NAB faces even bigger remuneration strike

Original article by James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 31 : 14-Dec-18

Investors who account for more than 213 million shares in Westpac abstained from voting on the bank’s remuneration report at its 2018 AGM. Had these shares been voted, the proportion of votes cast that rejected the report could have been much higher than the 63 per cent that was recorded. Meanwhile, there is speculation that the "no" vote at National Australia Bank’s AGM could be at least 70 per cent. Key issues for shareholders are likely to be the bonus received by former executive Andrew Hagger and NAB’s decision to move chairman Ken Henry to a single variable pay structure.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS

Westpac first to feel wrath of investors

Original article by Joyce Moullakis, Paul Gardiner
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 13-Dec-18

Westpac’s remuneration report was rejected by 64.2 per cent of shareholders at its AGM on 12 December, the largest "no" vote against a top-20 stock since the "two-strikes" rule was introduced in 2011. Westpac chairman Lindsay Maxsted has acknowledged investors’ angst and says the bank will consider the issues raised at the AGM. Argo Investments CEO Jason Beddow also expects National Australia Bank and the ANZ Bank to experience a big protest vote at their upcoming AGMs, although he adds that it is uncertain whether this will lead to a significant change in remuneration policies.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, ARGO INVESTMENTS LIMITED – ASX ARG, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS

CBA adds to banks’ $1bn bill

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 & 24 : 12-Dec-18

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has advised that its 2018-19 interim financial results will include an extra $300m in provisions associated with compliance and remediation programs. CBA also announced a provision of $55m for transaction and separation costs regarding the sale of its life insurance business. The bank had previously disclosed a provision of $270m in relation to the ‘fee-for-no-service’ scandal. Australia’s four major banks have now incurred some $1.4bn worth of compensation and compliance costs in the wake of the financial services royal commission.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, COMMINSURE LIFE, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED

ACCC hits big banks, ports, tech

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 11-Dec-18

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has concluded that the nation’s four major banks engaged in "synchronised pricing" with regard to increases in interest-only home loan interest rates in June 2017. The big four banks raised their interest rates following the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s decision in mid-March to cap interest-only loans at 30 per cent of all new loans from the September quarter. The ACCC estimates that the rate rises boosted the banks’ profits by around $1.1bn.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Mortgage customer satisfaction highest when obtained directly from bank branch

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 7-Dec-18

New research from Roy Morgan shows that Australian home loan customers who obtained their loan in person at a bank branch had a satisfaction rating of 78.7% in the six months to October 2018, compared to 74.2% for customers who used a mortgage broker. Other channels also had lower satisfaction, including mobile bankers (75.3%) and telephone (77.7%). It is important to note that even among more recent home loans (held for under six years), satisfaction with going into a branch to obtain the loan was 80.9% compared to 76.1% for mortgage brokers. The satisfaction of mortgage broker customers of the big four banks is well below the rating given by those that have obtained their loan in person at a branch. The biggest gap in satisfaction is among ANZ mortgage customers, where those using a broker have only 63.4% satisfaction, compared to 76.2% for those who used a branch directly. Of the major home loan banks, Bendigo Bank is clearly the satisfaction leader when dealing in person at a branch with 91.2%. Satisfaction with home loan customers using mortgage brokers is highest for St George (86.9%). Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey is based on in-depth interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 consumers per annum in their homes, including over 12,000 mortgage holders.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, BENDIGO BANK, ST GEORGE BANK LIMITED

Bank pay backlash to hit pair

Original article by Patrick Durkin
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 & 16 : 4-Dec-18

The Australian Shareholders’ Association has urged investors to vote against the re-election of Craig Dunn as a director of Westpac at its upcoming AGM, as has proxy adviser CGI Glass Lewis. Both have concerns about his role as the former CEO of AMP and his chairmanship of Westpac’s remuneration committee. CGI has also recommended that Paula Dwyer not be re-elected as a director of the ANZ Bank at its AGM, while fellow proxy firm ISS also has concerns about Dwyer’s re-election. Australia’s AGM season has been quite turbulent so far, with a number of directors recording a significant percentage of votes against their re-election.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SHAREHOLDERS’ ASSOCIATION, CGI GLASS LEWIS PTY LTD, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, INSTITUTIONAL SHAREHOLDER SERVICES INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, APA GROUP – ASX APA, COMPUTERSHARE LIMITED – ASX CPU, JAPARA HEALTHCARE LIMITED – ASX JHC, MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, RAMSAY HEALTH CARE LIMITED – ASX RHC, TABCORP HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX TAH, HEALTHSCOPE LIMITED – ASX HSO, AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SUPERANNUATION INVESTORS INCORPORATED

1.3 million Australians considering opening new bank accounts in next 6 months

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 4-Dec-18

A Roy Morgan Single Source survey, which was undertaken in the 12 months to October 2018, shows that 1.3 million Australians aged 14+ (6.4%) are considering opening a new bank account in the next six months. This compares with 1.31 million in the year to October 2017. Some 341,000 Australians (26.3%) who are considering opening a new account in the next six months say that they are likely to do so with the CBA. The ANZ is in second place with 188,000 (14.5%), followed by Westpac (152,000) and NAB (125,000). Among the banks outside of the big four, ING is the best performer with 86,000, followed by Bendigo Bank with 66,000. The Single Source survey is based on in-depth interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 consumers per annum in their homes, including over 2,500 with people who are considering opening a new bank account.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, ING BANK (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, BENDIGO BANK

Big decline in usage of bank branches

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 3-Dec-18

A Roy Morgan Single Source shows that 4.73 million Australians aged 14+ used bank branches in an average four-week period in the six months to October 2018. This compares with 6.50 million for the same period in 2014 (down 27.2%). The survey also shows that 9.18 million Australians (44.7%) used mobile banking in an average four weeks in October 2018, compared with just 5.66 million (29.3%) in October 2014. Internet banking using a website remains the most popular banking channel at 47.1%, but it has declined from 52.3% in 2014 and on current trends looks like being surpassed by mobile banking within a year or two. Phone banking is also declining and is now down to 13.6%, from 16.1% in 2014. Meanwhile, bank branches still play an important role among older customers, with 38.1% of pre-boomers and 29.8% of baby boomers using them over an average four-week period. These are the only two generations where branches are still preferred to mobile banking. The Single Source survey is based on in-depth interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 consumers per annum in their homes.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

ANZ staff morale low amid overhaul

Original article by Ben Butler, Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 23 : 30-Nov-18

ANZ Bank CEO Shayne Elliott has told the financial services royal commission that the bank’s staff must feel free to speak up about governance issues. The inquiry has been presented with the results of a survey which found that morale at ANZ has declined. Amongst other things, the proportion of employees who said they feel able to raise issues and concerns without fear of negative consequences has fallen by three per cent since 2016 to 67 per cent. Likewise, the proportion of employees who stated that they rarely look for another job has fallen from 63 per cent to 56 per cent.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

ANZ compo for millions of accounts

Original article by Ben Butler, Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 29-Nov-18

ANZ Bank CEO Shayne Elliott has conceded that it has taken far too long for the bank to compensate customers for losses incurred as a result of misconduct. Elliott has told the financial services royal commission that its remediation program is likely to embrace about two million accounts. However, he notes that some customers might have multiple account that qualify for compensation. Elliott also suggested that many of the governance issues at ANZ can be attributed to its business model under predecessor Mike Smith.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, ONEPATH AUSTRALIA LIMITED, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL