Australian banking major NAB, became the latest lender to warn that political meddling could result in higher fees and charges, which could slow economic growth if lenders are forced to implement government reform proposals designed to stimulate competition within the Australian banking sector.
Australia’s fourth largest lender on Tuesday unveiled first quarter cash earnings of $1.3 billion, up 18 per cent from the same time period in the previous year.
Australian investment banking major Macquarie Group downgraded guidance on its full year profits in light of subdued global financial markets.
On Tuesday the investment bank said that despite second half profits ending March likely to clock an impressive 35 per cent gain, earnings would decline by 5 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.
Australians are likely to have to pay higher home insurance premiums as insurers seek to recoup some of the $1.6 billion in claims they will have to pay out as a result of the flooding in Queensland and cyclone Yasi warns QBE Insurance chief executive Frank O’Halloran.
Australian insurers face further pricing pressure as global re-insurers demand higher premiums for substantially increasing their exposure to the risk of Australian natural disasters.
Australian banking major ANZ, says it is cutting 45 jobs as part of a restructuring program which will see 20 back office and operational positions cut, with a further 25 positions in Australia, New Zealand and Bangalore also being affected.
“ANZ is completing a small restructure in its retail distribution area with about 20 back office and operational roles being made redundant,” said a spokesman for the bank.
Australia’s largest banks intend to begin a fierce lobbying campaign designed to pressure the government to stick to its commitment over not introducing new taxes on the financial services industry, or yield to popular resentment against super sized profits they generate.
One of the options the Treasury has examined imposing a tax on “excess” bank profits in its bid to return the government to budget surplus by the 2012 to 2013 deadline.
Australian banking major National Australia Bank, which raised its interest rates by less than its big four rivals has managed to capitalize on that differential by increasing its mortgage lending market share, though as the expense of losing some of its deposits.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) published December statistics earlier this week which showed that NAB has managed to capture some market share at the expense of its rivals with its “Fair Value” banking campaign.
The internet banking portal of Australian banking major National Australia Bank is once again experiencing technical difficulties and has crashed, weeks after a software glitch in its systems processes caused chaos for thousands of customers.
“NAB internet banking is currently experiencing technical difficulties,” the site told visitors. “We are investigating the cause of the interruption and will restore the service as quickly as possible.”