Returns from the Australian banking sector have begun to outperform the previously booming resources sector as global investors began switching into stocks of the big four banking groups in the country.
The stock price of the major banks rose by an average of 6.3 per cent, easily outperforming the 2.5 per cent increase in the natural resource sector.
Australian banks which have been charged in a report by investment bank Merrill Lynch with underestimating the cost of living for their customers, and as a result lending to much as they seek to maintain their market share, have dismissed the accusation.
The report published by Merrill Lynch earlier in the week suggests that Australian lenders have not factored in costs of living at a high enough level, resulting banks lending to customers who may later struggle as expenses begin to rise.
Australian banking major ANZ received a blow to its defence against a class action lawsuit over bank fees it is facing when the presiding federal judge in the case ruled it could not be delayed in light of an internal investigation by the bank into costs.
Justice Michelle Gordon called ANZ’s request to delay legal proceedings by 15 months in order to prepare its defense in the $50 million class action law suit “an abuse of process”.
A technology analysts says Australians may have to brace themselves for as long as 15 years of potential bank IT problems.
Last week Australian banking major NAB experienced yet another technology glitch which deprived its customers of their pay, and affected employers who use NAB and other lenders to process their payrolls.
The results of a new survey suggest that smaller Australian banks including St George and Bankwest perform little better than their big four parents when it comes to customer service for their business clients.
Both banks also underperform when compared to regional banks and other smaller non allied lender, according to DRM business financial services monitor.
Australian banking major NAB has once again been hit by a computer glitch which may leave millions of Australians without their pay this weekend.
The current glitch follows just months after a previous processing failure which resulted in thousands of people unable to access their funds
Australians are increasingly turning away from their banks and opting for mortgage brokers when seeking a home loan according to the results of a new study.
The report, authored by the Market Intelligence Strategy Centre claims that mortgages originated by brokers rose by 7 per cent during the quarter ending December, and stood at $14.18 billion.
According to a report in The Australian, NAB remains keen to acquire the British retail banking assets of Lloyds TSB. Banking regulators have recently ruled that the troubled lender needs to double the number of branches it has put up for sale.
As a result of the ruling, and increase in number of branches now up for sale, it is widely believed that NAB is increasingly keen to pursue a transaction.
Gail Kelly, chief executive of Australian banking major Westpac says she believes that interest rates are likely to remain where they are for the next few months, before another wave of tightening begins sometime in September.
According to Mrs. Kelly, whilst the overall picture of the Australian economy was indeed strong, it is also mixed across various sectors, such as the buoyant resource sector which has been offset by weakness in exports and tourism as a result of the strong Australian dollar.
Goldman Sachs has finally resolved the vexed question of its ownership structure in Australia when it announced last week a deal that will enable the investment bank to take full control of its Australian joint venture.
The deal must be approved by 75 per cent of Goldman Sachs & Partners 130 shareholders, something which is considered a formality when shareholders meet in a few weeks to vote on the deal, after it recommended by the Australian members of the Goldman Sachs & Partners board.