Banks stay cautious despite lending shift

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 15 : 28-Sep-20

Investors Mutual founder Anton Tagliaferro does not expect the federal government’s proposal to scrap responsible lending laws to make a "material difference" to Australia’s banks. He says banks tend to be very cautious during a recession, adding that this is likely to continue going into 2021. Tagliaferro adds that banks are likely to be focused on existing loans in the near-term, as repayment deferral periods come to an end. Meanwhile, he expects the federal Budget on 6 October to include tax cuts and measures aimed at boosting jobs.

CORPORATES
INVESTORS MUTUAL LIMITED

Give more help to borrowers: APRA

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 : 23-Sep-20

Repayments on more than 900,000 mortgage and business loans were deferred in late March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many borrowers are now facing the six-month anniversary of their deferral, and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has offered lenders a number of suggestions about how to handle customers who are slated to resume repayments. Amongst other things, APRA has suggested that lenders should contact borrowers via a number of channels in the lead-up to the expiry of their deferral period. National Australia Bank CEO Ross McEwan recently indicated that 20 per cent of these customers have failed to respond when it has contacted them regarding the issue.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

CBA investors brace for lower payout

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 15 : 10-Aug-20

The consensus of analysts is that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s 2019-20 cash earnings will be 10 per cent lower than previously, at $7.6bn. UBS expects the coronavirus pandemic to prompt CBA to increase its impairment charges for the second half to $1.9bn, which includes a $1.5bn COVID-related provision that the bank announced earlier in the year. Meanwhile, UBS forecasts that CBA shareholders will receive a final dividend of $0.95 per share, which would be in line with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s revised guidance.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Shape of banks’ dividend recovery will be more U than V

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 & 18 : 24-Jul-20

Brendan Sproules of Citigroup expects Australia’s banks to resume paying dividends in the December quarter, at a reduced payout ratio of just 40 per cent. He does not expect banks’ payout ratios to return to pre-coronavirus levels until fiscal 2022. Westpac and the ANZ Bank recently put their interim dividends on hold, while Citigroup expects the Commonwealth Bank and Bendigo & Adelaide Bank to withhold their dividends for the second half of 2019-20.

CORPORATES
CITIGROUP PTY LTD, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN

Satisfaction of Australia’s banks improves amid COVID-19

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 22-Jul-20

New data from Roy Morgan shows that customer satisfaction with Australia’s banks was at 79.5% in May, up 0.2% points on April and up 1.1% points from May 2019. The biggest improvement in customer satisfaction over the last year was from Australia’s four major banks, with satisfaction up 1.4% points to 77.2% in May. Commonwealth Bank has the highest satisfaction of the four majors in May, closely followed by NAB, ANZ and Westpac. Mutual Banks continue to have the edge in customer satisfaction and are up 0.7% points from a year ago, to 89.2%. The leading Mutual Bank for satisfaction is Bank Australia, closely followed by Bank First and Beyond Bank. The foreign banks operating in Australia have a high customer satisfaction of 85.5% in May, but this is down 0.3% points from a year ago. Of the foreign banks ING is a clear leader for satisfaction ahead of HSBC and Citibank. These are some of the latest findings from Roy Morgan’s ‘Customer Satisfaction report on Consumer Banking in Australia’. This report is based on in-depth interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 consumers per annum in their homes.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, BANK AUSTRALIA, BANK FIRST, BEYOND BANK AUSTRALIA, ING BANK (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, HSBC BANK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CITIBANK PTY LTD

Lockdown to trigger more loan distress

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 10-Jul-20

Data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority shows that banks have deferred 18 per cent of small business loans in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Morgan Stanley has warned that that many businesses in Melbourne that have been forced to shut down for a second time may never re-open, particularly smaller ones. The APRA figures also show that more than 10 per cent of home loan repayments have been put on hold. Loans to investors account for 34 per cent of home loan repayments that have been deferred, prompting concern that there may be a surge in distressed selling.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Banks must go harder on costs: KPMG

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 9-Jul-20

KPMG partner Hessel Verbeek warns that Australia’s banks face the prospect of single-digit returns on equity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. He argues that they will have to be much more aggressive in reducing costs. Verbeek has identified branch closures and product rationalisation as some of the areas that offer scope for cost savings. He notes that overseas banks have been much more active in pursuing such strategies; Australian banks have closed just 14 per cent of their branches since 2015, while British banks have closed 33 per cent.

CORPORATES
KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

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