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

Regulator won’t appeal wagyu and shiraz case

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 22-Jul-20

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has ruled out an appeal against Westpac’s court win over allegations that it breached responsible lending laws. The full Federal Court recently upheld an August 2019 ruling in Westpac’s favour, and ASIC is believed to have decided that it will not take the matter to the High Court. ASIC will instead urge the federal government to make changes to credit laws in order to clarify the responsible lending rules.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA

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

Watchdog backs delay of Hayne banking reforms

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 16 : 29-May-20

Some of the recommendations arising from the Hayne royal commission were slated to be implemented in July. Australian Securities & Investments Commission chairman James Shipton has expressed support for the federal government’s decision to delay these reforms until the end of 2020, given the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on banks and the domestic economy. Shipton has also told a Senate committee that ASIC is watching out for fraudulent activity such as phoenix companies and attempts to scam people out of their superannuation savings via the early access scheme.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

APRA relaxes buffers as CBA slashes rates

Original article by James Eyers, James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 & 22 : 20-Mar-20

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority will temporarily ease the "unquestionably strong" equity capital buffers that it imposes on banks. This will allow them to make billions of dollars worth of additional loans to small businesses that are struggling to maintain cashflows during the coronavirus crisis. The Commonwealth Bank responded to APRA’s announcement by cutting its interest rates on small business loans by 100 basis points, while it also cut rates on one-, two- and three-year fixed-rate home loans by 70 basis points.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Open banking rules too tough, say start-ups

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 15-Jan-20

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission is responsible for the accreditation of financial services providers under the federal government’s ‘open banking’ regime. However, Fintech Australia has criticised the complexity of the process, and notes that it is expected to cost financial technology companies between $50,000 and $100,000 to gain accreditation. Fintech Australia contends that this cost will be prohibitive for many business start-ups. The open banking regime will commence in July, after initially being slated to begin in February.

CORPORATES
FINTECH AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

APRA blasts banks over risk failures

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 8-Jan-20

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority is undertaking on-site reviews of the governance, culture, risk and accountability frameworks of the nation’s major banks. APRA chairman Wayne Byres says the initial findings show that changes to these frameworks are needed. Byres has signalled that smaller banks and other financial services providers will also be held accountable. APRA is also APRA is revising the CPS 220 prudential standard.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, ALLIANZ AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE

Bank stalled as ASIC demanded refunds

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 19-Dec-19

Court documents filed by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission show that National Australia Bank’s internal auditors had raised concerns about charging fees for services that were not provided in April 2016. NAB subsequently made a public admission about the practice, but ASIC executive Louise Macaulay told NAB in November 2017 that its customer remediation program was out of step with rival banks. ASIC subsequently rejected a number of proposed models for compensating NAB customers, while the bank continued to charge ongoing fees until February 2019.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

NAB to face legal pain over fee rort

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 18-Dec-19

National Australia Bank’s annual general meeting on 18 December will be overshadowed by allegations that it engaged in unconscionable conduct. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has filed a statement of claim in which it outlines some 8,700 instances in which NAB is alleged to have charged fees for services that were not provided between December 2013 and February 2019. Amongst other things, ASIC also alleges that NAB failed to issue adequate product disclosure statements. NAB has indicated that it has already paid $37.8m in compensation to customers who were affected by the fee-for-no-service scandal.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP

Westpac papers reveal trail of human, IT failure

Original article by Aaron Patrick
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 28-Nov-19

Westpac’s confidential disclosures to Austrac show that it breached anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws some 29 million times. Austrac has accused the major bank of 23 million breaches, and the additional breaches cannot be prosecuted as they fall outside the statute of limitations. The documents also show that international money transfers with seven global banks had not been reported since 2011, due to problems with a computer system upgrade that began in 2010. However, Westpac did not become aware of the problem until May 2017, and it was not reported to Austrac until August 2018.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE