Prime Minister Julia Gillard says that Treasury Secretary Ken Henry will leave his post in the new year and will be replaced by Martin Parkinson on March 7th 2011.
Dr. Parkinson who has previously served as deputy secretary in the Treasury, is assuming the top civil service job in the Treasury after heading up the Department of Climate Change, a role he has had since December 2007.
A new set of proposals introduced by the Federal government will give shareholders far more power over the level of executive pay packages.
According to the proposal, shareholders will now have the option of voting out company directors if at two or more consecutive annual general meetings 25 per cent or more of shareholders vote no to the company’s compensation report.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Reserve Bank of Australia are set to establish a set of new procedures that will enable Australian financial institutions to borrow money during emergencies.
APRA and the central bank announced the new system in response to proposals for banking reform made by the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision (Basel III).
The new system would have the central bank provide financial institutions with contingency loans that would bridge any shortfall they face between quality liquid assets which include government bonds, and the new liquidity requirements imposed by (Basel III).
Businessman Dick Smith has branded Australia’s super wealthy as being “appalling and greedy” after many refused to donate 20 per cent of their income to charity for the holiday season.
Mr. Smith was particularly scathing of bank bosses, all of whom he wrote to a couple of weeks ago urging the chief executives of Australia’s four largest banks to donate a fifth of their income.
According to the minutes of the most recent board meeting of the Reserve Bank of Australia, the decision by the central bank to hold interest rates steady was driven by restrain in both household consumption and borrowing.
The notes from the meeting however failed to indicate the central bank’s bias on interest rate policy over the next few months and only suggests that the RBA was content with the current interest rate level.
Mike Smith, chief executive of Australian banking major ANZ is the latest banking chieftain to rail against bank bashing, once again justifying ANZ’s interest rate policy as one being driven by the “permanently higher” costs of doing business.
Mr. Smith made his comments during the lenders annual general meeting last week and followed similar comments made by ANZ chairman John Morschel who defended ANZ’s decision to lift its interest rates by 120 basis points over and above official interest rate rises since the start of the global financial crisis.
ANZ chairman John Morschel says that he believes that Australia’s economic recovery is set to be as volatile as anything in the United States and Europe.
Mr. Morschel made his comments during the lenders annual general meeting and added that issues stemming from global financial crisis would continue to resonate throughout the global economy.
Australian banking major NAB says that the political backlash against lenders for lifting their interest rates beyond official rate hikes is both unjustified and unfair.
NAB’s Chairman Michael Chaney, speaking during the lenders annual shareholders meeting said that the banking industry was a major contributor towards helping reduce the government deficit, having paid the federal government approximately $5 billion in fees for access to the federal government wholesale funding guarantee.
Australian banking major CBA has become the latest lender to face technology problems after revealing that it had faced account processing problems on Tuesday, which disrupted its ATM network and wiped customer accounts. CBA says the problem has been resolved.
CBA said the reason behind its issue was similar to the reason behind last month’s problems faced by NAB, which was caused by a file processing error. The lender confirmed on Tuesday that the error had resulted in “minor, short-term disruption to CommBiz and NetBank customers.”
John Symond chairman of non bank financial lender Aussie Home Loan has criticized Federal treasurer Wayne Swan’s proposals for banking reform designed to stimulate competition within the industry as being pathetic.
Mr. Symond who was appearing before the Senate inquiry into the banking industry accused the government of a policy of traditionally favouring major lenders over non bank financials.