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

CBA leads small business banking satisfaction during COVID-19 shutdowns

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 24-Jun-20

New research from Roy Morgan shows that small business owner banking satisfaction for the four major banks was at 71% in the 12 months to April, an increase of 0.9% points from the year to March as shutdowns were enforced across the Australian economy. Satisfaction increased for all four major banks and was highest in the year to April for the Commonwealth Bank at 74.6%, up 0.9% points on the corresponding figure for March. However, the biggest increase was for ANZ which increased 1.1% points to 64.2% while there were also increases in satisfaction for both Westpac and NAB. These are the latest findings from interviews with 2,359 small businesses owners as part of the Roy Morgan Business Owner Satisfaction Monitor regarding their level of satisfaction with the financial institution they deal with.

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

CBA bid to avoid cliff for economy

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 22-Jun-20

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia estimates that about 127,000 of its customers with mortgage loans have deferred their repayments due to the coronavirus pandemic. Angus Sullivan, the head of CBA’s retail banking division, says that 15-20 of these customers are still making some repayments, while some customers have asked to resume making repayments. He adds that CBA has begun contacting all customers who have deferred their repayments to discuss their options ahead of the deferral arrangement ending in September.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

NAB latest company to investigate underpayments to staff

Original article by
The New Daily – Page: Online : 16-Jun-20

National Australia Bank has admitted that about 1,500 employees have been underpaid, although Wendy Streets of the Finance Sector Union believes that the figure may be much higher. She says the issue of underpayments at NAB has been a concern for the union for some time. Affected staff will collectively receive about $1.3m in backpay, superannuation and interest, while the bank has commissioned King & Wood Mallesons and PwC to undertake a review of its payroll system.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, FINANCE SECTOR UNION, KING AND WOOD MALLESONS, PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS AUSTRALIA (INTERNATIONAL) PTY LTD

Bad loans hit small banks hard: Citi

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 16 : 16-Jun-20

Citigroup analysts note that Australia’s smaller mortgage lenders have actively pursued increased market share in recent years. However, Citi warns that they are set to be hardest hit by a coronavirus-induced rise in loan losses later in 2020, as such losses tend to be highest during the first 3-4 years of a loan. Citi contends that small lenders will need to focus on capital demands rather than further growing their market share, which in turn is likely to prompt a swing back to large lenders.

CORPORATES
CITIGROUP PTY LTD

CBA sued over junk credit card insurance

Original article by Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 17 : 11-Jun-20

Plaintiff law firm Slater & Gordon has launched a class action on behalf of Commonwealth Bank customers who were sold inappropriate credit protection policies. The Federal Court action will allege that the bank sold credit card and personal loan insurance products to about 200,000 people whose employment status meant they would be unlikely to claim against the policies. The insurance products, which came under scrutiny by the Hayne royal commission, were discontinued in March 2018.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

AUSTRAC, Westpac head to court

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 9-Jun-20

Westpac and AUSTRAC are having difficulty agreeing on an agreed statement of facts as the two parties prepare to heard for court. AUSTRAC has accepted Westpac’s admission that it broke the law 23 million times, but AUSTRAC has indicated it plans to pursue Westpac for a series of "unquantifiable" breaches. Justice James Allsop said on 30 March that Westpac and AUSTRAC should be ready to go to trial "sooner than later" in a case that may well cost Westpac more than $1 billion to settle.

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

Savings rates are drying up as banks race to the bottom on mortgages

Original article by Matt Johnson
The New Daily – Page: Online : 3-Jun-20

Data from Canstar shows that Australian banks reduced the interest rates on a range of savings accounts and term deposits by up to 75 basis points in May. However, the interest rates on mortgage loans were reduced much less aggressively, averaging just 0.08 per cent for variable home loans and 0.36 per cent for fixed-rate loans. Steve Mickenbecker of Canstar attributes this to factors such as growing competition from non-bank mortgage lenders. However, he does not expect rates to fall much further.

CORPORATES
CANSTAR PTY LTD

ANZ urges stricken firms: wind up now

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 17 : 1-Jun-20

The ANZ’s head of retail and business banking, Mark Hand, suggests that 2021 will be a very difficult year for small businesses. He suggests that many small and medium enterprises will not recover from the COVID-19 crisis, even with loan deferrals from banks and wage subsidies from the federal government. He says the best move for some SME owners would be to wind up their business and walk away with some equity. The ANZ is worried that the recent spark of optimism resulting from a fall in new COVID-19 cases and the easing of some restrictions will result in some of its business borrowers becoming complacent.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

Lowe urges banks to lend again

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 22-May-20

Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has praised the resilience of Australia’s financial system and said that it is well-placed to ride out the coronavirus pandemic. Lowe has also told a Financial Services Institute webcast that banks should utilise the capital and liquidity buffers that they have built up over the last decade and continue to lend during the pandemic. Lowe also repeated his view that the prospect of negative interest rates in Australia is unlikely.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, FINANCIAL SERVICES INSTITUTE OF AUSTRALASIA