Lack of action on high regional airfares disgraceful

Original article by Jenny Wiggins
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 3-Apr-19

An investigation by federal parliament’s rural and regional affairs and transport committee into regional air fares was due to report its findings in March 2018. However, it is now likely that it will not do so until after the federal election. Queensland MP Robbie Katter says there have been no cuts to regional air fares since the inquiry began in November 2017. Katter wants airlines to provide information to the government about how they determine air fares, while airlines have blamed airports for the high cost of regional airfares.

CORPORATES
KATTER’S AUSTRALIAN PARTY, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, ALLIANCE AIRLINES PTY LTD, VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, AUSTRALIA. SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT

Hayne incites confusion over financial industry codes

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 18-Mar-19

Financial services industry codes have been designed by industry bodies such as the Australian Banking Association and the Financial Services Council. The banking code is enforceable through contracts between banks and customers, but codes covering non-banking financial services are not legally or contractually enforceable. One of the Hayne royal commission’s recommendations was that industry codes should be more legally enforceable, but governments, regulators and industry bodies are uncertain as to how to implement the recommendation.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION, FINANCIAL SERVICES COUNCIL, INSURANCE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

CBA shelves wealth sale on Hayne hit

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 21 & 25 : 15-Mar-19

The Commonwealth Bank has advised that the divestment of its wealth and mortgage broking assets has been put on hold to allow it to focus on implementing the Hayne royal commission’s recommendations and its customer remediation program. National Australia Bank also recently indicated that it will postpone its proposed demerger of wealth manager MLC due to the fallout from the royal commission.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GROUP LIMITED, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT, FINANCIAL WISDOM LIMITED, COUNT FINANCIAL LIMITED, AUSSIE HOME LOANS LIMITED, MLC LIMITED, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL, MITSUBISHI UFJ TRUST AND BANKING INCORPORATION, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC

Labor fully committed to Hayne

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 12-Mar-19

Shadow financial services minister Clare O’Neil will use a Committee for Sydney speech on 12 March to reveal that Labor will reject only one recommendation in the Hayne royal commission’s final report if it wins the upcoming federal election. Labor has joined the Coalition in opposing the proposal to shift the cost of mortgage brokers’ fees from lenders to borrowers. Labor has previously only expressed in-principle support for many of Kenneth Hayne’s recommendations.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, COMMITTEE FOR SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

Morgan backs broker fee reform

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 17 & 18 : 4-Mar-19

David Morgan has stepped down as deputy chairman of Dutch bank NIBC after eight years. Morgan notes that the mortgage broking industry in the Netherlands had survived after commissions were replaced by borrower-paid fees, and he does not see why the same system, as recommended by the banking royal commission, should not work in Australia. Morgan, a former CEO of Westpac, does not believe that it will take the banks as long to regain trust as some have speculated.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NIBC BANK NV, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Labor waves new stick at big banks

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 20-Feb-19

Labor has unveiled draft laws to implement five recommendations of the Hayne royal commission which it believes can be implemented before the election. However, the federal goverment contends that Labor’s proposals are unworkable and have been rushed. The government is expected to release its own draft laws in coming days. Meanwhile, Labor proposes to require the CEOs of major banks to make twice-yearly reports to Parliament on their progress on implementing Hayne’s recommendations. The government in turn will give the Australian Financial Complaints Authority retrospective powers to hear financial complaints dating back to the start of 2008.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS

Criminal charges await bankers

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 3 : 20-Feb-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission released its response to the final report of the Hayne royal commission on 19 February. ASIC has disclosed that it is prioritising 11 instances of misconduct by eight companies or individuals in the banking sector that were referred to it by the inquiry, with a view to recommending criminal charges. ASIC is assessing an additional 16 cases to determine if there are grounds for prosecution, while it is also investigating 12 case studies that were presented to the royal commission but were not specifically referred to the corporate watchdog.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK ASIA, DOVER FINANCIAL ADVISERS PTY LTD, CLEARVIEW WEALTH LIMITED – ASX CVW

I’ll prove the royal commission wrong, Henry vows

Original article by John Durie
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 15-Feb-19

National Australia Bank is to follow the lead of Suncorp and set up a board committee that focuses on customers. NAB chairman Ken Henry says he did not intend to appear arrogant when he gave evidence at the royal commission. Henry says he feels that NAB is on the right path to restoring its tainted reputation, and that he intends to prove commissioner Kenneth Hayne wrong. Henry will step down when a replacement for CEO Andrew Thorburn is appointed.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

NAB the big loser from Hayne Royal Commission – most distrusted bank in Australia

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 15-Feb-19

Roy Morgan has been measuring bank trust and distrust since 2017 and recently conducted a survey in January before the release of the Hayne report, and another in February during the week following the report being made public. The Roy Morgan Net Trust Score Survey in January revealed CBA as the bank brand with the lowest level of trust and the highest level of distrust. However, in the wake of the Hayne report, NAB skyrocketed into the unenviable position as Australia’s least trusted and most distrusted bank brand. In January 36.9% of Australians distrusted NAB, but in the immediate wake of the report’s release the number of Australians distrusting NAB soared to 53.7%. Simultaneously, NAB’s level of trust plunged from 18.5% to 11.5%, delivering it the banking sector’s worst Net Trust Score of -42.2%, with the other three major brands in the minus twenties. Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says this is the highest level of distrust we have ever seen for a bank brand in Australia.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Wage rises to arrest falling growth outlooks

Original article by Natasha Gillezeau, Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 14-Feb-19

BIS Oxford Economics recently downgraded its GDP growth forecast to 2.2 per cent, but the firm does not expect the Hayne royal commission to have much impact on the economy. Alexandra Heath, the Reserve Bank’s head of economics, says the labour market was more resilient in 2018 than the central bank had expected, and it is likely to remain strong in 2019. She says this should in turn lead to a gradual increase in wages. She adds that the downturn in the housing market is unlikely to have much impact on economic growth or consumer spending.

CORPORATES
BIS OXFORD ECONOMICS PTY LTD, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. INSTITUTE OF APPLIED ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH