Don’t cut support too quickly: Judo

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Weekend Australian – Page: 19 & 24 : 9-Jan-21

Judo Bank’s joint CEO Joseph Healy has warned of the potential for a surge in small business insolvencies in the June quarter. Healy notes that insolvencies are currently about 35 per cent lower than comparable periods due to factors such as COVID-19 support measures, and he has cautioned the federal government against phasing out support packages for the small business sector too quickly. Meanwhile, Healy is upbeat about the outlook for the small business-focused ‘challenger’ bank, despite the recent decision of rival Xinja to withdraw from the banking sector.

CORPORATES
JUDO BANK PTY LTD, XINJA BANK LIMITED

Failed Xinja scored secret China lifeline

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 14 : 21-Dec-20

Xinja recently handed back its banking licence to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority following its failure to secure a $433 million injection from Dubai-based World Investments, while sources have stated that Xinja failed to secure any monies from Australian institutional investors. It has been revealed that Xinja secured a multimillion-dollar capital injection from a "shadowy" Chinese company during 2019, but that it kept the investment a secret; it is believed the company in question was called Happy Sino Steel.

CORPORATES
XINJA BANK LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, HAPPY SINO STEEL, WORLD INVESTMENTS

‘Solvency phase’: RBA warns of new bank pain

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 16-Dec-20

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s head of stability Jonathan Kearns says the liquidity phase of the COVID-19 crisis is giving way to a solvency phase, which is emerging as a new challenge for the banking sector. Kearns says the economic shock from the pandemic has been much worse than the global financial crisis, but notes that Australia’s banks have been resilient during COVID-19 and have continued to lend. Banks are likely to start encouraging customers to resume loan repayments in the March quarter, after many opted to defer repayments due to the pandemic.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Banks face trust crisis as customers go online

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 15 : 14-Dec-20

Accenture has released a report which shows that the proportion of Australians who trust banks to look after their financial wellbeing has fallen from 43 per cent to 29 per cent since 2018. Alex Trott of Accenture says the rapid shift to digital banking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic may undermine the progress that banks have made in restoring consumers’ trust in the wake of the Hayne royal commission. The report notes that fewer consumers have changed lenders in 2020, despite growing distrust of the banking sector.

CORPORATES
ACCENTURE

CBA profits cut despite growth in lending

Original article by James Frost, James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 12-Nov-20

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has reported a cash profit of $1.8bn for the September quarter, which is 16 per cent lower than previously. Household deposits increased by $15.8bn during the first three months of 2020-21, while mortgage lending increased by $5.6bn. CBA has advised that its net interest margin was lower than in the second half of 2019-20, primarily due to the impact of lower interest rates. CBA has also reported a sharp fall in the number of deferred loans since the end of the September quarter.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Banks shut ATMs and branches amid digital push and cost cuts

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 9-Nov-20

Data presented to a federal parliamentary inquiry has highlighted the decline in the branch and ATM networks of Australia’s major banks over the last five years. The figures show that the number of branches and ATMs per 100,000 people has fallen by 33 per cent since 2015. Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh says the federal government has ignored the issue of branch closures, and says it has no plans to ensure that disadvantaged Australians continue to have access to banking services. The Australian Banking Association notes that the shift to digital banking has gathered pace during the coronavirus pandemic.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION

NAB takes virus hit, digs in to aid recovery

Original article by James Frost, James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 26 : 6-Nov-20

National Australia Bank has posted a cash profit of $3.7bn for the year to 30 September, which is 37 per cent lower than previously. The result was marred by credit impairment charges totalling $2.76bn, including a provision of $1.86bn for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Shareholders will receive a final dividend of $0.30 per share and a full-year payout of $0.60. NAB shares closed 3.2 per cent higher at $19.31 on 5 November.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

Banks defiant on mortgage rates

Original article by Joyce Moullakis, Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 5-Nov-20

Australia’s four largest banks will keep their variable home loan interest rates unchanged, despite the Reserve Bank’s decision to reduce the cash rate to a record low of 0.1 per cent. However, the "big four" banks will all reduce their fixed home loan interest rates, with some falling below two per cent for the first time. The majority of mortgage loans across the Australian financial sector have variable rates, although more borrowers are opting for fixed-rate loans in the low-interest rate environment.

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

Westpac resumes dividend as profits plummet 62pc

Original article by James Frost, James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 3-Nov-20

Westpac announced on 2 November that it had recorded a full-year cash profit of $2.608 billion, down 62 per cent. Cash earnings by its consumer bank unit were down 12 per cent to $2.7 billion, while earnings by its business bank unit declined by 62 per cent to $734 million. Impairments for bad and doubtful debts were raised by $2.2 billion to $6.2 billion, while Westpac will pay a pay a fully franked final dividend of $0.31 per share on 18 December.

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

No benefit in rate cut: ANZ chief

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 18 : 30-Oct-20

The ANZ Bank has posted a net profit of $3.58bn for the year to 30 September, which is 40 per cent lower than previously. The result was primarily marred by a blowout in impairment charges, which rose to $2.74bn. Shareholders will receive a full-year dividend of $0.60 per share, compared with $1.60 in 2019-20. Meanwhile, CEO Shayne Elliott says a further reduction in official interest rates is unlikely to do much to stimulate the economy, as financial markets already have sufficient liquidity. The Reserve Bank is widely tipped to reduce the cash rate on 3 November.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA