Big banks accused of climate hypocrisy

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 8-Jul-20

Market Forces estimates that Australia’s four major banks have provided a combined $35.5bn worth of loans for fossil fuel projects since 2016. The activist group, which is affiliated with Friends of the Earth, contends that this is inconsistent with their commitment to the Paris climate agreement. National Australia Bank’s chief risk officer Shaun Dooley recently stated that the bank aims to assist business customers to transition away from fossil fuels, due to the economic impact of a complete and rapid withdrawal from the sector.

CORPORATES
MARKET FORCES, FRIENDS OF THE EARTH, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

Banks to extend loan deferrals

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 19 : 8-Jul-20

Australian banks have agreed to extend the deferral of household and business loan repayments by up to four months. The move follows concern about a looming ‘financial cliff’ when the current six-month deferral period ends in September. However, the Australian Banking Association has stressed that customers who have the capacity to resume loan repayments when the initial deferral period ends should do so. It is estimated that nearly 800,000 bank customers have deferred their loan repayments due to the coronavirus pandemic.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION

Cash warns banks to reduce tap and go fees

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 12 : 26-Jun-20

The Minister for Small and Family Business, Michaelia Cash, says retailers have complained that banks are not offering to send ‘tap and go’ payments down the cheapest payment network. Previous research has indicated that retailers could be paying up to $550 million in extra transaction fees a year because banks are sending payments through the more expensive networks operated by Visa and Mastercard than via the cheaper Eftpos network. Cash has called on the banks to offer ‘least cost routing’ to retailers, whereby transactions are automatically processed through the network that charges the lowest fee.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS

Banks get a break on customer obligations

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 16 : 26-Jun-20

The Banking Code of Practice, which was approved by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission in December, aims to implement recommendations of the Hayne royal commission. However, ASIC has announced that it has given banks a temporary reprieve from some of the code’s provisions. ASIC has stated that the impact of COVID-19 should be taken into account when considering if a bank has met its commitment to engage ethically and fairly with small business clients; ASIC also noted that banks may not always be able to meet timelines in the code for customer communication.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

CBA leads small business banking satisfaction during COVID-19 shutdowns

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 24-Jun-20

New research from Roy Morgan shows that small business owner banking satisfaction for the four major banks was at 71% in the 12 months to April, an increase of 0.9% points from the year to March as shutdowns were enforced across the Australian economy. Satisfaction increased for all four major banks and was highest in the year to April for the Commonwealth Bank at 74.6%, up 0.9% points on the corresponding figure for March. However, the biggest increase was for ANZ which increased 1.1% points to 64.2% while there were also increases in satisfaction for both Westpac and NAB. These are the latest findings from interviews with 2,359 small businesses owners as part of the Roy Morgan Business Owner Satisfaction Monitor regarding their level of satisfaction with the financial institution they deal with.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

CBA bid to avoid cliff for economy

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 22-Jun-20

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia estimates that about 127,000 of its customers with mortgage loans have deferred their repayments due to the coronavirus pandemic. Angus Sullivan, the head of CBA’s retail banking division, says that 15-20 of these customers are still making some repayments, while some customers have asked to resume making repayments. He adds that CBA has begun contacting all customers who have deferred their repayments to discuss their options ahead of the deferral arrangement ending in September.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Fed takes a keen interest in RBA’s bond buying

Original article by Sarah Turner
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 27 : 18-Jun-20

The yield on three-year Australian government bonds has traded within a narrow range of 0.21 per cent to 0.28 per cent since March, when the Reserve Bank commenced a targeted bond-buying program aimed at keeping the yield at around 0.25 per cent. The success of yield curve control in Australia has prompted the US Federal Reserve to assess the strategy, although Stephen Halmarick from the Commonwealth Bank says it is unlikely to adopt this in the near-term. The Federal Reserve’s focus has been on buying a certain amount of bonds each month.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, UNITED STATES. FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Bad loans hit small banks hard: Citi

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 16 : 16-Jun-20

Citigroup analysts note that Australia’s smaller mortgage lenders have actively pursued increased market share in recent years. However, Citi warns that they are set to be hardest hit by a coronavirus-induced rise in loan losses later in 2020, as such losses tend to be highest during the first 3-4 years of a loan. Citi contends that small lenders will need to focus on capital demands rather than further growing their market share, which in turn is likely to prompt a swing back to large lenders.

CORPORATES
CITIGROUP PTY LTD

Fed to hold interest rates near zero at least till 2022

Original article by Nick Timiraos
The Australian – Page: 17 : 12-Jun-20

The US Federal Reserve has left interest rates on hold after its latest two-day policy meeting, and chairman Jerome Powell has indicated that a rate rise will not be on the agenda for some time. Federal Reserve officials unanimously agreed that the cash rate is likely to remain at around zero in 2021, and the majority expect no change in monetary policy during 2022. Meanwhile, the central bank intends to continue purchasing Treasurys and mortgage securities at the current rate, while Powell says the US labour market is unlikely to rebound from the coronavirus quickly, despite recent data showing that the economy added 2.5 million jobs in May.

CORPORATES
UNITED STATES. FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD

CBA sued over junk credit card insurance

Original article by Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 17 : 11-Jun-20

Plaintiff law firm Slater & Gordon has launched a class action on behalf of Commonwealth Bank customers who were sold inappropriate credit protection policies. The Federal Court action will allege that the bank sold credit card and personal loan insurance products to about 200,000 people whose employment status meant they would be unlikely to claim against the policies. The insurance products, which came under scrutiny by the Hayne royal commission, were discontinued in March 2018.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY