Banking and Financial Services
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Victorian Senate candidate to take aim at financial services

Victorian Senate candidate to take aim at financial services | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Naomi Halpern, a victim of bad financial advice who was caught up in the collapse of forestry investment scheme Timbercorp, will take the fight up to financial sector and the corporate watchdog at the next Federal Election.


Ms Halpern has been named as the lead Victorian Senate candidate for Nick Xenophon's new political party set up by the Independent South Australian Senator who has been a vocal campaigner for cleaning up the financial advice sector.


In her first interview since being pre-selected for The Xenophon Team, Ms Halpern took a swipe at the Australian Securities and Investment Commission handling of financial collapses and white collar crime.


"There needs to be an appropriate organisation to investigate complaints of white collar crime," Ms Halpern said. "ASIC has really failed. They've dropped the ball on this."

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Maximum loan sizes slashed: how banks are cracking down on borrowers

Maximum loan sizes slashed: how banks are cracking down on borrowers | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Major banks have lopped tens of thousands of dollars off how much they are prepared to lend home buyers reflecting tougher lending standards as property prices weaken.


A couple with combined income of $120,000 purchasing an investment property will have to make do with up to $80,000 less from a major bank than they would have had a year ago.


Tighter lending policies are also affecting owner-occupiers. The maximum loan size for the same hypothetical couple buying a home to live in has fallen by up to $65,000, according to calculations by mortgage broker Homeloanexperts.com.au.


The sharp decline in customers "borrowing power" highlights the impact of tighter bank credit policies, which were introduced during 2015 amid regulators' concerns that mortgage lending had become too risky.

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Be Your Own Bank: The New Uber-Style Disruptors For Australia In 2016

Be Your Own Bank: The New Uber-Style Disruptors For Australia In 2016 | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

As ride-sharing app Uber begins to become legal in states and territories across Australia, futurists are looking to the next big disruptive technology set to transform the nation in 2016.


Futurist Ross Dawson told The Huffington Post Australia one area in for a big shake up was banking.


"Traditionally, if you had some money, you could put it in the bank and they'd give you interest, and if you needed money, you'd borrow from the bank with an associated borrowing rate.


"But there's a big difference between the bank's savings rate and borrowing rate so people are increasingly cutting out the middle man."


In what's called peer to peer banking, everyday people loan their savings to borrowers, and they pocket the interest.


"The idea is they get a slightly better return on their savings and the people borrowing get a slightly better rate," Dawson said.

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How to avoid Australia’s outrageous ATM fees of up to $6

How to avoid Australia’s outrageous ATM fees of up to $6 | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

TRAVELLERS are being stung up to $6 just to check their bank balances, in the latest outrageous example of ATM fee gouging.


Machines at airports, cruise ships and overseas locations are by far the most expensive places to get cash out, exclusive ING Direct data obtained by News Corp shows.


The study also found the average ATM fee has shot up from $2.10 in 2013 to $2.20 as customers continue to be stung for checking balances or withdrawing cash.


Aside from one of the biggest cruise ship providers slugging customers $6 to use on-board ATMs, airports are also gouging the unprepared traveller — hitting them with a two to five per cent charge for using their machines.

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Jobs growth set to continue

Jobs growth set to continue | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Jobs growth in Australia's financial services sector is set to continue in 2016 giving employees a wealth of employment options.


Financial services recruitment firm, Robert Half, reported that 55,000 new roles were created in the second half of 2015, in the financial services and insurance sectors.


Robert Half director, Andrew Morris, forecast that financial services businesses would continue to grow in 2016 creating more opportunities for employees, following the publication of Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reporting a 14 per cent increase in jobs in the November 2015 quarter compared with the corresponding period on 2014, on a seasonally adjusted basis.


"2016 looks to be a strong start for those looking to enter the market or find a new role in finance as the last six months has seen significant growth in new roles right across the finance market," Morris said. "Despite the increase in jobs across the sector, companies still find it challenging to source financial talent. It is a great time though for people looking to start their careers in accounting or finance roles."

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Watchdog moves on Henry Kaye-linked scheme

Watchdog moves on Henry Kaye-linked scheme | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

A massive land banking scam linked to notorious property spruiker Henry Kaye is in tatters after the corporate regulator moved to wind up housing projects in Melbourne's outer west and Bendigo.

In a statement issued on Friday afternoon, ASIC said it was concerned the companies behind the two schemes were insolvent and that investors who had bought lots or options may have been mislead.

The two projects – among about 10 such schemes in Victoria and Queensland – are known as Foscari in Wyndham and Hermitage in Bendigo.

The ASIC statement noted that Foscari and Hermitage projects were not close to completion and "appear to be incapable of completion due to the financial position of the development companies".

The focus of a Fairfax investigation early this year, the Foscari project had been spruiked as an "iconic, architectural masterpiece" by shady marketing firm Market First. But years after it was flogged in manipulative and misleading seminars it remains a disused rubbish dump in Palmers Road, Truganina.

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A banking dream team is looking at technology that could 'impact financial services the way the Internet changed media'

A banking dream team is looking at technology that could 'impact financial services the way the Internet changed media' | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

The banking dream team looking at blockchain — the technology that underpins bitcoin — is finally complete.


R3 on Thursday announced that 12 more banks have joined its project, taking the total number of banks signed up to 42. The doors are now closed on the first round of banking membership.


Here are the latest inductees:

  • Bank of Montreal
  • Danske Bank
  • Intesa Sanpaolo
  • Natixis
  • Nomura
  • Northern Trust
  • OP Financial Group
  • Banco Santander
  • Scotiabank
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  • U.S. Bank
  • Westpac Bank


R3 is the startup convening the banking industry to develop sector-wide standards and use cases for the blockchain.


What’s blockchain? Blockchain is a name for the software underpinning bitcoin that uses complex cryptography and distributed ledgers — copies of records in multiple places — to regulate, record, and enable transactions using bitcoin.


Right now, if you pay someone in pounds, one bank will have to get in touch with the other and tell them to update the balance. Then at the end of the day bulk transactions are moved between banks, via an intermediary, to make sure everyone has the right amount of cash.  With the blockchain, all that hassle is wiped out — you just pay another person directly into a digital wallet.

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Financial system policy reforms stuck in the Canberra mud

Financial system policy reforms stuck in the Canberra mud | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Those searching for the reason why the regulation of Australia's financial system is not improving as fast as it should need look no further than the big white building on Capital Hill in Canberra.


Inside that building are lawmakers dragging the chain on passing relatively straightforward legislative reforms that would significantly improve the functioning of the financial system.


It is notable that only a small number of the key policy reforms do not have bipartisan support.  In other words, we cannot point the finger at that motley bunch of independent senators who join with the Labor party and the Greens to block legislation.


The most obvious policy reforms stuck in the morass of sticky brown parliamentary mud is in relation to the protection of client monies. This issue was brought to the fore with the collapse of MF Global in 2011.

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Big banks opt for Android over Apple Pay

Big banks opt for Android over Apple Pay | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Australian banks have snubbed Apple in favour of Google as six declared on Tuesday they will go with Android Pay in the first half of 2016, while Apple is salvaging its bid to grab a share of the banks' dwindling merchant card fees.


The deal with Google, announced in a blog post by director, product management Pali Bhat, will mean Australia becomes the second country where Android Pay will be rolled out after it was launched in the US in May.


ANZ Bank, Westpac – and its subsidiaries Bank of Melbourne, Bank of South Australia and St George – Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, ING DIRECT, Macquarie Bank and Cuscal, which is a card issuer and processor for 70 lenders, will be the first to offer Visa, MasterCard and eftpos on Android Pay.

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Basel 4 could lead to rates rise on low-deposit home loans

Basel 4 could lead to rates rise on low-deposit home loans | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

The looming regulatory reforms known as Basel 4 will have a far-reaching impact on the lending strategy of Australian banks and could make it harder, or more expensive, for first-time home buyers to get a mortgage, the head of global financial services at prestigious London law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer says.


The warning to borrowers comes as economists at the powerful Bank for International Settlements found over the weekend there is "considerable" scope to toughen global rules that limit the leverage of global banks, in an attempt to constrain risk-taking during booms.


The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision met in New York on Monday and Tuesday last week and is preparing to release a package of changes to bank modelling, which analysts are calling Basel 4, before Christmas.

