Comyn claims ACCC exaggeration but welcomes probe

Original article by Bo Seo
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 12 & 17 : 17-Oct-19

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO Matt Comyn and chair Catherine Livingstone are supportive of a new inquiry into mortgage pricing. However, Comyn has questioned the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s claim that the pricing gap for new and existing customers of the nation’s major banks is 32 basis points. He says this gap is significantly lower than 30 basis points at CBA. Livingstone notes that the bank takes into account the interests of borrowers, deposit-holders and shareholders when deciding upon its mortgage pricing.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Regionals undercut bigger bank rivals

Original article by Joyce Moullakis, Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 16-Oct-19

Analysis by RateCity shows that some of Australia’s regional banks are currently offering much lower variable home loan interest rates than the ‘big four’ bank. However, Victor German of Macquarie Group notes that existing customers at some of the smaller banks are also paying much higher mortgage interest rates than new customers. The mortgage pricing of smaller banks is among the issues that will be examined by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s new inquiry into the sector.

CORPORATES
RATECITY PTY LTD, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, SUNCORP BALANCED PROPERTY FUND, SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN, MACQUARIE BANK LIMITED – ASX MBL, BANK OF QUEENSLAND LIMITED – ASX BOQ, AMP BANK LIMITED, ING BANK (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Cup day rate cut less likely on minutes

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 16-Oct-19

Financial markets have priced in a 36 per cent chance that the Reserve Bank will reduce the cash rate in November, following the release of the minutes from the central bank’s October board meeting. Amongst other things, board members expressed concern about the impact of historically low interest rates on savers and the housing market. The general consensus of economists is that the cash rate will remain on hold until February.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Savers come out second best as banks quietly slash interest rates on deposits

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 11-Oct-19

Lenders have cut interest rates on term deposits by between one and and 35 basis points since the Reserve Bank cut the official cash rate by 25 basis points on 1 October, according to data from ­RateCity. National Seniors Australia’s chief advocate Ian Henschke notes that a third of its members have their money in term deposits, with interest rates on term deposits now at their lowest since the 1950s. He claims that the federal government is "profiteering off the backs of pensioners", by not reducing the deeming rate.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, RATECITY PTY LTD, NATIONAL SENIORS AUSTRALIA LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN

Credit raters circle wagons around banks

Original article by James Eyers, James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 & 14 : 10-Oct-19

Australia’s banks are under growing scrutiny over their failure to reduce their mortgage interest rates by 0.25 per cent in line with the latest official interest rate cut. However, S&P Global Ratings says banks’ profits and capital buffers may be adversely affected if they yield to political pressure and match the Reserve Bank’s rate cut. S&P adds that this could in turn prompt a review of the banking sector’s credit rating. Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings are also supportive of the banks’ decision to withhold part of the official interest rate cut.

CORPORATES
S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, FITCH RATINGS LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, IBISWORLD PTY LTD, COPLEY FUND RESEARCH, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

ANZ boss calls for QE summit

Original article by Tony Boyd, Vesna Poljak
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 22 : 10-Oct-19

The growing prospect of negative interest rates and unconventional policy measures such as quantitative easing has prompted ANZ Bank CEO Shayne Elliott to propose holding a summit on the issue. He says it should include representatives from the major banks, regional banks, industry regulators, the Treasury and the Reserve Bank. Elliott says that amongst other things, the summit could discuss issues such as the broader economic implications of QE and the role of banks in the economy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. INSTITUTE OF APPLIED ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH, UNITED STATES. FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK, BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS

Evans warns of negative impact of rate cuts

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 27 : 10-Oct-19

Financial markets expect the cash rate to fall to 0.5 per cent by February, and market pricing suggests that there is more than a 50 per cent chance of further rate cuts by mid-2020. Westpac’s chief economist Bill Evans says the Reserve Bank should take note of declining consumer confidence when considering further rate cuts, and the "possible unintended consequences" of any move toward negative interest rates. The general consensus of economists is that fiscal policy would be more effective than unconventional monetary policy measures such as quantitative easing.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. INSTITUTE OF APPLIED ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, ROY MORGAN LIMITED, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AMP CAPITAL INVESTORS LIMITED

Strong economies need profitable banks, says Wilson

Original article by James Frost, Vesna Poljak, Aleks Vickovich, Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 16 : 9-Oct-19

Wilson Asset Management chairman Geoff Wilson has rejected criticism of Australia’s major banks for failing to pass on the latest official interest rate cut in full. He contends that strong and profitable banks are essential for a strong economy, and he estimates that the sector’s earnings would be $4.5bn-$6bn lower if banks had reduced their mortgage interest rates by 0.75 per cent since June, in line with the Reserve Bank. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank chairman Robert Johanson has also dismissed claims by Prime Minister Scott Morrison that the banks are profiteering by withholding interest rate cuts.

CORPORATES
WILSON ASSET MANAGEMENT, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN FOUNDATION INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED – ASX AFI, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

QE would kill finance and capitalism, McKibbin warns

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 9-Oct-19

Former Reserve Bank board member Warwick McKibbin has cautioned against any move to reduce implement quantitative easing in Australia. He argues that unconventional monetary policy in Europe is merely propping up financially unsustainable businesses while restricting access to capital for new businesses. He adds that reducing interest rates below a certain level merely distorts capital without providing any economic stimulus. Some economists expect the cash rate to fall to 0.5 per cent in coming months.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS, AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

We’ve ourselves to blame for paying banks too much

Original article by Adam Creighton
The Australian – Page: 12 : 8-Oct-19

Australia’s banks have attracted widespread criticism for reducing their mortgate rates by about half of the 0.25 per cent official interest rate cut on 1 October. However, banks are entitled to pass on as much or as little of the cash rate cut as they like, and customers can easily switch to another lender if they are dissatisfied. Consumers effectively pay a loyalty tax for remaining with their existing lender; this may be more appropriately called a stupidity tax, as it raises some $6.3bn each year for mortgage lenders. While banks are the biggest beneficiary of the stupidity tax, it is paid across the economy.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION