Westpac chief Peter King eyes fast restart

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 20 : 3-Apr-20

Westpac has appointed Peter King as CEO for the next two years. King, who has been acting CEO since September, says 22,000 of Westpac’s 33,000 employees are now working from home in response to the coronavirus; typically it is around 1,000. Westpac has had 100,000 requests for assistance from customers and 26,000 requests for help from small businesses since the banking sector launched its response to the virus. King says Westpac will looking at businesses that can recover quickly once the worst of COVID-19 is over in terms of the ones it decides to assist.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC

‘We’re bloody lucky we’ve got them’: from pariahs to saviours

Original article by James Frost, James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 7 : 31-Mar-20

Australia’s major banks have received 170,000 requests from households and businesses to defer loan repayments due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, bank CEOs warn that despite being well-capitalised, the sector will need to be very selective with regard to the businesses that it chooses to assist, and those that are already failing cannot expect to receive a financial lifeline. Reserve Bank of Australia board member Ian Harper notes that the crisis has provided banks with an opportunity to redeem themselves following the revelations of misconduct exposed by the Hayne royal commission.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Business loan relief in bailout expansion

Original article by Geoff Chambers, Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 30-Mar-20

The major banks will announce on 30 March that companies with loans totalling up to $10 million will be able to defer payments for six months in order to help save jobs during the coronavirus crisis. It is understood that the federal government will expand its 50 per cent loan guarantee for to small and medium enterprises to big business, while the Australian Banking Association will build on its previously announced small business support package with additional assistance measures.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION

Banks race to roll out SME loans

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 15 & 18 : 23-Mar-20

The federal government will underwrite 50 per cent of new loans made by eligible lenders to small and medium enterprises as part of its response to the coronavirus crisis. Westpac’s acting CEO Peter King says the SME Guarantee Scheme will provide "significant support" to SMEs, while he supports moves to allow people in financial hardship to access their superannuation. The rollout of the scheme in New South Wales and Victoria has been complicated by moves to lockdown non-essential services in coming days, as banks work to keep as many branches open as possible in those states.

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

Branchless banks raise the bar as ME Bank and ING lead customer satisfaction ratings

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 18-Mar-20

New financial data from Roy Morgan shows that ME Bank has the highest banking customer satisfaction among home loan customers, at 92.3%. ME Bank is followed by ING (91.4%), Bendigo Bank (85.8%) and BankSA (83.7%). CBA enjoys the highest home loan customer satisfaction of any of the big four banks, with a rating of 74.1%. Total home loan customer satisfaction with the big four banks is 72.4%. The satisfaction of non-home loan customers follows a similar trend. ING leads the way with a rating of 88.6%, followed by Bendigo Bank (87.9%), ME Bank (85.7%) and Suncorp (80.5%). CBA again has the highest rating of the big four banks, with 79.3% of its non-home loan customers indicating satisfaction with the bank. Total non-home loan customer satisfaction with the big four banks is now at 77.1%. These banking satisfaction ratings are from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, in-depth face-to-face interviews with over 50,000 Australians each year in their homes.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, ME BANK, ING BANK (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, BENDIGO BANK, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, SUNCORP BANK

Westpac CEO: banks strong, economy the risk

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 20 : 16-Mar-20

Westpac’s acting CEO Peter King says the coronavirus crisis represents a ‘real’ economy issue that needs to be dealt with accordingly. He says Westpac and the other big banks can cope with an increase in bad debts and a tightening of credit markets, but helping business customers that have no cash flow to remain operating will be their biggest challenge. King says Westpac is ready to play its part in slowing down the spread of the coronavirus within the community, with appropriate procedures in place if a staff member tests positive.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

Banks, retailers in talks over card fees

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 19 : 10-Mar-20

The Australian Retailers Association has estimated its members pay over $500 million a year in merchant fees on bank card transactions. ARA CEO Russell Zimmerman was invited to a meeting with Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh and Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn on 9 March, at which the fees issue was discussed. An initiative known as ‘least-track routing’, which aims to boost competition within the debit card market and to help reduce card payment costs, was among the other topics discussed.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Analysts cut bank earnings forecasts

Original article by Gerard Cockburn, Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 21 : 5-Mar-20

JP Morgan expects the net profits of Australia’s major banks to fall by 3-4 per cent over coming years after they moved to reduce their mortgage interest rates by 25 basis points, in line with the latest official interest rate cut. JP Morgan adds that the prospect of lower profit margins may prompt banks to reduce their dividend payouts. Macquarie has reiterated its ‘underweight’ recommendation on the banking sector, while UBS has downgraded its earnings-per-share forecast for bank stocks.

CORPORATES
JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards 2019: the best brands in banking and finance

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 25-Feb-20

The 2019 Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards have been presented in Melbourne. This year’s awards added six new banking and finance categories, taking the total list of winning banks, insurers and superannuation funds to fourteen. Commonwealth Bank (Major Bank) continued its dominance by securing its seventh straight customer satisfaction award. Bank Australia (Bank) and Newcastle Permanent Credit Union (Building Society/Credit Union) both recorded their first win of the annual award. RACT (General Insurer) and RAC (Major General Insurer) won their respective categories with seven and 12 monthly wins respectively. Insuranceline (Risk and Life Insurer) took out its third annual award, and MLC (Major Risk and Life Insurer) was a first-time winner. Tasmanian-based St.LukesHealth (Private Health Insurer), Defence Health (Major Private Health Insurer – Not for Profit or Restricted) and ahm (Major Private Health Insurer – Retail) were the other insurance category successes. Macquarie (Retail Superannuation Fund) fought off stiff competition to win another annual award, whereas Colonial First State (Major Retail Superannuation Fund) won comfortably with 11 monthly awards. HESTA (Major Industry Superannuation Fund) was welcomed to the winner’s podium for the first time.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Westpac warns of hit to bottom line

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

Westpac has used a market update for the first quarter of 2019-20 to advise that its earnings for the financial year will be affected by factors such as the Austrac scandal, storms and the bushfires crisis. Citigroup has responded by downgrading its half-year earnings per share forecast by seven per cent, while its forecast for the full year has been reduced by five per cent. Westpac could face fines of up to $2bn for breaching anti-money laundering laws, while it is the subject of two class actions over the scandal.

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