Banking and Financial Services
Keep up-to-date with the latest banking and finance news, insights and information in the Australian Banking and Finance industry from financial advisors, experts and associations on Top4 News.
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Fintech the next wave of growth

Fintech the next wave of growth | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

At the recent World Economic Forum it was noted that 90 per cent of the data we use today has been created in the past two years.

The ability of new technology to capture and process data, in real time, is changing how business is done, how products and services are conceived in the new economy and the way consumers participate in this process.

 

Financial technology, or fintech, is lubricating this transformation. The catalytic impacts of fintech and its potential to unleash a new era of competition, innovation and job-creating productivity in our economy is inestimable at this point, and very worthy of encouragement.

 

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4 things mortgage brokers will never tell you

4 things mortgage brokers will never tell you | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Are you on the hunt for a home loan and considering recruiting the help of a mortgage broker? While mortgage brokers can be a great resource if you have a more complicated home loan or need a little mortgage advice, before you go down this road it’s important to know exactly what you’re signing up for.

 

So to help you decide, we’ve called on Mozo’s property expert Steve Jovcevski to reveal the common things a broker will never let you in on:

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Shire Local Banking, IMB merger is working well

Shire Local Banking, IMB merger is working well | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

The merger between The Shire…Local Banking and IMB Bank has been working well since the two announced in December their plans to join forces.


The combination would have a 48 branch network, 190,000 members, 530 employees and assets of $5.2 billion. Both began life as credit unions.


The Shire organisation has offered financial services in Sutherland Shire since 1970, when it opened its doors as the Australian Atomic Energy Commission Credit Union at Lucas Heights.


It has four branches, including one at Cronulla.

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Superannuation funds face tough year

Superannuation funds face tough year | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Superannuation returns shrank to 5.6 per cent in 2015 and experts predict another choppy year ahead amid turmoil on global financial markets.


So far in January, returns are down by 3.8 per cent due to volatility in Chinese markets, new industry figures show.


Returns are closely linked to local and international share markets, and Australia's benchmark ASX 200 index is already down 7.4 per cent so far this month, according to superannuation research company SuperRatings.


That compares with around a 8.5 per cent fall in international markets over the same period.

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Westpac pays $1m after raising credit card limits too easily: ASIC

Westpac pays $1m after raising credit card limits too easily: ASIC | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Westpac may not have followed responsible lending rules when it used automated processes to assess customer applications for credit card limit increases, the corporate watchdog says.


The Australian Securities and Investments Commission on Wednesday revealed concerns that Westpac had failed to directly inquire about some credit card customers' income and job status when they were applying for a limit increase.


It said this failure to make reasonable enquiries about customers seeking credit was not consistent with responsible lending laws.


In response to these concerns, the country's second-biggest bank has changed its processes and launched a review program that may pay refunds to consumers who are in financial difficulty after having credit limits increased.

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How the Australian Taxation Office is taking your super

How the Australian Taxation Office is taking your super | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Your lost retirement savings may be headed for the Australian Taxation Office without you even realising.


From December 31, the account limit at which lost superannuation is now transferred from a super fund to the ATO rose from $2000 to $4000.


This means any lost account with $4000 or less will be put in the hands of the ATO and its estimated more than 130,000 accounts will be affected.

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CBA opens innovation lab in Hong Kong

CBA opens innovation lab in Hong Kong | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

In a strategic move designed to tap the thinking of entrepreneurs based in leading offshore fintech hubs, Commonwealth Bank of Australia has opened an "innovation lab" in Hong Kong and will open a similar facility in London in July.


Launching the lab in One Exchange Square, in downtown central Hong Kong, on Thursday, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of Hong Kong, KC Chan, said the start-up scene there is thriving and "fintech is an area that has great potential in our city.


"Financial institutions in Hong Kong are adopting the innovations and I see a lot of collaborative opportunities between financial institutions and start-ups," he said.

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FSC calls for 22% company tax

FSC calls for 22% company tax | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

The Financial Services Council has proposed a new tax package calling for company tax to be cut to 22% from its current 30%.


The industry body also wants to see "lower, flatter, indexed" income tax rates.


The FSC said its tax reform package is designed to "grow the economy and reverse Australia's collapsing competitiveness and flat productivity."


Modelling commissioned by the FSC and conducted by KPMG shows that these cuts can be fully funded by increasing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to 15% and will at the same time offer Australia a wide range of economic benefits, including a 3.7% increase in investment (with more than half of that figure coming from off-shore) and tens of thousands of new jobs. The modelling shows Australia's economy will be 1.9% bigger after the changes.

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Getting a second opinion for your SMSF

Getting a second opinion for your SMSF | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

With the average balance in a self-managed superannuation fund now more than $1 million, and with more than 2500 new SMSFs established each month, the number of Australians taking responsibility for their retirement savings is growing.


While a lot of focus (and "fear focused" marketing) revolves around the compliance obligations you take when you elect to act as trustee of your SMSF, the far more important issue is actually the responsibility you take on for achieving your cash-flow requirements in retirement.  If you get that seriously wrong, the age pension alternative is not all that appealing.


While a lot of SMSF trustees are self-directed, there will always be a need to consult an expert and ensure that you take advantage of all the relevant opportunities when running your own superannuation fund.  Superannuation legislation in Australia is complex and forever changing, and specialist advice can really add value.  This is particularly the case for SMSF trustees as they approach retirement. 


That universe of SMSF experts has been quite broad but from July 1, 2016  it will actually shrink. It may pay to check in now with your current SMSF contact point to make sure there will be continuity for you in that relationship after July 1.

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Are finance, banking and health apps secure?

Are finance, banking and health apps secure? | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

90% of readily available US mobile finance, banking and health apps do not address at least two critical security vulnerabilities leaving them open to some of the most common hacks techniques: code tampering and reverse-engineering.


That is according to Arxan’s 5th Annual State of Applications Security Report.


The report chillingly mentions the IBM Security/Ponemon assertion that 50% of organisations have zero budget allocated to assess mobile app security and 48% of consumers expect that their personal information is likely to be hacked within the next six months.


Consumers are concerned – 80% indicated that they would change service providers if an alternative app is more secure and more than 90% of organisations fear just that outcome.

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Why PM Capital's Uday Cheruvu is buying bank stocks

Why PM Capital's Uday Cheruvu is buying bank stocks | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

In the last month, PM Capital's Uday Cheruvu has been buying shares in banks, NAB and Westpac in particular. Here's why.


Over the past week, equity investors have been forced into a state of hyper-awareness over the effect global events have on listed stocks, as hiccups in the China sharemarket has led to the worst new year trading period in recent memory.


Uday Cheruvu, who manages the Australian equities portfolio for fund manager PM Capital, says his investment calls are based almost exclusively on observations of situations that have already unfolded overseas that he can find a way to apply locally.


The PM Capital Australian Companies Fund that Mr Cheruvu manages has steered clear of energy and commodity stocks for the last three years but has recently started to buy the big banks, which Mr Cheruvu said have been oversold on fears about the impact of global bank regulation.

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The Australian Market Still Feels Like It's 2015

The Australian Market Still Feels Like It's 2015 | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

The Australian market doesn’t seem to know that we have entered a new year. Markets are still acting like they were last year, nervous. China’s economic slowdown is affecting markets globally. Commodity prices aren’t getting any better. And Australian banking stocks are dragging the market down as we start 2016.


It only took one full trading session. The market has decided to carry over its poor performance from last year. The S&P/ASX 200 has dipped from its Monday high, dropping 2.75%. It sure does seem 2016 won’t be any different from 2015.

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Financial new year's resolutions ... and how to keep them

Financial new year's resolutions ... and how to keep them | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Nearly half of the population make New Year's resolutions with the top five resolutions typically being lose weight; get organised; spend less and save more; enjoy life to the fullest and stay fit and healthy. While everyone intends to achieve their resolutions, only 8 per cent of people are actually successful in achieving them.


Here are some tips to help achieve your money resolutions for the year:

  • Have goals - Put your goals on paper and tell people around you about them. This will also help keep you accountable. 
  • Break habits - Look back on where you have spent your money in 2015 and work out where you need to break your financial habits. 
  • Routines and discipline - Having a routine with what you do with your money is key and will add discipline to how your money works for you. 
  • Keep track - Don't forget to monitor your progress each month.
  • Reduce costs - It's time to call your bank and ask for a better deal. Look at bank fees and your home loan interest rate and consider increasing payments or frequency to save interest.
  • Think super- You can't rely on your employer's superannuation contribution to provide the lifestyle that you are probably used to. With this in mind, start adding some more to your superannuation fund early in the year. Seek professional advice of what is going to be best for your personal circumstances.
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Can online banking customers share logins with fin-tech services?

Can online banking customers share logins with fin-tech services? | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

After I wrote about the Acorns micro-investment app last month, a few people asked if they'd be breaking the terms and conditions of their online banking service to use it.


The short answer is yes (usually), but you don't have to, and it might not matter anyway.


It's not just Acorns; with online financial services for consumers proliferating, it's a question that will crop up more regularly.

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Franchise celebrates record-breaking year

Franchise celebrates record-breaking year | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Major franchise Aussie Home Loans had a record-breaking 2015 after posting a record number of mortgage settlements.


Aussie’s 1,350 brokers settled over $21 billion in loan over the calendar year, almost $3 billion higher than 2014. Growth was achieved across the board with Aussie-owned aggregator nMB and Aussie’s retail and mobile broker channels all breaking their previous records.


However, Aussie’s retail channel was the main driver of the group’s record year with an 18% growth in total loan settlements. The retail channel is now settling around $1 billion per month and the chief executive of Aussie, James Symond, says it is showing no signs of slowing.

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9 Ways Goal Focused Investing Works

9 Ways Goal Focused Investing Works | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

It’s common knowledge that investing in the share market is a great way to get ahead financially. But before you put on your investment hat, ask yourself one question – “What exactly am I saving and investing for?” In this blog, Director & CEO of ProAdviser, Nikhil Sreedhar reveals the importance of having a clearly defined goal for investing success:


Goal based investing is not some pseudo, new age way to manage your investment account – it is necessary for maximising the outcomes of investments, including when you can afford to sell down assets and spend on your goals.


For those who are new to goal-based wealth management, goals allow you to bucket your money according to its purpose.

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The technology behind bitcoin is coming to high finance faster than anyone predicted

The technology behind bitcoin is coming to high finance faster than anyone predicted | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

11 top investment banks have used blockchain technology to do mock trades with each other, signalling a big step towards adopting the technology first developed for bitcoin into mainstream finance.


R3, an industry-wide consortium of 42 investment banks looking at the technology, announced in an email that banks “simulated exchanging value, represented by tokenized assets on the distributed ledger without the need for a centralised third party.”


In plain English: banks traded toy money and tokens representing shares and commodities with each other over this new, decentralized network that meant they didn’t need to go through third party settlement or clearing house. The trades were carried out in R3’s lab environment — a safe sandbox for them to experiment in.

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Banking on ethics is risky business

Banking on ethics is risky business | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

There are lots of words that come to mind when people think of big banks, but "ethical" probably isn't one of them.


So, the Big Four are on an unofficial campaign to change this and improve the culture within banking, with hopes of tidying up their public image. Seriously.


After allegations by two sacked ANZ Bank traders that a culture of sex, drugs, and alcohol was tolerated within parts of bank, new chief executive Shayne Elliott is reportedly working up a document that sets out how it will meet community expectations and serve customers.

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Super savings threatened by share market falls

Super savings threatened by share market falls | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

While the almost daily volatility on global share markets is bad enough news for professional investors, it is becoming an increasingly dangerous risk for retirees about to cash in their superannuation nest eggs.


The news is potentially bad for self-funded retirees many of whom are not necessarily equipped to manage through the volatility that seems unlikely to end any time soon.


With local losses of 8 per cent so far this year and $US14.5 trillion erased from global markets in the past seven months, retirees have every reason to worry.

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5 payments trends that are changing how the world pays for everything

5 payments trends that are changing how the world pays for everything | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

How we pay for goods and services has changed dramatically in the past decade, so much so that in 2014 digital transactions surpassed traditional cash transactions. The payments sector is a battleground for companies to carve out a chunk of a growing, stable, and profitable market with an innovative transaction method.

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Small Businesses Are Embracing The Innovation Boom In 2016

Small Businesses Are Embracing The Innovation Boom In 2016 | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it
Australian small business are investing in ways to innovate to order to work smarter, not harder in 2016, according to survey results released last week.The MYOB Business Monitor, a national survey of more than 1000 small/medium enterprise (SME) business owners run by accounting software provider MYOB, showed one in three businesses invested in new computer hardware or software in the last 12 months, and 26 percent bought new machinery or equipment.MYOB Chief technical officer Simon Raik-Allen said in addition to technology, SMEs were also investing in learning and training.
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Ken Henry says NAB has strong capital and is ready to embrace fintech future

Ken Henry says NAB has strong capital and is ready to embrace fintech future | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

National Australia Bank chairman Ken Henry, who as Treasury secretary navigated Australia through the global financial crisis, says the bank's capital levels are already "unquestionably strong", the standard the financial system inquiry (FSI) declared was required for banks to withstand another trauma like the GFC.


Dr Henry, who assumed the NAB chair on December 17 replacing Michael Chaney, also says digital disruption is "a form of innovation that we should embrace" because it will reduce costs and is good for customers.


As part of its exit of Clydesdale Bank, which Dr Henry discussed in an interview with The Australian Financial Review, NAB raised $5.5 billion in fresh equity last year, lifting its common equity tier 1 (CET1) capital to just over 10 per cent.

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How lenders can win the main-bank war

How lenders can win the main-bank war | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

The fight over 'main-bank' customers is heating up as lenders try to eke out every possible advantage over their rivals. Now the battleground is clearer: statistics show if a bank can acquire and retain customers in their mid-20s and 30s it will undoubtedly win the main-bank war.


An RFi Group study on Global Retail Banking shows banks with the largest share of the 25 to 34 age segment are, in every country studied, the banks which end up having the largest main bank share of the whole market.


Customers describe their 'main bank' as their most important financial institution and on average hold more products and have longer relationships than non-main bank customers.

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Nascent financial technology sector stronger in 2016

Nascent financial technology sector stronger in 2016 | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Financial technology has seen big and tremendous growth in 2015.


According to Legal Business , global investments in fintech shot up from US$4 billion (AU$5.6 billion) in 2014 to over US$12 billion (AU$16.8 billion) this 2015, and is expected to reach US$46 billion (AU$64 billion) by 2020. The fintech industry is growing by innovating the financial services sector, and chipping away long, complex processes traditionally employed by financial institutions.


"When we talk to the banks, 2016 is the year of the use case. They all say there is something in fintech that we want to roll out. There will be a lot more launches in 2016. Some will be a success, and some will fall by the wayside," Brian Foran, a partner at Autonomous Research US, was quoted by Business Insider as saying.

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Financial services companies ‘struggle’ to find employees

Financial services companies ‘struggle’ to find employees | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Despite a surge in the number of jobs available across the financial services sector, companies are finding it challenging to source talent to fill them, says specialist recruitment firm Robert Half.


Citing the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Robert Half said there has been a "sharp" increase in roles across the financial services sector in both the August and November 2015 quarters.


"The latest figures from the ABS reveal there has been an increase of more than 55,000 roles across financial and insurance services between May and November 2015," the recruitment firm said.

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