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

Strict best interest duty needed: Harris

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 10-Oct-19

Former Productivity Commission chairman Peter Harris has stressed the need for a strong ‘best interest duty’ that applies equally across the banking, mortgage broking, financial advice and superannuation industry. He is concerned that industry lobbying could result in a proposed best interest duty for mortgage brokers being watered down. Harris has also downplayed the need for a mortgage pricing inquiry, arguing that the federal government’s priority should be to implement the recommendations made by the commission in its 2018 report on competition in the financial services sector.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN FINANCE GROUP LIMITED – ASX AFG

Bank bosses need a reality check

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 12-Sep-19

Former regulator Graeme Samuel told a parliamentary hearing on 11 September that the ANZ needs a "reality check". Samuel was responding to questions about his review of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), with Samuel noting that the ANZ was one of 32 entities that have chosen not to make their prudential self-assessment public. He said that the National Australia Bank had set the benchmark by releasing its self-assessment in late 2018, and that the ANZ should be compelled to submit to a snap inquiry if it did not release its review.

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

Wary APRA orders more stress-tests for banks

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 30-Aug-19

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority currently undertakes "stress-testing" of the nation’s banks every three years. However, growing concern about the outlook for the domestic and global economies is believed to have prompted APRA to conduct annual stress tests. APRA’s latest corporate also shows that the performance of superannuation funds will also be a focus for the prudential regulator over the next few years; this will include ranking super funds based on a range of metrics.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY

Banks face more Hayne pain: ASIC

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 17 : 29-Jul-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has launched about 25 cases against banks in the wake of the financial services royal commission. ASIC commissioner Sean Hughes says further legal action is pending, and he says it is possible that further misconduct and wrongdoings in the financial sector will emerge. Hughes adds that banks are starting to take their obligation to submit breach reports in a timely manner a lot more seriously following the royal commission.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

ASIC sues ANZ over $50m unlawful customer fees

Original article by Samantha Bailey
The Australian – Page: 24 : 26-Jul-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has filed Federal Court action against the ANZ Bank, alleging that periodic payment fees that some 460,000 customers paid between August 2003 and February 2016 were unlawful. ASIC will contend that the bank failed to disclose the fact that the fees may have been illegal until January 2014, despite being made aware of the issue in mid-2011. Affected customers were not informed until September 2015, and ANZ did not begin compensating them until August 2016. ANZ has indicated that it will "vigorously defend" the civil lawsuit.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Dragging the chain on Hayne

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 18-Jul-19

The Coalition began implementing some of the Hayne royal commission’s recommendations prior to the federal election. However, the government has warned that the bulk of the recommendations are unlikely to be implemented before the end of 2019, although Treasury has begun the consultation process and is drafting legislative reforms. Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers says the government’s lack of action on Kenneth Hayne’s recommendations will reinforce the view that the Coalition tends to "go soft" on misconduct in the banking sector.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Culture to cost big three banks $500m

Original article by James Fernyhough, James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 21 : 12-Jul-19

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has imposed additional capital requirements on Westpac, the ANZ Bank and National Australia Bank following its review of their culture, governance and accountability self-assessments. They will have to set aside an extra $500m of capital until their customer remediation programs are completed and they have addressed all of the issues that emerged in their self-assessments. The increased capital requirements will have a slight impact on the three banks’ common equity tier 1 capital ratios.

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

APRA lowers capital targets for banks

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro, James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 10-Jul-19

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has scaled its near-term target for the amount of capital the nation’s banks will be required to hold. APRA had initially proposed that banks would have to increase their total capital by 4-5 percentage points by January 2024, but it has reduced this to three percentage points in response to industry feedback. However, it will require banks to meet the higher target in the longer-term.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED

Lending laws no problem, ASIC insists

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 17 & 18 : 8-Jul-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has been blamed in some areas for falling house prices and a decline in credit growth, due to a perception that it is taking a tougher approach to responsible lending. However, ASIC commissioner Sean Hughes notes that responsible lending laws have not changed since 2010, nor has its guidance in this area. ASIC advised in February that it will release an updated guidance note on responsible lending by September.

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