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Hopes high innovation statement can lift fintech

Hopes high innovation statement can lift fintech | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

The financial technology community is eager to see if financial services will be called out in the innovation statement, reflecting the current surge in investment and activity in fintech start-ups and their potential to enhance customer service and reduce costs.


The government has set itself a high bar to hurdle as it releases its innovation statement on Monday: the package will be "a complete game-changer for our country", Assistant Innovation Minister Wyatt Roy has said, while Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promised it will contain "a very large number of substantial measures". 


Tax reform for start-up investors seems likely to receive bipartisan support, after Labor pledged on Friday to give angel investors upfront tax deductions, capital gains tax exemptions and an allowance for realised losses to be deducted against wage and salary income.

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Treasurer Scott Morrison says to forget about relying on the age pension

Treasurer Scott Morrison says to forget about relying on the age pension | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Treasurer Scott Morrison has put ordinary Australian workers on notice that they should no longer expect to receive an age pension from the government when they retire.


Meanwhile, the very wealthy have been warned generous superannuation tax breaks are set to be reined in.  In a wide-ranging speech on Friday, Mr Morrison outlined the government's vision for an overhaul of the country's retirement income system designed to ease pressure on future federal budgets: by both reducing expenditure on welfare payments, and limiting the amount of revenue forgone through tax concessions.


The Treasurer said government would act next year to alter the Superannuation Act to clarify that the purpose of the country's compulsory savings system was to enable most Australians to enjoy the "worthy prize" of an "independent retirement".


"Becoming a self-funded retiree, I think, is one of the most important objectives of any Australian … it means you have choices and control over your life and your care," Mr Morrison said.

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Increasing number of mortgage borrowers making minimum only repayments

Increasing number of mortgage borrowers making minimum only repayments | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

A GROWING number of cash-strapped mortgage customers are making minimum-only repayments on their loans raising concerns they are carrying too much debt.


Despite the nation’s cash rate resting at a historical low of two per cent, multiple lenders have revealed they have seen an upwards trend in borrowers making the lowest repayments possible on their loans.


One of the nation’s largest banks has recorded significant increases in customers making minimum principal and interest repayments, shifting from 32 per cent of their customers doing this in February to an alarming 68 per cent now.

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Why are your savings sitting with the big four banks?

Why are your savings sitting with the big four banks? | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Australians love the idea of "free money". Sydneysiders commuting during their lunch hour to save money on their Opal card are testament to this fact. Surprisingly though, more than $600 billion of the $750 billion that Australian households have in cash deposits is in one of the big four banks.


Why do I say this is surprising? Because one of the simplest, risk-free ways to make money is to ensure you get the highest interest rate on cash you have sitting in an online savings account, term deposit or other "high interest" account.


The introduction of the Financial Claims Scheme following the global financial crisis more or less levelled the playing field when it comes to the risk of not getting your money back. So as long as you deposit $250,000 or less, the federal government stands behind it.

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Banks use your personal data to stave off competitors

Banks use your personal data to stave off competitors | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Arriving at the mechanic to pick up the car from a service, your phone buzzes with a text message. It's the bank, and it is getting in touch to offer you a loan for the $1500 repair bill you're about to get.


The bank's algorithms have calculated an interest rate which, based on your previous borrowing patterns and its view of you as a credit risk, it thinks you may accept.


If you want the loan, you can tap your phone and the money will be wired to the garage in seconds.  It may sound far-fetched, but transactions like this are probably only a few years away, as banks eye the huge potential to enmesh themselves more deeply in consumers' lives, and fight off lower-cost competitors.


Thanks to advances in computing power and customers' embrace of digital finance, banks know more than ever about what their customers are up to: whether it's browsing the web, shopping online, visiting the mall, or interacting on social media.

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THE FINTECH ECOSYSTEM REPORT: The fight-or-flight moment in financial services is here

THE FINTECH ECOSYSTEM REPORT: The fight-or-flight moment in financial services is here | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Technology is upending workflow and processes in the financial services industry. Tasks once handled with paper money, bulky computers, and human interaction are now being completed entirely on digital interfaces. Given how pervasive financial services are across the globe, the disruption opportunity for fintech startups is massive.


Almost every type of financial activity — from banking to payments to wealth management and more — is being re-imagined by startups, some of which have garnered blockbuster investments. Meanwhile, the old guard is trying to solve a puzzle presented by the fintech revolution: How can they benefit from the rise of digital, and how can they avoid obsolescence?


In a new report from BI Intelligence, we provide a detailed overview of the fintech ecosystem, explain the challenges and opportunities for incumbents and startups and evaluate the key areas of finance being disrupted by new technologies. We also determine which financial sectors are most vulnerable, which are still shielded from immediate disruption, and what that means for new entrants and financial giants.

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Room for improvement on deposit rules, bank watchdog says

Room for improvement on deposit rules, bank watchdog says | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Banks have inconsistently applied a key aspect of new rules designed to make lenders more resilient during a bout of financial turmoil, the regulator says.


The finding comes as banks prepare for another wave of rule changes in 2016. One major broker predicts Bank of Queensland will be better placed than rivals to deal with the new round of global capital rules, known as Basel IV.  As part of the response to the global financial crisis, in 2015 banks were for the first time required to hold enough liquid assets to cover a 30-day run.


The rule, known as the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR), affects bank deposits because it means banks' internal models must recognise that some deposits are less "sticky" and more likely to leave in a crisis.  However, in a sign that banks have more work to do on this front, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority executive Charles Littrell last week wrote to banks identifying a range of inconsistencies in how the banks were classifying retail and small business deposits for the LCR.


After reviewing 14 large banks and other authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs), the regulator highlighted several areas where there was room for improvement.

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Top 5 Hubs to Watch in 2016

Top 5 Hubs to Watch in 2016 | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Believe it or not, Australia has over 50 active startup hubs. With this meteoric rise comes large expectations for these spaces to start fostering the enterprises of the future.


With more and more funds being invested in these hubs by the wider business community. OmniChannel Media takes a look at the top 5 tech startup hubs to keep an eye on in 2016.


  • Stone & Chalk, SydneySydney’s first hub for FinTech startups
  • York Butter Factory, Melbourne - ideal for startups with expertise in FinTech, HealthTech, Big Data, IoT, and Cloud products
  • River City Labs, Brisbane - the hub has already organised to relocate to a bigger space, taking a page out of the York Butter Factory book and moving into the heritage-listed TCB Building
  • Tank Stream Labs, Sydney - Working out of Bridge Street in Sydney and made up of 252 members, 59 startups and fuelled by 106,408 cups of coffee
  • Fishburners, Sydney - driven by the burning desire to gather Australia’s best startups and foster innovation in Sydney’s tech space
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Android Pay Vs. Apple Pay In Australia: Android Wins But Which Banks Are Supporting It?

Android Pay Vs. Apple Pay In Australia: Android Wins But Which Banks Are Supporting It? | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Android Pay will soon be accepted by major Australian banks for payments made on mobile devices. This will put the Apple Pay system further into a corner. Apple shares went down by 1.77% after the news came out.


Google said big Australian banks, such as Westpac Banking Corp, ANZ Banking Group, and Macquarie signed up for Android Pay with companies like McDonald’s and Dominos Pizza. More than sixty percent of all card transactions in Australia are now contactless, ANZ bank said in a statement announcing the Android Pay tie-up.


“Aussies will be able to use Android Pay everywhere contactless payments are accepted,” an official Google statement said. “You will also be able to use Android Pay for fast checkout within apps.”


Foad Fadaghi, managing director of technology research firm Telsyte, said, “It’s a big bargaining chip for [Australian] banks to force a better deal with Apple.”

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Nicholas Moore spearheads Macquarie's global growth

Nicholas Moore spearheads Macquarie's global growth | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

Nicholas Moore has managed to accomplish what few in the global investment banking industry have been able to pull off in the last 12 months.


The Macquarie Group chief executive is on track to return the company to its pre-financial crisis glory with the bank's annual profits on track to break the $2 billion mark for the first time in its history.


Moore does not make The Australian Financial Review's list of 2015's top business people just for Macquarie's strong financial performance in a single year, but for overseeing a transformation that means the company makes more money offshore than almost any other Australian firm.


"What he has been able to do is shape the organisation into a global organisation which is really hard. We don't have that many global organisations of scale in this country," says former Macquarie executive Michael Carapiet, who worked with Moore for 20 years.

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Insurance you started a long time ago is too valuable to drop

Insurance you started a long time ago is too valuable to drop | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

When younger people start working, many join large super funds such as industry funds and other public funds that offer potentially attractive and quite generous insurance benefits that can be quite valuable financial arrangements.


How such entitlements can be used long-term is definitely worth exploring as a strategy by smart investors who might think about using their industry and public fund savings as a stepping stone to either a self-managed super fund or consolidating it with another fund at a future date.


When they do think about self-managed super, many are likely to have accumulated a reasonable balance. So one consideration they should also have given some thought to is setting themselves up with the best possible insurance benefit by being aware of what their industry or other fund offers.

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Banking's 'Uber moment' is already happening -- 100,000 bankers lost their jobs in 2015

Banking's 'Uber moment' is already happening  --  100,000 bankers lost their jobs in 2015 | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

The “Uber moment” in finance that the former CEO of Barclays warned about recently is already happening — 11 big banks have cut a combined 10% of their staff this year.


Analysis by the Financial Times shows almost 100,000 banking jobs were cut this year, equivalent to 10% of the combined staff of the 11 big European and US banks that announced cuts.


They include HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Credit Suisse. Barclays and BNP Paribas are expected to add to cuts early in the new year.


The analysis comes just weeks after Antony Jenkins, who until July was CEO of Barclays, warned in a speech that up to 50% of banking jobs could be replaced by apps and algorithms over the next 10 years.  Jenkins’ argument rests on the rise of fintech — financial technology — startups who do things like payments, lending, and investments in a smarter, cheaper, and often faster way.  Jenkins believes fintech startups will “disrupt” financial services in the same way that Uber has disrupted the taxi industry. That will squeeze profit margins, forcing banks to cut staff, and also force them to compete on technology, another change that will reduce headcount.

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ASIC remakes underlying investment class orders

ASIC remakes underlying investment class orders | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released a consultation paper to remake three class orders that provide relief for dealing in underlying investments that are due to ‘sunset', or expire, in April 2017.


The corporate regulator is seeking to remake all three class orders into a single instrument so that the relief in each class order can continue beyond the expiration date in a new legislative instrument.


ASIC is looking to remake the following class orders:

• Class Order [CO 02/1161] Licensing relief (dealing) for public offer superannuation entities;

• Class Order [CO 02/1073] Financial Services Guide: Dealing in underlying investments by responsible entities; and

• Class Order [CO 02/1074] Financial Services Guide: Dealing in underlying investments by superannuation trustees.


ASIC would also like to update the name of the legislative instrument, simplify the drafting for better clarity, and update legislative references and definitions.

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MyState Bank says fintechs will struggle against small lenders

MyState Bank says fintechs will struggle against small lenders | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

MyState Bank chief Melos Sulicich says fintech upstarts will soon struggle because ever cheaper financial technology means smaller banks that already have banking licences and thousands of customers will copy them or take them over.


Tasmania based MyState is one of only two listed banks outside the majors and regional banks. It has grown its loan book by about 16 per cent a year in the past two years – much faster than the majors or regional banks – after buying The Rock building society, based in Rockhampton.


Mr Melos says it is expanding on the mainland via brokers and online, and will have the capability to originate and fully settle mortgages online by the end of 2016.


"We will have the ability to originate a new customer online in real time in 2016 and move into risk-based pricing," he said.

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ASIC slaps Morgans with tighter rules

ASIC slaps Morgans with tighter rules | Banking and Financial Services | Scoop.it

The corporate watchdog has slapped Morgans with new conditions on the stockbroker's Australian financial services license after a number of breaches.


The action by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission follows concerns relating to Morgan's arrangements for monitoring its representatives after "serious breach incidents" in recent years.


ASIC said it was also concerned about Morgans' internal controls for handling confidential market-sensitive information such as restrictions on staff trading, information barriers and managing conflicts of interest in relation to corporate transactions.


Morgans is a well known name in the financial services sector, and offers traditional stockbroking and wealth management, as well as financial advice to more than 60,000 clients.

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