AMP CEO De Ferrari won’t get a new life insurance deal

Original article by Misa Han
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 6-Dec-18

Merlon Capital is among the AMP shareholders that oppose the sale of its life insurance business. However, AMP CEO Francesco De Ferrari says the $3.3bn deal will proceed, arguing that the wealth manager lacks the global scale to compete with much larger international rivals in the life insurance sector. De Ferrari has also expressed support for AMP’s vertically integrated business model, but says this will be unwound if the final report of the financial services commission recommends it.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, CREDIT SUISSE AG, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD

Banks receive the most gripes at new complaints authority

Original article by Elouise Fowler
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 6-Dec-18

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority has received some 6,522 complaints from consumers and small business owners since it was established on 1 November. Banks were the source of 2,367 complaints during AFCA’s first month of operation, ahead of insurers with 1,159 complaints. AFCA replaced the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Credit & Investment Ombudsman and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY, FINANCIAL OMBUDSMAN SERVICE LIMITED, CREDIT AND INVESTMENT OMBUDSMAN, AUSTRALIA. SUPERANNUATION COMPLAINTS TRIBUNAL

AMP’s new CEO starts in the hot seat

Original article by Misa Han
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 20 : 3-Dec-18

Francesco De Ferrari starts his first day as CEO of AMP on 3 December, having previously been head of Credit Suisse’s Asia-Pacific private banking business. De Ferrari says he is determined to make the most of the impetus provided by the banking royal commission to bring about change in the way that AMP does business. Hamish Carlisle from Merlon Capital says De Ferrari should give AMP shareholders the opportunity to vote on the proposed sale of the AMP Life division, as well as renegotiating the deal if possible.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP LIFE LIMITED, CREDIT SUISSE AG, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED, ATLAS FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN SHAREHOLDERS’ ASSOCIATION

Finance riddled with rent seekers

Original article by Adam Creighton
The Australian – Page: 2 : 7-Nov-18

Productivity Commission chairman Michael Brennan says much of the Australian banking and wealth management industry’s revenue can be attributed to excessive fees that are a result of limited competition. Financial services is now the biggest sector of the domestic economy; it accounts for nearly nine per cent of economic output, compared with around four per cent in the early 1980s. Meanwhile, Brennan says that health and education reforms will be essential in lifting the nation’s productivity rate.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION

Fundies blast AMP over $3.4b fire sale

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 22 : 31-Oct-18

Allan Gray Australia and Merlon Capital Partners are among the institutional investors that have criticised AMP’s proposal to divest its life insurance business. They believe that the $3.4bn sale price undervalues the life business, and Merlon has flagged the possibility of seeking an extraordinary general meeting to challenge the deal. Merlon has written to AMP arguing that the deal demonstrates a "reckless disregard" for shareholders’ funds, while Simon Mawhinney of Allan Gray describes it as a "disastrous deal" for AMP’s shareholders.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, MACQUARIE COUNTRYWIDE MANAGEMENT LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED, AXA ASIA PACIFIC HOLDINGS LIMITED

AMP implodes as investors flee amid fund outflows

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 19 & 23 : 26-Oct-18

Wealth manager AMP has advised that its fund outflows totalled $1.5bn in the September quarter, compared with just $243m in the previous corresponding period. Acting CEO Mike Wilkins says lack of fund inflows is a bigger concern than the rise in outflows, adding that the problem is likely to persist until the financial services royal commission delivers its final report. AMP has also announced a $3.3bn deal to sell its life insurance business to Resolution Capital. AMP shares reached a record low on 25 October, reducing its market capitalisation by $2.3bn.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP LIFE LIMITED, RESOLUTION CAPITAL LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG

$19b in property loans breach new rules

Original article by Duncan Hughes
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 25-Oct-18

Analysis by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority shows that mortgage lenders approved $19bn worth of loans in the year to September that do not meet their revised lending criteria. This is $9b higher than the previous year, with major lenders recording the biggest growth in such loans. Martin North of Digital Finance Analytics says it is a concern that banks are not complying with their own rules regarding the ability of customers to service their loans. APRA notes that the new rules allow lenders to take into account exceptional circumstances when assessing a home loan application.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, DIGITAL FINANCE ANALYTICS, SUNCORP BANK, SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Macquarie scraps stockbroker commissions to tackle conflicts

Original article by Joyce Moullakis, Samantha Bailey
The Australian – Page: 17 & 28 : 23-Oct-18

Macquarie Group has advised that it will abolish commission payments for its stockbroking advisers and move to a salary and profit share remuneration system from April 2019. Commissions were criticised by former Commonwealth Bank CEO and current AMP chairman David Murray in his Financial System Inquiry as causing the potential for conflicts of interest. However, Macquarie’s decision may not please all brokers and could lead to the departure of some staff.

CORPORATES
MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, JBWERE LIMITED, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, CRESTONE WEALTH MANAGEMENT LIMITED

Risk of credit crunch is real and rising, UBS warns

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 2-Oct-18

Jonathan Mott of UBS has told clients that Australian banks’ profits are likely to come under pressure in the next several years as a result of the financial services royal commission. He says the risk of a credit crunch has been heightened following the release of the inquiry’s interim report. Mott adds that amongst other things, the final report is likely to recommend extending responsible lending obligations to small and medium enterprises and an overhaul of the way banks verify the expenses of borrowers.

CORPORATES
UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Hayne interim report to shake the sector

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 21 : 26-Sep-18

The financial services royal commission’s interim report will only cover the inquiry’s first four rounds of public hearings. The report will be tabled in federal parliament on 28 September, and the last two public hearings to date will be included in the inquiry’s final report, which is slated to be released in February. Richard Sproules of Citigroup expects the interim report to focus on the issues of responsible lending and governance failures in the provision of financial advice.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL