Credit cards, home loans lead bank disputes lodged with ombudsman

Original article by David Ross
The Australian – Page: Online : 5-Jul-21

Preliminary data from the Australian Financial Complaints Authority shows that it handled fewer disputes with financial services providers in 2020-21. The AFCA received more than 70,000 complaints during the financial year, compared with 80,500 in 2019-20. Credit cards accounted for 14 per cent of disputes in the last financial year, ahead of home loans (nine per cent) and personal transaction accounts (eight per cent). The AFCA also received 8,303 coronavirus-related complaints in 2020-21, compared with 5,013 in the last four months of 2019-20.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY

Challenge for AMP over pay, fund deal

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 : 26-Apr-21

AMP’s proposal to spin off its private markets division is set to be a key focus of its virtual AGM on 30 April. Brett Le Mesurier of Velocity Trade has downgraded his share price target for AMP in response to the demerger proposal, which followed AMP’s decision to terminate negotiations with Ares Management over a full or partial sale of the business. Meanwhile, two proxy advisers have recommended that shareholders vote in favour of AMP’s remuneration report, while ISS has called for investors to reject it.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, ARES CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLC, INSTITUTIONAL SHAREHOLDER SERVICES INCORPORATED

Boost for IPO market as Fahour’s Latitude soars on debut

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 21-Apr-21

Shares in non-bank lender Latitude Financial closed at $2.70 on 20 April, four per cent above the stock’s listing price of $2.60. Latitude reached an intra-day high of $2.99, and the stock finished its first day of trading with a market capitalisation of about $2.7bn. Latitude’s successful sharemarket debut after several failed attempts in the past is likely to bolster the IPO market; indeed, a number of rival non-bank lenders are considering a sharemarket float, including SocietyOne and Pepper Australia.

CORPORATES
LATITUDE FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP LIMITED – ASX LFS, SOCIETYONE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PEPPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Consolidation looms for local lenders

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 12-Apr-21

Global payments and financial services technology group Fiserv processes about one out of every eight payment transactions in Australia. Kees Kwakernaak, the CEO of Fiserv’s Australian arm, expects further consolidation in the local banking sector in coming years. Kwakernaak anticipates mergers at the smaller end of the market in particular. However, he says consolidation in the sector is unlikely to deter non-bank financial services providers from entering the domestic market. Kwakernaak also anticipates greater collaboration among banks, which will be facilitated by initiatives such as the open banking regime.

CORPORATES
FISERV INCORPORATED

New chief confronts huge task at AMP

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Weekend Australian – Page: 21 & 25 : 3-Apr-21

Analysts are generally positive about the appointment of Alexis George to succeed Francesco De Ferrari as CEO of embattled wealth manager AMP, but note the challenges that she will face. George is currently deputy CEO at the ANZ Bank, and will take up her new role in the September quarter. AMP’s shares have fallen more than 45 per cent since De Ferrari became CEO in December 2018. AMP is still in talks with Ares Management regarding the sale of its private markets division.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, ARES MANAGEMENT CORPORATION

Third IPO tilt values Latitude at $2.6bn

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd, Jared Lynch
The Australian – Page: 13 & 19 : 1-Apr-21

Latitude Financial is seeking to raise $200m via an IPO; the non-bank lender and ‘buy now, pay later’ provider is slated to list on the Australian sharemarket in the week beginning 19 April. The IPO will be open to institutional investors, Latitude employees and broking firms. Latitude has made two previous attempts to list on the sharemarket; it shelved an IPO worth $1bn in 2019 due to lack of sufficient interest from investors.

CORPORATES
LATITUDE FINANCIAL GROUP LIMITED

ANZ steers well clear of buy now, pay later

Original article by Ticky Fullerton
The Australian – Page: 18 : 9-Nov-20

The ‘buy now, pay later’ industry is enjoying strong growth, but the ANZ Bank intends to avoid the sector. The bank’s former chairman David Gonski says that while it is good that BNPL providers allow people to access credit when they need it, consumers must be mindful that they will pay interest when using these services. Meanwhile, Gonski believes that Australia’s investment banking sector presents opportunities at present. Gonski stepped down as ANZ chairman in late October.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

US fund Ares in AMP buyout talks

Original article by Bridget Carter, Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 30-Oct-20

New York Stock Exchange-listed private equity firm Ares Management has been given access to AMP’s data room and is said to be considering a full takeover play. Ares boasts more than $US149bn ($211.3bn) in assets under management, and CEO Michael Arougheti has flagged the potential for acquisitions in the Asia-Pacific region. AMP recently announced a portfolio review, which could result in the sale of all or part of the business. AMP’s market capitalisation is about $4.4bn, based on the stock’s closing price of $1.28 on 29 October.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, ARES MANAGEMENT CORPORATION

AMP bids to reassure investors on outflows

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 : 23-Oct-20

AMP CEO Francesco De Ferrari says the company has been resilient during the coronavirus pandemic. However, the wealth manager has reported net outflows of $8bn for the September quarter, with net inflows of just $6bn. The AMP Capital division has posted net outflows of $1.1bn for the period, while its assets under management fell 0.4 per cent to $189.2bn. Meanwhile, AMP Bank’s deposits increased by $52m to $17bn during the quarter, but its loan book fell $303m to $20.6bn.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP CAPITAL INVESTORS LIMITED, AMP BANK LIMITED

Pressure builds for AMP break-up

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 12-Oct-20

Simon Mawhinney of Allan Gray Australia says breaking up AMP would be the best option for unlocking the wealth manager’s value. He adds that if a suitor opts to acquire the entire company they are likely to sell off parts of the business. AMP recently revealed plans to undertake a portfolio review, and its board is believed to be planning to update investors on a possible sale of all or part of the company before the end of 2020. Alan Kwan of Australian Eagle Asset Management says AMP may choose to press ahead with a turnaround plan, given the challenges involved in ‘disentangling’ and divesting parts of the business.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN EAGLE ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD