QE tipped as rate cuts lose impact

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 17 & 28 : 22-Oct-19

A number of economists now say the Reserve Bank of Australia could implement unconventional monetary policy measures in 2020. They include Westpac’s chief economist Bill Evans, who warns that quantitative easing may be necessary if the cash rate fall below 0.5 per cent. Michael Knox of Morgans Financial, Su-Lin Ong of RBC Capital Markets and Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics have also flagged the prospect of quantitative easing. Financial markets have fully priced in a rate cut to 0.5 per cent by May.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, MORGANS FINANCIAL LIMITED, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, CAPITAL ECONOMICS LIMITED, GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

NAB, ANZ face new climate activist vote

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 19 : 21-Oct-19

Activist group Market Forces recently put forward shareholder resolutions calling on Westpac, the ANZ Bank and National Australia Bank to amend their constitutions in regard to reducing their exposure to fossil-fuel assets. A second activist group, the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, will table resolutions at the upcoming AGMs of NAB and ANZ, calling on them to withdraw from industry groups whose advocacy stances are at odds with the Paris climate goals. The ACCR states that its resolutions are conditional on shareholders approving the Market Forces resolutions.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, MARKET FORCES, AUSTRALASIAN CENTRE FOR CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

Comyn claims ACCC exaggeration but welcomes probe

Original article by Bo Seo
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 12 & 17 : 17-Oct-19

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO Matt Comyn and chair Catherine Livingstone are supportive of a new inquiry into mortgage pricing. However, Comyn has questioned the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s claim that the pricing gap for new and existing customers of the nation’s major banks is 32 basis points. He says this gap is significantly lower than 30 basis points at CBA. Livingstone notes that the bank takes into account the interests of borrowers, deposit-holders and shareholders when deciding upon its mortgage pricing.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Bank trusted more than tech: ANZ

Original article by Supratim Adhikari
The Australian – Page: 21 : 17-Oct-19

ANZ Bank’s CEO Shayne Elliott says consumers still generally trust banks more than technology companies such as Google and Facebook. He adds that consumers trust banks to manage their personal data as well as their money, which gives banks an advantage over tech companies. He has also defended the banking sector’s traditional one-size-fits-all model for product pricing, arguing that the targeted pricing strategy of fintechs has its risks.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED

APRA urges more capital be held against NZ banks

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 & 17 : 16-Oct-19

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has warned that the nation’s major banks may need to increase the amount of capital they hold domestically in response to proposed changes to capital requirements in New Zealand. APRA is concerned that the Reserve Bank of NZ’s reforms may prompt banks to shift capital to NZ, where they are the dominant players in the banking sector. The ANZ Bank estimates that APRA’s proposal would reduce its common equity tier 1 capital by about 75 basis points; Westpac in turn says its tier 1 capital would be reduced by about 40 basis points.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

Regionals undercut bigger bank rivals

Original article by Joyce Moullakis, Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 16-Oct-19

Analysis by RateCity shows that some of Australia’s regional banks are currently offering much lower variable home loan interest rates than the ‘big four’ bank. However, Victor German of Macquarie Group notes that existing customers at some of the smaller banks are also paying much higher mortgage interest rates than new customers. The mortgage pricing of smaller banks is among the issues that will be examined by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s new inquiry into the sector.

CORPORATES
RATECITY PTY LTD, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, SUNCORP BALANCED PROPERTY FUND, SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN, MACQUARIE BANK LIMITED – ASX MBL, BANK OF QUEENSLAND LIMITED – ASX BOQ, AMP BANK LIMITED, ING BANK (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Cup day rate cut less likely on minutes

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 16-Oct-19

Financial markets have priced in a 36 per cent chance that the Reserve Bank will reduce the cash rate in November, following the release of the minutes from the central bank’s October board meeting. Amongst other things, board members expressed concern about the impact of historically low interest rates on savers and the housing market. The general consensus of economists is that the cash rate will remain on hold until February.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Savers come out second best as banks quietly slash interest rates on deposits

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 11-Oct-19

Lenders have cut interest rates on term deposits by between one and and 35 basis points since the Reserve Bank cut the official cash rate by 25 basis points on 1 October, according to data from ­RateCity. National Seniors Australia’s chief advocate Ian Henschke notes that a third of its members have their money in term deposits, with interest rates on term deposits now at their lowest since the 1950s. He claims that the federal government is "profiteering off the backs of pensioners", by not reducing the deeming rate.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, RATECITY PTY LTD, NATIONAL SENIORS AUSTRALIA LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN

Credit raters circle wagons around banks

Original article by James Eyers, James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 & 14 : 10-Oct-19

Australia’s banks are under growing scrutiny over their failure to reduce their mortgage interest rates by 0.25 per cent in line with the latest official interest rate cut. However, S&P Global Ratings says banks’ profits and capital buffers may be adversely affected if they yield to political pressure and match the Reserve Bank’s rate cut. S&P adds that this could in turn prompt a review of the banking sector’s credit rating. Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings are also supportive of the banks’ decision to withhold part of the official interest rate cut.

CORPORATES
S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, FITCH RATINGS LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, IBISWORLD PTY LTD, COPLEY FUND RESEARCH, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

ANZ boss calls for QE summit

Original article by Tony Boyd, Vesna Poljak
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 22 : 10-Oct-19

The growing prospect of negative interest rates and unconventional policy measures such as quantitative easing has prompted ANZ Bank CEO Shayne Elliott to propose holding a summit on the issue. He says it should include representatives from the major banks, regional banks, industry regulators, the Treasury and the Reserve Bank. Elliott says that amongst other things, the summit could discuss issues such as the broader economic implications of QE and the role of banks in the economy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. INSTITUTE OF APPLIED ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH, UNITED STATES. FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK, BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS