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Banking & Finance


Too big to fail proving tough to tackle as banks fight 'bail-in' bonds

CLANCY YEATES 1:56pm The government would still be likely to provide support if a local bank were distressed, despite the public debate about a "bail-in" regime for creditors.


Australian banks taking unnecessary risks, says US academic

GEORGIA WILKINS 10:38am Australian banks are taking unnecessary risks by relying on large amounts of debt to fund their business, a leading US academic has warned.

Trade sale

Ezidebit founder Michael Dempsey to pocket $150m after US takeover

Credit cards

Shaun Drummond and Sarah Thompson 1:52am Michael Dempsey will walk away with $150 million after selling his payment solutions business Ezidebit to US-based Global Payments for $305 million.


Macquarie cashes in on world's war machine

Macquarie Bank is among the Australian funds benefiting from heightened tensions in the world.

GEORGIA WILKINS Macquarie is among Australian funds, including superannuation funds, benefiting from heightened tensions around the world over the past year, with almost $1 billion in investments tied to major US defence companies.

Macquarie Group eyes return to boom days

On the rise: Shemara Wikramanayake’s division has reported higher profits.

Joyce Moullakis Macquarie Group is a step closer to returning to its profit heyday, prior to the global financial crisis, after it confirmed on Monday that higher performance fees from listed and unlisted funds would propel this year’s earnings above the $1.27 billion booked in 2014.

Van Eyk goes under

Van Eyk CEO Mark Thomas says there is life in the firm's research unit.

Sarah Thompson and Joyce Moullakis Van Eyk’s chief Mark Thomas has moved to distance the embattled firm’s research arm from its funds unit, noting expressions of interest in the former after the financial services company confirmed the appointment of voluntary administrators.


Westpac says businesses cautious about borrowing

Businesses are reluctant to borrow.

CLANCY YEATES Westpac says commercial lending growth has softened in recent months and a sharp recovery in the sector is unlikely, as many business owners are holding off on big investments.

Macquarie Group tips 'slightly' higher annual profit

Monday’s statement is more upbeat than previous guidance that pointed to Macquarie matching its bumper 2014 earnings of $1.27 billion.

James Thomson and Joyce Moullakis Financial services giant Macquarie Group says it now expects its full-year 2015 results to be “slightly up” on last year’s $1.27 billion, thanks to an improved performance from its funds division.

Mining companies turn to smaller lenders as banks move to cut debt

Mining worker

CLANCY YEATES Private credit funds are stepping in to fill the void created as big banks cut their lending to mining contractors, amid growing financial distress in the sector.


Macquarie writes to dead people

Macquarie bank logo

Adele Ferguson and Ben Butler Macquarie Private Wealth has sent letters to dead people as part of its mailout to 160,000 current and former clients who may have received shoddy financial advice.


Damage done: Banks steer clear of financial adviser deals

Banks are avoiding financial adviser deals in favour of mortgage broker acquisitions.

Duncan Hughes Banks are ditching deals for financial adviser networks and buying lower risk mortgage brokers instead.

Wal-Mart snubs Apple Pay, sparking payments race

Apple Pay won't be appearing in any Wal-Mart stores.

Danielle Douglas Wal-Mart said it will not join Apple's new mobile payment system and will continue developing a separate one, setting up a high-profile race to define how Americans will pay for products in the future.


NAB will move Clydesdale to England if Scotland secedes

NAB said re-registering Clydesdale, which also owns the Yorkshire Bank brand, would

CLANCY YEATES National Australia Bank will move its Glasgow-based Clydesdale Bank to England if Scotland votes for independence at next week's referendum.


Australian dollar fall all about fundamentals, says ANZ

The recent sell-off in the Aussie resembles last year’s taper tantrum, where carry trade currencies were dumped when the Fed signalled the beginning of the ‘tapering’ of its asset purchase program.

JENS MEYER The Australian dollar is finally getting back to basics after stubbornly resisting calls for a correction, ANZ says.


Big banks at risk of ratings downgrade, S&P says

“One of the peculiarities of the Australian system is our high reliance on foreign debt and most of that is channelled through the banking system.

Karen Maley Australia’s major banks could be hit with a ratings downgrade and find it more expensive to borrow money in overseas markets if their bond-holders are forced to incur losses in the event of bank failures, according to Fabienne Michaux, head of Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services Australia and New Zealand.


CBA wins in executive dismissal case

Commonwealth Bank has won a landmark appeal.

CLANCY YEATES The Commonwealth Bank has won a landmark High Court appeal over its move to make a long-serving executive redundant as part of a national restructuring drive.


It's up to Apple when you can pay with your iPhone

IPay, you pay, we all pay: Apple boss Tim Cook presenting the

CLANCY YEATES Australian customers will have to wait to be able to use one of the most hyped features of the latest iPhone: the ability to make “tap and go” payments at retailers.

CUA profit declines as new loans begin to accelerate

CUA's Chris Whitehead.

Shaun Drummond The country's biggest credit union, CUA, has reported a 13.7 per cent fall in profit for 2014 to $49.6 million, despite new loans growing by 16.7 per cent to $309 million and its loan book rising 4.9 per cent to $9 billion.

Counterfeiting on the rise, warns Reserve Bank

A counterfeit 50 dollar note that was seized in Western Australia earlier this year.

Jessica Sier Counterfeiting activity was becoming more frequent as technology made it easier to replicate Australian bank notes, analysis by the Reserve Bank of Australia has found.

Self managed super wide open to crooks

Scams: Counterfeiting of bank notes is also slowly edging up.

Georgia Wilkins and Clancy Yeates The self-managed retirement savings of Australians are being increasingly targeted by financial criminals for fraud and money laundering, bank experts warn.

Scottish independence could be costly for NAB

Close race: Scotland goes to the polls on September 18 for a referendum on independence.

CLANCY YEATES National Australia Bank could face one-off costs of more than $100 million if Scotland votes for independence.


Investors still driving new housing loans

Growth in new home loans is being fuelled by investors.

Mark Mulligan Property investors are not far off snapping up the majority share of Australia's new home loans, taking out a record proportion of Australia's new housing finance in July.


'Little disincentive': Financial fraud laws criticised

Former director Shawn Richard was sentenced to three years and nine months in jail after Trio Capital collapsed in 2009, costing investors an estimated $123 million.

CLANCY YEATES Australia's penalties for fraud are an inadequate deterrent against crooked operators in the funds management industry, according to a new report that argues more should be done to protect consumers.

Banks stall change to credit data rules

Many small lenders are keen to access extra data on borrower risk.

Shaun Drummond Fears the big banks will lose control of their dominance of borrower data has stalled contributions of "positive" credit information for at least another six months under new comprehensive credit reporting laws. As a result, it will be more than a year since the new regime came into force on March 12 before any extra data flows into credit bureaus.

They cause anger but some credit card fees are for the greater good

Clancy Yeates dinkus Dinkus

CLANCY YEATES There's plenty to complain about in our financial system, but one issue seems to have really hit a nerve with the public: credit card surcharges.

Timid ASIC under fire over crackdown inconsistencies

ASIC head Greg Medcraft says the regulator mindful of the appeals process with sanctioning financial planners.

ADELE FERGUSON Peter Holt is not the only financial adviser that has ASIC has been accused of going light on.

Credit scores mark turning point for borrowers

Lenders and borrowers

Shaun Drummond Lenders and credit bureaus say the huge interest in website Getcreditscore when it launched on Tuesday marks a turning point for borrowers in ­Australia as they wake up to their ability to use new credit scores to bargain on interest rates.


Beware the 'disorderly correction': Standard & Poor's warns on overheating mortgage market

Making allowances for smaller banks could help overheat the mortgage market, says S&P.

CLANCY YEATES Standard & Poor's has cautioned against further stimulating the mortgage market, saying this would increase the risk of a housing bust and make Australia more vulnerable in a financial shock.

Australia's first fossil-free super fund launched

Running out puff for investors?

PETER HANNAM A global movement to divest from fossil fuels will get some local impetus with the launch on Thursday of the country’s first fossil-free superannuation fund.

Aussie John changes tune on big banks

Massaging the message: John Symond in front of a Gerard Rancinan photo artwork.

CLANCY YEATES Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond says consumers don't need any more competition in the mortgage market, such is the rivalry among banks eager to lend money for housing.

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