Australian banks

MacroBusiness covers Australian banks from the perspective of their macro-economic role, as political economy actors, as investment propositions and in terms of financial stability and capital adequacy. Australian banks have played a crucial role in inflating the Australian property bubble, exist within an utterly privileged position as “too big to fail” institutions and operate within a deeply distorted financial architecture that has Australian tax payers well and truly on the hook in the event of trouble. MacroBusiness seeks to define this role for investors as well as change it in the name of the Australian national interest.


NAB halted as executive changes arrive

At least we hope they’re resigning, via Bloomie: National Australia Bank Ltd. shares were halted from trading pending an announcement on leadership changes. The announcement, expected later Thursday, comes amid speculation Chief Executive Officer Andrew Thorburn and Chairman Ken Henry may be ousted after being sharply criticized by the financial industry misconduct inquiry, which questioned


Heat intensifies on disgraced NAB duo

Shareholders started it last year when they rejected Ken Henry’s remuneration plan by an astounding 88% majority. Hayne made it worse when he picked them out of a line-up: NAB also stands apart from the other three major banks. Having heard from both the CEO, Mr Thorburn, and the Chair, Dr Henry, I am not


Pre-nationalisation Genworth soars as it hoses away capital

Sometimes markets are bizarre. Take the case of mortgage insurer GMA today: There’s nothing overly interesting about its year end accounts though delinquencies are still rising. But check out its economic assumptions: This is a fading fiction. Unemployment is going to rise and wages fall. GMA’s delinquencies are going to rise too. But what matters


Canberra splits on mortgage broking future

Via the AFR: The biggest split is over mortgage brokers after the government baulked at the key recommendation in which the borrower, not the lender, would pay the broker the fee for arranging a loan. Another is the recommendation to apply responsible lending laws to point-of-sale retailers, such as car dealers. Labor agrees with the


As Hayne fades, mortgage rate hikes appear

CBA’s half year result is out today and it reeks of coming mortgage rate hikes: Unexciting at best: falling revenue; falling ROE; falling NEM; rising bad debts 15bps or $577m (vs consensus 13bp) and NPLs 89bp (vs 85bp) NPAT boosted by cost cutting; dividend stalled and broker write downs ahead. Mortgage rate hikes are inevitable


ACTU: Henry, banks, Scummo colluded to shape Hayne

Is this why Justice Kenneth Hayne was so disgusted at the handover of his report? Via Sally McManus on Twitter: EXPOSED: ACTU uncovers secret letters between the big banks and Scott Morrison — Sally McManus (@sallymcmanus) February 5, 2019 What on earth happened to the once lovable Ken Henry?


UBS: Credit squeeze to continue

George Tharenou at UBS on the Hayne RC and credit flows: Implications: RC still consistent with our view of tighter credit ahead Overall, the RC should not trigger a material acceleration in the tightening of lending standards under way, which should reduce the chance of an imminent ‘credit crunch’. This will likely give some comfort


Broker locusts swarm Hayne

Via Domain: The Finance Brokers Association is warning the Hayne recommendations could drive up interest rates. The association’s managing director, Peter White, has gone directly to the proposals around mortgage brokers which has also caught the attention of the government. He said eliminating trail commissions for brokers could ultimately push up the price of loans.


No mortgage relief in Hayne

The Hayne pain is here. The most important finding for the economy in the final report is the Commission’s view of the Household Expenditure Measure (HEM) on which its find is quite subtle: 1.2.1 The NCCP Act When dealing with particular case studies in the Interim Report, I concluded that there had been conduct that


Evil Anna in bogus new confession

Via The Guardian: Australia’s big banks have launched a public mea culpa ahead of the release of the long-anticipated, likely scarifying, findings of the banking royal commission, acknowledging they have failed their customers, and arguing the Hayne report is a chance to reset the sector. With institutions and their shareholders braced for a major shake-up


What does Justice Kenneth Hayne’s anger mean?

