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Banking & Finance

US

Bank of America in record $US16.65b settlement with US government

1:19pm Bank of America reached a record $US16.65 billion settlement with the US government to settle charges that it and companies it bought misled investors into buying troubled mortgage-backed securities, helping the bank close a major chapter tied to the financial crisis.

AMP and big banks rush to lift planners' qualifications

AMP chief Craig Meller: AMP aims to upgrade all its advisers.

Adele Ferguson, Ben Butler 6:51am Australia's big four banks and AMP have moved to beef up educational standards for financial planners as they struggle to stem a crisis of confidence in the advice industry.

Google not looking at Australian banking

Google

CLANCY YEATES 5:38pm Google has no plans to take on the nation's big banks in payments by launching its "digital wallet" in the domestic market, says Australian managing director Maile Carnegie.

Regulation

David Murray signals push to protect clients of financial advisers

Concerned: David Murray lamented the lack of a

James Eyers Financial system inquiry chairman David Murray has expressed concern about “excessive complexity” in the sale of financial advice and indicated his final report may call for changes to the way banks remunerate advisers to restore trust with customers.

Exchanges

ASX lifts profit by 10pc, boosted by listing and information services

Sitting pretty with earnings beating market forecasts: ASX chief Elmer Funke Kupper

Shaun Drummond ASX, the operator of the Australian Securities Exchange, has exceeded analyst earnings forecasts, with full-year profit up 10 per cent to $383.2 million and all divisions showing increases in revenue. Overall sales increased 6.6 per cent to $658.3 million.

Banking

'Bail in' rules may be inevitable, says David Murray

“It appears there’s a wide consensus that bail-in would considerably expand the buffer, would further assist in the mechanisms for the protection of depositors, and importantly would create a system where it is less likely that the taxpayer would be dragged into a crisis,” he said.

CLANCY YEATES Australia may have little choice but to adopt “bail-in” rules that expose bank creditors to losses, due to our dependence on foreign capital, financial system inquiry chair David Murray says.

Banking

AMP raises dividends as cost cuts continue

Ruth Liew AMP said its first-half net profit dipped 3 per cent to $382 million and declared an increased 12.5¢ dividend as chief executive Craig Meller maintains his drive to cut costs at the wealth management giant.

Regulation

Warning of Aussie complacency in banking regulation debate

CLANCY YEATES Australia cannot ignore international moves to make banks safer just because our lenders survived the global financial crisis, a member of the government's financial system inquiry says.

Banks

Macquarie's dirty little secret: Select clients were spared in BrisConnections float

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Joyce Moullakis and Sarah Thompson Macquarie Group has urged any aggrieved clients who lost money in the initial public offering of the ­BrisConnections toll road in 2008 to raise their ­concerns following claims it allowed a select group of wealthy customers to pull out of the disastrous float.

Banking

Bank fee class action could be $180m windfall for litigation funders

More than 40 per cent of WA households are living off credit.

Marianna Papadakis Litigation funders could make up to $180 million if a class action against ANZ, Citibank and Westpac over bank fees goes ahead.

Reserve Bank minutes: rates to stay on hold

Curtailed: Glenn Stevens has been hampered by the high dollar.

Michael Heath The Reserve Bank of Australia said the nation’s economic outlook remained uncertain because of the conflicting forces at play while reiterating that and interest rates were set to remain on hold.

Finance

Banks favour home loans over business lending, super funds claim

Lending has tended to focus on housing.

CLANCY YEATES Australia's economy is being held back by banks favouring home loans over lending to productive businesses, not-for-profit super funds will tell the government's financial system inquiry.

Construction

Ralph Norris new Fletcher Building chairman

Ralph Norris will step into the chairman role at Fletcher Building.

Tim Binsted Former Commonwealth Bank of Australia boss Ralph Norris will be the next chairman of building products group Fletcher Building after the long-serving Ralph Waters retires in October.

Can QBE handle a crisis?

QBE's John Neal is mindful of a 'reasonable range of downside scenarios'

MICHAEL PASCOE It’s one thing for an analyst to have an opinion about a balance sheet being “stretched”, it’s another for an insurer to remark upon its ability to withstand a reasonable range of disasters.

Long-overdue register to shine light on financial planners

Adele Ferguson dinkus Dinkus

ADELE FERGUSON By early next year a national register of financial planners is expected to be up and running in a move designed to help clean up an industry described by the corporate regulator as one that “really has to change” and that has raised “alarm bells” for years.

Banking

Insurance scandal may hamper National Australia Bank's plans to exit Britain

Swinging the axe: NAB chief Andrew Thorburn.

James Eyers National Australia Bank faces an unknown exposure to the payment protection insurance scandal in Britain that has embroiled its Clydesdale Bank, raising concerns the sale of Clydesdale may be delayed and misconduct exposures may have to be retained within NAB after its British exit.

Raising

CBA to raise $2b through notes offer

Commonwealth Bank logo being peeled. Illustration by Simon Bosch

Commonwealth Bank is raising $2 billion through a hybrid notes offer to investors.

Banking

CBA chief Ian Narev's pay jumps over $8m

It is the first time CBA has reported the take home pay of its chief executive..

Shaun Drummond Commonwealth Bank of Australia chief executive Ian Narev has received just a slight boost to his pay, up 1.2 per cent to $7.9 million, despite another record profit up 12 per cent to $8.6 billion.

Clean up continues for NAB's janitor-in-chief Andrew Thorburn

Elizabeth Knight Dinkus Dinkus

ELIZABETH KNIGHT Elizabeth Knight: National Australia Bank’s recently installed chief executive, Andrew Thorburn, must be feeling more like a janitor than a banker.

Banking

NAB warns of at least £250m in UK misconduct provisions

NAB reported a third quarter cash profit of “approximately $1.6 billion”, up 7 per cent on the previous third quarter.

James Eyers National Australia Bank’s new chief executive Andrew Thorburn said the bank expects it will need to need to take an additional provisions at the full year result for misconduct issues in the United Kingdom, which have plagued the bank for several years.

CBA slashes fixed mortgage rates

CBA

CLANCY YEATES The Commonwealth Bank says recent falls in financial market rates have helped it cut three and four-year fixed mortgage rates, as competition continues to heat up in the home loan market.

Macquarie to compensate big investors

Macquarie Group.

Ben Butler, Adele Ferguson, Georgia Wilkins Macquarie Private Wealth's offer of compensation to 160,000 customers who may have received poor financial advice will include so-called ''sophisticated'' and ''wholesale'' investors, the corporate regulator has pledged.

Advice

Cheating rife in financial planning

Illustration: Simon Bosch.

Adele Ferguson and Ben Butler Advising people on their life savings requires disturbingly low qualifications.

Insurance

iSelect gives profit warning after overstating commissions

Profit hit: The company's practice of booking future commissions as current earnings had been raised as a concern by many fund managers.

Jessica Gardner iSelect said it will take a one-off hit to its full-year profit of up to $14 million because it overstated the commissions it will receive from people who have switched health funds using its comparison website.

ANZ faces reduced revenue growth

ANZ is facing softer revenue growth

CLANCY YEATES ANZ Bank is facing softer revenue growth as fierce competition for big corporate customers and low volatility drag on earnings in its institutional banking arm.

Compensation

Macquarie forced to contact clients about bad financial advice

Pressure rises on Macquarie: The market watchdog says the wealth manager will send out 160,000 letters to clients, inviting them to raise concerns about the quality of advice.

GEORGIA WILKINS The corporate regulator says it will not hesitate to impose new licence conditions on Macquarie Group if it fails to adequately carry out a remediation program for customers of dodgy financial advice.

Banks

ANZ on track to hit profit targets despite softer revenue growth

The bank was performing well, but sections of the Australian economy were

CLANCY YEATES ANZ Bank has grown its cash profit by 8 per cent over the first three quarters of its financial year and says it is on track to hit its full-year guidance, despite softer revenue growth and pressure on margins.

CBA's profit growth is second strongest among big global banks, analysis shows

CLANCY YEATES The Commonwealth Bank's position as one of the world's most profitable lenders has been underlined by new analysis showing it is enjoying the second-strongest growth in operating profit among big global banks.

Big data analysis a top priority for CBA chief executive Ian Narev

Transaction data is becoming increasingly valuable.

James Eyers As customer relationships are disrupted by technological upheaval in the banking industry, the analysis of “big data” has become one of the biggest strategic focuses for Commonwealth Bank of Australia chief executive Ian Narev.

Banking

Bank of Queensland's Stuart Grimshaw to become executive chairman of pawnshop operator EZCorp

Shocked the market: Bank of Queensland chief executive Stuart Grimshaw announced his resignation on Wednesday.

Shaun Drummond NASDAQ-listed payday lender EZCorp has confirmed Bank of Queensland CEO Stuart Grimshaw will become its executive chairman in an Australian-led takeover of the company.

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