Bank loan losses to reduce dividends

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 21 : 24-Apr-19

Citigroup has downplayed investors’ concerns about the high dividend payout ratios of Australia’ major banks. Brendan Sproule of Citigroup says banks are likely to absorb one-off costs rather than reduce their payout ratios. Instead, a sharp increase in loan losses is seen to be the main threat to continued high dividend ratios. Sproules adds that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s review of its bank capital framework is unlikely to impact on Australia’s major banks.

CORPORATES
CITIGROUP PTY LTD, BELL POTTER SECURITIES LIMITED, 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, RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND

CBA underpays 8000 staff after HR tech system failure

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 17-Apr-19

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has advised that current and former employees have received some $4.8m in back pay to date, including interest. Problems with the bank’s human resources technology systems resulted in about 8,000 employees being underpaid. Julia Angrisano, the national secretary of the Finance Sector Union, says the bank and its Bankwest subsidiary may ultimately have to repay between $10m and $15m, although CBA believes that the final figure will be much lower. Some employees are also believed to have been paid at below-award rates.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, BANKWEST, FINANCE SECTOR UNION

AMP’s reputation hit harder than big banks

Original article by Jessica Gardner
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 16-Apr-19

The rankings of the four major banks and AMP have fallen sharply in the latest corporate reputation index, which is compiled by the Reputation Institute. AMP has fallen 18 places in the annual index, and now ranks last in the list of 60 companies. Oliver Freedman of the Reputation Institute notes that AMP’s corporate reputation has not improved since the Hayne royal commission exposed misconduct at the financial services group in 2018. He adds that AMP and the banks must work harder to restore their reputations.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, REPUTATION INSTITUTE PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW

S&P concerned big banks may lose support in a crisis

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 20 : 10-Apr-19

A report from S&P Global Ratings says the federal government is likely to remain "highly supportive" of Australia’s major banks in the event of a crisis. However, the ratings agency adds that there is a one-in-three chance that the government will change its position to "supportive" over the next two years. Any change in the government’s level of support for the major banks would most likely prompt their credit ratings to be downgraded, which in turn would increase their funding costs.

CORPORATES
S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, COUNCIL OF FINANCIAL REGULATORS

CBA’s Colonial buy cost shareholders $54b

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 9-Apr-19

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia paid $11 billion for Colonial in 2000, but fund manager Merlon Capital Partners contends that the purchase wasted over $50 billion in shareholder capital. Merlon argues that the CBA’s purchase of Colonial did not create value for its stockholders, and that it demonstrates the need for shareholders to have a greater say about large acquisitions. Merlon has previously been critical of AMP’s 2018 decision to sell its life insurance business.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, COLONIAL LIMITED, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP

ANZ set for growth as it turns corner in Asia

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 20 : 5-Apr-19

The ANZ Bank has been progressively rebuilding its institutional banking business in Asia, which has been its key focus in the region since abandoning retail banking growth plans. ANZ now boasts about 6,500 institutional customers in Asia, compared with some 28,000 at its peak, while staff numbers in the region have been reduced from 8,000 to 6,000 and there was a 16 per cent reduction in costs during 2017-18.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, HSBC HOLDINGS PLC, STANDARD CHARTERED BANK PLC, CITIGROUP INCORPORATED, GREENWICH ASSOCIATES PTY LTD

NPS rating of big four banks declines during Finance Royal Commission

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 2-Apr-19

In January 2018, immediately prior to the Finance Royal Commission, the Net Promoter Score of Australia’s big four banks was 2.8. This fell to minus 2.8 in November 2018. The latest figure for February 2019 has shown some recovery to minus 1.6, but this remains one of the lowest levels recorded since 2014 and much lower than the latest rating of 23.2 for banks outside of the big four. Among the 10 largest MFI banks, ING has an NPS score of 51.8, well ahead of second-placed Bendigo Bank on 34.0, followed by Bank of Queensland with 19.0. These three top performers are well above the current bank average NPS of 5.3. The CBA is the only one of the big four with a positive NPS (3.8), and is followed by NAB (-5.6), ANZ (-6.8) and Westpac (-7.3). Meanwhile, satisfaction with banks has declined from 81.2% prior to the Royal Commission and has fallen to 77.9% in February. These are some of the latest findings from Roy Morgan’s ‘Advocacy Report, Financial Institutions, Monthly Report-February 2019’, which is based on in-depth interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 consumers per annum in their homes.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, ING BANK (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, BENDIGO BANK, BANK OF QUEENSLAND LIMITED – ASX BOQ, 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

NAB kills off scandal-plagued mortgage referral program

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 26-Mar-19

National Australia Bank has advised that it will end its controversial ‘loan introducer’ program from 1 October. The program sees non-bank employees receive a fee for referring home loan clients, with NAB stating in 2018 that it generates one out of every 20 mortgages written by the bank. NAB also says the program has generated around $2.4 billion worth of home loans, and that around $100 million in referral fees have been paid. Interim CEO and chairman-elect Philip Chronican says he wants customers to come to NAB because of its products and services, not because a third party receives a fee for endorsing it.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE

NAB, ANZ most at risk as Millennials switch

Original article by Patrick Durkin
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 25-Mar-19

Millennial Future has found that National Australia Bank and ANZ customers are most likely to change banks in the wake of the banking royal commission. NAB came in for a lot of criticism during the royal commission, while a February survey by Roy Morgan found that NAB was the least trusted bank brand in Australia. Millennial Future’s findings were based on a survey of over 1,200 bank customers between the ages of 19 and 36, although it found that bank and finance brands were still considered more trustworthy than media and insurance brands.

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

Chronican plans to put NAB back in business

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 18 : 25-Mar-19

Business banking will be a key focus of National Australia Bank’s growth strategy, says incoming chairman Philip Chronican. He notes that NAB has the biggest presence in Australia’s business banking market, particularly in the small business sector. Chronican has also identified automation as an area in which NAB is lagging behind its rivals, and stresses the need to reduce costs. Other priorities for NAB include appointing a successor to former CEO Andrew Thorburn and restoring its reputation in the wake of the Hayne royal commission.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, FINANCE SECTOR UNION