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.


Royal commission alert: All banks are laundering

Hoocoodanode? Via Domainfax: Gaping holes in the anti-money laundering systems of Australia’s big banks are being exploited by crime groups to wash up to $5 million in drug cash a day, according to confidential briefings by federal and state policing agencies. New details of police investigations reveal that the big four banks – Westpac, ANZ,


Pascometer red lines on liar loans

Weeoo, weeoo, weeoo. Lol: I have a “liar loan” – a mortgage based on less than absolutely factual information. I’ve pretty much always had liar loans. And I recently obtained a “liar credit card”. So what? Given readers’ (and therefore the media’s) love of stories that combine housing and doomsday scenarios, investment bank UBS received saturation


“Liar loan” liars lie about loans

From the Mortgage Professionals Australia: Bank’s claims about borrowers’ ‘liar loans’ criticised by industry over methodology and intentions The MFAA and FBAA have harshly criticised a UBS report which claimed 1/3 of mortgage applications were not entirely accurate (which they term ‘liar loans’). The report, which also claimed broker channel loans were more likely to contain inaccurate information, was branded ‘reckless’ by the FBAA because


Moody’s downgrades Australia’s mortgage linchpin

Via Moody’s: Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded to Baa1 from A3 the insurance financial strength rating (IFSR) of Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Pty Limited (Genworth Australia). Today’s rating action on Genworth Australia concludes the review initiated on 19 June 2017, which was part of a wider rating action on Australian financial institutions to reflect Moody’s


Moody’s warns on rising Aussie RMBS bad loans

Via Moody’s: » Macroeconomic update: We forecast that Australia’s real GDP will grow by around 2.5% for full-year 2017 and 2.7% for 2018. Australia’s GDP is growing at below the 10-year average, but we believe the level of growth is supportive of RMBS performance. However, Australia’s high household debt in combination with record low wage


Inside Australia’s half trillion dollar “liar loan” nuclear time bomb

So you want know what drives the bubble? Make sure you’re sitting down because here it is, cross-posted from the always excellent Jonathon Mott at UBS: Work Undertaken Between 7th of July and 4th of August 2017 UBS Evidence Lab conducted an online survey of 907 Australians who had recently taken out a mortgage to buy


Big Sleazy catches a bid as Big Iron fails break out

Dalian is trying repair overnight damage today: Big Iron is down sharply. BHP and RIO failed at largish double tops, at least for now… Big Gas is soft but the pensioner abuse specialists continue their predictable but appalling re-rating: Big Gold is off sharply. I remain a seller short term: Big Sleazy has caught a


What price The Big Sleazy?

From Credit Suisse: The capital impact of reputational loss This research note builds on our previous work on the valuation impact of CBA’s reputational loss (refer further: “Commonwealth Bank – Valuing reputational loss” 28 August 2017) by now looking at the possible capital impacts. The two potential key impacts we see in this regard are:


Big Sleazy breaks to new lows

Dalian is trying to rebound: BHP is still nudging breakout: Big Gas continues its re-rating with exporters down and the domestic gougers flying: All I can say to that is, what a pack of bloody idiots we are. Big Gold is powering, working beautifully as portfolio insurance. I’m still a seller here for the short


Sleaze Bank class action launches

It’s a go: Australian litigation financier IMF Bentham Ltd said it would fund an open class action lawsuit against Commonwealth Bank of Australia in relation to allegations it oversaw thousands of breaches of anti-money laundering rules. IMF said on Tuesday that it will bankroll the class action on behalf of all CBA shareholders who bought


Is Sleaze Bank uninvestable?

Via Banking Day: Professor Milind Sathye from the University of Canberra expects Asian regulators and law enforcement agencies to audit the anti-money laundering records of other Australian banks in light of CBA’s failures. “Australian banks that have branch licences throughout Asia are likely to come under greater scrutiny from anti-money laundering agencies to ensure they


Narev to get the arse?

Via Chanticleer: The announcement that Rob Whitfield will join the board of the Commonwealth Bank will be cheered by investors. In Whitfield, Catherine Livingstone has brought onto the board a high-profile executive with deep banking experience (given his long career at Westpac) and political nous (given his recent roles as secretary of NSW Treasury and of NSW


US to launch Sleaze Bank investigation?

From Domainfax: The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s apparent failure to properly monitor transactions for money laundering and possible terrorism funding makes action from American regulators inevitable say financial crime experts. American lawyers have told Thomson Reuters that CBA was already responding to information requests from a number of US agencies with differing mandates and enforcement agendas and


Little lenders slam door on specufestors

Via the AFR: Heritage Bank, the nation’s second largest mutual, will stop offering property investment loans and is restructuring other products amid fears it will blow tough regulatory speed limits on lending growth after recent attractive offers attracted a deluge of borrowers. It follows the decision of CUA, the nation’s largest mutual, to stop writing new loans for property


Did APRA already relax macroprudential 2.0?

Via Macquarie: Following the introduction of APRA’s 30% interest-only cap there has been a material reduction in interest-only flow and assuming current trends continue banks will be well below the cap by the required timeframe (Sep-17). This was achieved by a combination of aggressive repricing, tightening of credit standards and some concessions from the regulator.


Sleaze Bank responds

Via CBA: Commonwealth Bank notes recent media reports concerning compliance and transaction monitoring in offshore jurisdictions by the Institutional Banking & Markets division. The document referred to in those media reports was a working document, proposing technology enhancements as part of our ongoing Program of Action, including the automation of tasks currently undertaken manually. A


Sleaze Bank discovers giant laundering holes in itself

Via The Australian: Billions of dollars in Commonwealth Bank transactions in the US, Europe and Asia have not been properly monitored, the bank’s internal review has found, potentially exposing the institution to investigation by ­global regulators. The confidential review of the bank’s compliance with Australian and ­global anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws revealed large-scale failures


Evil Anna’s tentacles spread

The damned are hard at work: It sounds like Anna Bligh is putting her stamp on the Australian Bankers’ Association’s poky Secretariat on Sydney’s Pitt Street. The former Queensland Premier (and now Medibank Private director) is hedging her own ALP roots with her latest hire: former Coalition staffer Nathalie Samia. Samia begins next week as the ABA’s executive


Are Sleaze Bank’s problems about to go global?

Via The Australian: Fears are growing that offshore regulators will be next to take a swipe at the nation’s largest bank, as ramifications for Commonwealth Bank’s alleged breaches of anti-money laundering laws start to mount. …The bank is also under investigation by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, while the Monetary Authority of Singapore has said