Stephen Porges, DirectMoney CEO, says the marketplace lender will target more mortgage brokers for distribution.

James Eyers   DirectMoney, the marketplace lender which floated last month, has established strategic partnerships with two mortgage brokers, Loan Market and Finsure, providing it with distribution channels for its unsecured personal loans which the brokers will offer customers as an alternative to finance from banks.

Smartgroup rated a buy despite price jump

Smartgroup chairman Michael Carapiet and chief executive Deven Billimoria are all smiles.

Shaun Drummond   Lease company Smartgroup is expected to be one of the few stocks with a good story to tell this profit season when it reports late on Wednesday and might be worth buying since it was hit by the market sell-off on Monday.

Reserve Bank tips slide in ATMs

ATM withdrawals are dropping as consumers use cash less frequently.

Clancy Yeates   The Reserve Bank has predicted a decline in the number of automated teller machines, as digital payments allow consumers to make fewer cash withdrawals and avoid pesky fees.

Big four banks mauled in bear market

Australia's big four banks have each fallen more than 20 per cent from their 2015 peaks.

Clancy Yeates   The share prices of each of Australia's major banks are more than 20 per cent down from their 2015 highs, with investors wiping more than $85 billion off their combined market value this year.

Transfield in heart of hot debate on ethical investment

Transfield Services operates  detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island (pictured).

Sally Rose   Transfield's offshore processing contracts have sparked a debate over ethical investment.

IAG seeks national presence in China

IAG recorded a net profit of $728 million for the year ended June 30, a plunge from the $1.2 billion it made in financial 2014.

Ruth Liew   Natural disaster claims and increasing competition have taken a toll on Insurance Australia Group's earnings.

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Banks avoid bad debt pain

Credit quality may have peaked for the major banks, analysts say.

Clancy Yeates   A key concern among bank investors in recent weeks has been the prospect of provisions for soured loans rising from historic lows.

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Owner-occupiers offered sharp deals

Large discounts are available for owner-occupiers who are strong clients with big loans.

Clancy Yeates   As banks put the brakes on lending to property investors, customers buying a house to live in are being offered some of the sharpest deals in the market.

UniSuper criticises class action funders over fees

Litigation funders often claim 30 to 40 per cent of settlements, according to UniSuper's head of legal and risk, Luke Barrett.

Sarah Danckert   One of Australia's largest institutional investors says there is little justification for litigation funders taking such a handsome share of settlements.