Veteran banker to chair Westpac

Original article by John Durie, Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 15 & 16 : 23-Jan-20

Former ANZ Bank CEO John McFarlane is set to succeed Lindsay Maxsted as Westpac’s chairman. Maxsted will step down ahead of schedule in response to the bank’s breach of anti-money laundering laws. Sources have indicated that McFarlane was chosen due to factors such as his knowledge of the retail banking sector, his reputation as a ‘change agent’ and the fact that he has no prior links to Westpac. The major bank has yet to appoint a permanent successor to former CEO Brian Hartzer.

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

NAB hit with class action on super rip-off

Original article by Aleks Vickovich
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 12 & 17 : 22-Jan-20

A class action lawsuit will contend that National Australia Bank’s superannuation customers incurred substantial losses due to the bank’s tardiness in shifting them to a MySuper product. Law firm Maurice Blackburn will argue that NAB subsidiaries MLC Nominees and NULIS Nominees breached their duties as superannuation trustees by keeping customers in funds that had higher fees than MySuper products. The allegations were first raised before the Hayne royal commission in 2018.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, MLC NOMINEES, NULIS NOMINEES (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Meet Macquarie: The $50bn investment bank

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 15 & 21 : 17-Jan-20

Macquarie Group’s shares closed 1.4 per cent higher at a record $143.47 on 16 January; this compares with just $14.75 in early 2009, as the global financial crisis took its toll on investment banks. Macquarie now boasts a market capitalisation of $50.85bn, while it has more than $560bn worth of asset under management. Macquarie posted a profit of $1.46bn for the six months to September, an increase of 11 per cent, although CEO Shemara Wikramanayake has flagged a lower full-year profit than previously.

CORPORATES
MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG

Westpac pays bushfire mortgages

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 14-Jan-20

Westpac has revealed details of its support package for victims of the nation’s bushfire crisis. Amongst other things, the bank will make mortgage repayments on behalf of customers whose primary residence was lost in the bushfires. This will apply for one year, and payments will be capped at $1,200 per month. Personal customers will also receive interest-free loans to cover the gap between insurance payouts and rebuilding costs, and business customers will be offered low-interest loans. Westpac and its major rivals have also made large donations to bushfire relief appeals.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, RED CROSS SOCIETY, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS

Banks to bear cost of blazes: Morgan Stanley

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 14-Jan-20

Morgan Stanley has warned that the bushfires crisis will have a direct financial cost on Australian banks, including an increase in insurance claims and loan losses. S&P expects loan arrears to increase in the wake of the bushfires, although rival ratings agency Moody’s says the proportion of loans that are affected by the bushfires is likely to be relatively small. Morgan Stanley adds that factors such as the impact of the bushfires on retail spending will have the biggest impact on bank earnings.

CORPORATES
MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED

NAB pledges 3-year disaster reprieve

Original article by Elouise Fowler
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 8-Jan-20

National Australia Bank has increased its bushfire disaster relief fund to $4m and advised that customers who have been affected by the catastrophe will be given three years to repay their loans. NAB has also indicated that it will provide emergency grants to business and agriculture customers, in addition to retail customers. The Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and ANZ Bank will also provide loan relief to customers who have been affected by the bushfires.

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

Paid leave for ANZ’s fire volunteers

Original article by Gerard Cockburn
The Australian – Page: 14 : 24-Dec-19

The ANZ Bank has advised that its employees who are volunteer firefighters will be entitled to special paid leave in addition to their standard leave entitlements. ANZ provides its employees with up to five days of paid community service leave each year, and staff who use all of this leave during the current bushfire crisis will be able to access the bank’s special leave policy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Westpac slapped with $9m penalty over poor advice

Original article by Aleks Vickovich
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 20-Dec-19

Westpac has been ordered to pay a total of $9.15m for 22 breaches of the Corporations Act. The bank was found to be liable for the ‘deficient and defective’ financial advice that ex-employee Sudhir Sinha provided in 2013 and 2014. Sinha was deemed to have failed to act in the best interests of his clients by providing financial advice that was inappropriate for their personal circumstances. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has banned Sinha from working in the industry for five years, while it launched legal action against Westpac in 2018.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Banks face stress test on climate

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 20-Dec-19

Australian financial services providers may be required to disclose their exposure to climate risks in their financial statements. It is amongst reforms that are likely to be implemented by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Reserve Bank of Australia, which include subjecting banks and insurance companies to stress-testing with regard to climate change-related risks. The reforms have been proposed by the Network of Central Banks & Supervisors for Greening the Financial System. The RBA has been a member of it since 2018, while APRA has observer status.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, NETWORK OF CENTRAL BANKS AND SUPERVISORS FOR GREENING THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM

Westpac faces class action over scandal

Original article by Aleks Vickovich
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 & 19 : 19-Dec-19

Law firm Phi Finney McDonald has filed a class action lawsuit against Westpac on behalf of retail and institutional investors. The firm will allege amongst other things that Westpac breached its continuous disclosure obligations by failing to properly inform prospective investors about Austrac’s concerns regarding its compliance with anti-money laundering laws. The class action is open to investors who bought Westpac shares between 16 December 2013 and 19 November 2019.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, PHI FINNEY McDONALD PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE, WOODSFORD LITIGATION FUNDING, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, IMF BENTHAM LIMITED – ASX IMF