Justice Kenneth Hayne has delivered his final report on banking crime to Josh Recessionberg and the footage is priceless: Why so pissed, Ken? The AFR offers one explanation: “I remember the number of times in Parliament, the current Prime Minister, he would wag his finger and say you’ll never get a banking royal commission,” Mr


ME Bank joins the little bank rate hikes rush

How far down are house prices again? Via The Advisor: The second wave of out-of-cycle rate hikes has continued, with a non-major lender lifting its mortgage rates by up to 18 basis points. ME has announced it will increase its home loan interest rates for both new and existing borrowers by up to 18 basis


Credit Suisse: Why RBA must move to cut the cash rate

Again great stuff from Damien Boey at Credit Suisse who has a much better grasp of the economy than does the lunatic RBA: By now, CPI, unemployment and RBA forecast downgrades are becoming old news … The Consensus view is that the RBA will moderately downgrade its forecasts, but not capitulate on its rate stance


Back to the bad old days for Chris Joye

From Chris Joye today: If Prime Minister Scott Morrison pulls off a miracle and wins the May election, housing conditions should stabilise as investors pile back into the market to pick up cheap assets once the threat of Labor’s deleterious tax changes is removed. I also expect the accessibility of credit to improve following the royal


Realtor: “Even in the GFC, it was nothing like this”

Via The Australian comes Same White, chairman of mortgage broker Loan Market and deputy chairman of the Ray White real estate group: …even the banks’ credit teams were unsur­e of their lending standards. “There’s no upside in saying yes, only downside, so it’s easier to say no,” he told The ­Australian. “For most of the major lender­s


Recessionberg, Scummo endorse criminal banking

The lead into Hayne pain has begun in earnest with the corrupt Coalition preparing the ground to do nothing, via the AFR: Mr Frydenberg said the principal focus of the government’s response would be to protect consumers and restore their faith in the sector but ensuring a free flow of credit to households and businesses


ING hikes mortgage interest rates again

ING on the move, via Mozo: Online lender ING has become the latest bank to lift its variable home loan rates following an announcement earlier today. The lender will raise rates across all of its variable rate home loan products by 15 basis points, effective as of February 7, 2019. And according to Mozo Product Data Manager,


AMP slides as profits slashed in wake of scandal

by Chris Becker Couldn’t have happened to a nicer ticket puncher with a huge slash to profits in the wake of the Royal Commission. From ABC: In a statement to the ASX, AMP further downgraded its already weak profit guidance, reporting that its net profit for the 2018 calendar year would be “approximately $30 million”


Credit Suisse: Prepare for another 0.5% of bank mortgage hikes

From Damien Boey at Credit Suisse Yesterday, NAB announced a 12bps increase on owner-occupier conventional mortgages, and a 16bps increase on interest-only investor mortgages. In the round of out-of-cycle rate hikes last year, NAB was the odd one out, choosing not to hike with its competitors. Therefore, today’s hike brings NAB more in line with


Coalition to sit on banking royal commission report?

By Leith van Onselen Earlier this week, Labor’s Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, wrote to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg urging him to publicly release the banking royal commission final report as soon at it is handed in to the federal government: “It is in the national interest for the Australian people and victims of banking scandals to


Captured regulators wined and dined by corporate lobbyists

By Leith van Onselen After being badly exposed by the royal commission for failing to stand up to the financial sector, it has been revealed that Australia’s regulators have commissioners and staff to accept secret gifts from the industries they regulate. From The SMH: Presents in recent years include champagne and vintage wines, expensive dinners, concert


U-Bank joins chorus with out-of-cycle rate rise

By Leith van Onselen Last week it was Virgin, today NAB-owned U-Bank has announced that it will lift its mortgage rates by up to 20-basis points. From The Adviser: The second wave of out-of-cycle mortgage rate hikes has continued, with another lender announcing increases of up to 20 basis points. NAB-owned lender UBank has announced