Data risk alert in NZ reserve bank file hack

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd, David Swan
The Australian – Page: 14 : 12-Jan-21

Reserve Bank of New Zealand governor Adrian Orr says the central bank is treating a data breach as a top priority, and the National Cyber Security Centre has been informed of the incident. Orr says the hackers had targeted Accellion rather than the RBNZ’s own computer systems; Accellion provides a third-party file-sharing service which the central bank uses to share and store sensitive information. Spotless is among the Australian companies that were targeted by hackers in 2020, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned in June of a rise in cyber attacks in both the public and private sectors.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, ACCELLION INCORPORATED, SPOTLESS GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Don’t cut support too quickly: Judo

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Weekend Australian – Page: 19 & 24 : 9-Jan-21

Judo Bank’s joint CEO Joseph Healy has warned of the potential for a surge in small business insolvencies in the June quarter. Healy notes that insolvencies are currently about 35 per cent lower than comparable periods due to factors such as COVID-19 support measures, and he has cautioned the federal government against phasing out support packages for the small business sector too quickly. Meanwhile, Healy is upbeat about the outlook for the small business-focused ‘challenger’ bank, despite the recent decision of rival Xinja to withdraw from the banking sector.

CORPORATES
JUDO BANK PTY LTD, XINJA BANK LIMITED

‘Solvency phase’: RBA warns of new bank pain

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 16-Dec-20

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s head of stability Jonathan Kearns says the liquidity phase of the COVID-19 crisis is giving way to a solvency phase, which is emerging as a new challenge for the banking sector. Kearns says the economic shock from the pandemic has been much worse than the global financial crisis, but notes that Australia’s banks have been resilient during COVID-19 and have continued to lend. Banks are likely to start encouraging customers to resume loan repayments in the March quarter, after many opted to defer repayments due to the pandemic.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Banks face trust crisis as customers go online

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 15 : 14-Dec-20

Accenture has released a report which shows that the proportion of Australians who trust banks to look after their financial wellbeing has fallen from 43 per cent to 29 per cent since 2018. Alex Trott of Accenture says the rapid shift to digital banking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic may undermine the progress that banks have made in restoring consumers’ trust in the wake of the Hayne royal commission. The report notes that fewer consumers have changed lenders in 2020, despite growing distrust of the banking sector.

CORPORATES
ACCENTURE

CBA faces penalty over rates slug

Original article by Joyce Moullakis, David Ross
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 2-Dec-20

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has launched legal action against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia over allegations that it breached financial services laws. ASIC contends that customers with business overdraft accounts were charged incorrect interest rates between December 2014 and March 2018. CBA has advised that 2,269 customers who were overcharged during this period have been reimbursed $3.74m in total. ASIC is seeking pecuniary penalties and other orders.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Consumer groups savage responsible lending plan

Original article by Paul Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 23-Nov-20

The federal government’s proposed changes to responsible lending laws have been attacked by a consortium of consumer rights advocacy groups. In a submission to the government’s inquiry into the proposed changes, the groups have labelled them as "fundamentally defective". They note that the changes represent a direct contradiction of the banking royal commission’s first recommendation, namely that the National Consumer Credit Protection Act should not be revised to alter the "obligation to assess unsuitability".

CORPORATES
CONSUMER CREDIT LEGAL SERVICE, CONSUMER ACTION LAW CENTRE, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

CBA profits cut despite growth in lending

Original article by James Frost, James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 12-Nov-20

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has reported a cash profit of $1.8bn for the September quarter, which is 16 per cent lower than previously. Household deposits increased by $15.8bn during the first three months of 2020-21, while mortgage lending increased by $5.6bn. CBA has advised that its net interest margin was lower than in the second half of 2019-20, primarily due to the impact of lower interest rates. CBA has also reported a sharp fall in the number of deferred loans since the end of the September quarter.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

ANZ steers well clear of buy now, pay later

Original article by Ticky Fullerton
The Australian – Page: 18 : 9-Nov-20

The ‘buy now, pay later’ industry is enjoying strong growth, but the ANZ Bank intends to avoid the sector. The bank’s former chairman David Gonski says that while it is good that BNPL providers allow people to access credit when they need it, consumers must be mindful that they will pay interest when using these services. Meanwhile, Gonski believes that Australia’s investment banking sector presents opportunities at present. Gonski stepped down as ANZ chairman in late October.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

Banks shut ATMs and branches amid digital push and cost cuts

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 9-Nov-20

Data presented to a federal parliamentary inquiry has highlighted the decline in the branch and ATM networks of Australia’s major banks over the last five years. The figures show that the number of branches and ATMs per 100,000 people has fallen by 33 per cent since 2015. Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh says the federal government has ignored the issue of branch closures, and says it has no plans to ensure that disadvantaged Australians continue to have access to banking services. The Australian Banking Association notes that the shift to digital banking has gathered pace during the coronavirus pandemic.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION

NAB takes virus hit, digs in to aid recovery

Original article by James Frost, James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 26 : 6-Nov-20

National Australia Bank has posted a cash profit of $3.7bn for the year to 30 September, which is 37 per cent lower than previously. The result was marred by credit impairment charges totalling $2.76bn, including a provision of $1.86bn for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Shareholders will receive a final dividend of $0.30 per share and a full-year payout of $0.60. NAB shares closed 3.2 per cent higher at $19.31 on 5 November.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB