BFCSA Blog

Led by award-winning consumer advocate Denise Brailey, BFCSA (Inc) are a group of people who are concerned about the appalling growth of Loan Fraud around the world. BFCSA (Inc) is a not for profit organisation in the spirit of global community concern and justice.

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Banks set for another challenging year Australian Financial Review 09 Jan 2019 5:33 PM Sarah Turner   Investors should prepare for another "very challenging" year for the banking sector, according to a fund manager, which puts the prospect of a banking crisis at between 40 per cent and 50 per cent. The S&P/ASX 200 Banks Index dropped 16.5 per cent over 2018, taking the sector to a level not seen since early 2013. JCP Investment Partners continues to steer clear of bank stocks, and believes there are fairly high chances of a banking crisis and adverse credit cycle emerging. "With negative asymmetric risk around a credit crunch and therefore capital risk, the environment for the Australian banking sector seems at best, very challenging," JCP wrote in an investor update. If JCP is right, it means last year's royal commission into the financial services sector, tighter funding markets and falling house prices...
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Labor negative gearing, CGT policies 'sound', KPMG Economics says Australian Financial Review 09 Jan 2019 11:59 PM Michael Bleby   Labor's negative gearing and capital gains tax policies would need to be introduced carefully but are "sound", KPMG Economics says in a new report on the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets. The opposition's plan to curb the tax breaks allowed on investor purchases of established dwellings and to halve the 50 per cent deduction on capital gains allowed all across asset sales would be unlikely to distort the mix of investments across asset classes, KPMG chief economist Brendan Rynne said. And even though the policies could affect the market of investment for rental housing in the short term, they were sound, Mr Rynne said in comments accompanying the report Housing affordability: Sydney and Melbourne housing market update. The report notes that superannuation funds are already exempt from the Labor policy. "These...
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Productivity Commission super report: 31 recommendations take aim at APRA, ASIC Australian Financial Review 10 Jan 2019 12:01 AM Lucas Baird   The Productivity Commission has released a major report into Australia's superannuation system. These are its recommendations. 1.       Employees should only ever be defaulted into a superannuation account if they are new to the workforce or don't have an existing account. 2.       Employees without a superannuation account should be presented 10 "best in show" funds to choose from within 60 days. If no choice is made after that time they will defaulted into one of these 10. 3.       The "best in show" super funds shortlist will be judged by an independent expert panel to ensure they deliver the best outcomes for their potential members. 4.       All APRA-regulated super funds to undertake an annual outcomes test for their MySuper and choice offerings to be measured against clear benchmarks. When a fund...
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Productivity Commission super report: APRA's ability to govern super questioned Australian Financial Review 10 Jan 2019 12:00 AM Jonathan Shapiro   The Productivity Commission says a review of the prudential regulator's capabilities is overdue as it identified a litany of failures relating to oversight of the $2.7 trillion superannuation system. In a scathing assessment, the Commission said the approach of regulators had been "inappropriate and inadequate" for superannuation products. "Members would have a realistic expectation that government and regulators would ensure their fund is looking after them," the Commission's report on the superannuation system released on Thursday said. "But this expectation would have been sadly misguided – with no regulatory disposition nor effective mechanism in place for weeding out underperforming funds and products." The Productivity Commission said a capability review into the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority was "a high priority" and should examine whether it was sufficient resources, staff and funding...
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Property borrowers brace for a new round of rate hikes as funding costs rise Australian Financial Review 09 Jan 2019 11:16 AM Duncan Hughes   Borrowers are bracing for a new round of interest rate rises as Bank of Queensland and Homestart Finance buckle to funding pressure and hike lending rates, slash discounts and other credit costs. Other lenders are trying to postpone out-of-cycle rises by shaving deposit rates and restructuring loan books in a bid to cushion the impact of rising funding costs and pressure on bank deposits. But they are being squeezed by increasing regulatory costs, falling demand for lending products, partly as a result of much tougher lending standards, and rising funding costs. Interbank rates, which are interest rates on short-term loans between banks, have jumped more than 32 basis points in the past 11 months. Bank of Queensland triggered a round of rate rises late last year...
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ACCC warns 'arrogant' business sector of huge fines Australian Financial Review 06 Jan 2019 11:45 PM James Thomson   EXCLUSIVE  Competition regulator Rod Sims has slammed the corporate sector as arrogant and warned companies that mislead consumers to expect fines in the hundreds of millions of dollars this year. A fired-up Mr Sims also predicted the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will increasingly clash with companies over merger proposals, and accused dealmakers of lying about wider benefits of potential takeovers. The ACCC chairman said the Hayne royal commission into misconduct in the financial services sector and other scandals had exposed the business community for losing focus on their customers. "I think there's an element of arrogance about corporate Australia, that they are in a privileged position and they can do as they like in almost an unfettered way," Mr Sims told The Australian Financial Review. "They just need to come down...
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ASX proposes sweeping regulatory changes to stop dodgy listings Australian Financial Review 06 Jan 2019 11:00 PM William McInnes   EXCLUSIVE  The Australian Securities Exchange is pursuing its hard line against Chinese firms, expelling a number from the exchange and proposing to impose new rules to punish dodgy listed companies and rule breakers. China Dairy, Traditional Therapy Clinics, Winha Commerce, Wolf Petroleum, Ding Sheng Xin Finance and Premiere Eastern Energy were all delisted by the ASX in 2018 and there could be several more expelled under the proposed changes. ASX has also been increasing scrutiny of companies proposing to list on the local market. The reasons companies are delisted include failing to lodge accounts, corporate governance problems, failure to respond to ASX queries, breaches of listing rules and long-term suspension of shares. Among the ASX's proposed changes is tightening the time companies can be suspended from trading, introducing a public censure...
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Macquarie Private Wealth hit by mass adviser exodus Australian Financial Review 06 Jan 2019 11:00 PM Sarah Thompson, Misa Han   The private wealth division of Macquarie Group has taken a hit after more than 20 advisers left amid concerns about the group's narrow focus on wealthy clients and its new fee and remuneration model. The Australian Financial Review can reveal more than 20 advisers, many of whom were key revenue writers, jumped ship to rival firms across Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra on the Friday before Christmas. Sources said the key reason for the departures was Macquarie's shift in gear last year to merge its private bank and private wealth businesses and focus exclusively on wealthier clients after the Hayne royal commission revealed industry-wide troubles in the retail advice sector. Under the new rules, new and existing clients have to have at least $1 million to invest or bring...
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New apartment settlements to increase pressure on Melbourne, Sydney prices Australian Financial Review 06 Jan 2019 5:55 PM Michael Bleby   New Melbourne apartments, which fell up to 20 per cent in value upon settlement in 2018, will come under further price pressure this year as a wave of newly completed units hits the market, adding to the pressure of tight credit curbs and uncertainty about property investment tax policy. The number of newly completed high-rise apartments – those in buildings of four storeys or higher – will jump to 17,000 in the Victorian capital this calendar year from 13,500 last year, consultancy BIS Oxford Economics expects. Melbourne's rising completions, along with levels that remain elevated in Sydney, will keep the pressure on apartment prices as completing projects reach settlement and banks reassess values. In Sydney the outlook is similar, with the 2018 total of 28,000 completions set to tick only...
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Australia braces for hard landing in housing market The Irish Times6 January 2019 Padraig Collins   Australia has not seen a recession since the June quarter of 1991 but if house prices can be a harbinger of economic wellbeing, storm clouds are gathering. The country’s 109 consecutive quarters of growth is a world record and has seen it weather the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, the collapse of the dotcom bubble in the early 2000s and the global financial crisis of the late 2000s. Even the end of Australia’s once-in-a-generation mining boom in 2014 did not tip the country into recession. But Sydney house prices have recently recorded their biggest monthly fall for 14 years. Melbourne is close behind and the OECD has told the Australian government to prepare for a hard landing in the housing market. More than $9 billion Australian dollars (€5.7 billion) has been wiped off...
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HARASSMENT BY LLOYDS BANK STAFF - JAIME GRAHAM    Dear Lloyds Please will you inform your clients that their attack on my personal account which became distressed due to their Kent Commercial staffs fraudulent actions and orchestration in collusion with staff orchestrating fraud at Bristol BSU now has to be treated as harassment.  Lloyds Bank know the matter is in the High Court. Instead they have written yesterday and phoned me twice today. This is not acceptable and just adds to the attack by Martin Tyler, Steven Hodge, Clive Morris, Andy Jones and others of which Martin Tyler made threats to break us and as you know I was stabbed at our property by delivery reps for the prior lawyers (Ashfords LLP) and your clients.  Please confirm who the Senior Manager in charge of Jaime Graham, Director of Credit Operations? who has provoked this latest attack on us. Jaime Graham has...
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Chinese look to exit apartment projects The Australian 12:00am January 4, 2019 Lisa Allen, Ben Wilmot   EXCLUSIVE  Scores of east coast property development sites, some able to take 400-unit apartment towers, will hit the market within months as Chinese developers crippled by a lack of finance are forced to sell. The move comes as Chinese investors are pulling back from some of the world’s key commercial real estate markets, as Beijing continues tight restrictions on capital outflows. Matrix founder Andrew Antonas, one of the largest sellers of residential development sites in NSW, has at least 12 large-scale residential development sites already on the market. “Our phones started to run hot from about August onwards with predominantly Chinese owners wanting to sell their residential sites which they had planned to develop,” Mr Antonas said. “We are already talking to Chinese owners with sites that can take more than 300-400 apartments —...
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Building veteran fears run of ‘Opals’ The Australian 12:00am January 4, 2019 Eli Greenblat, Sam Buckingham-Jones   Former chairman of Australian multinational developer Lendlease David Crawford fears there may be many more buildings across Australia with serious defects like those found in Sydney’s Opal Tower, after a recent construction boom that has seen new players flood the sector with questionable projects. Mr Crawford, who has almost five decades of experience in the business sector and is chairman of Melbourne Airport, believes builders had been pressured to complete projects in the current boom, which might have affected the quality of their work. “I suspect there probably are more, I mean I only know what I have read in the press, but it does seem as though there are a number of issues which haven’t been addressed and you have got to ask yourself why,’’ Mr Crawford said. His comments come as the...
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ASIC unhappy with court ruling on Westpac’s financial services breach The Australian 12:00am January 4, 2019 Ben Butler   The corporate regulator is considering whether to appeal against a Federal Court judgment that Westpac breached its financial services licence by asking customers to roll their super into an account at the bank but stopped short of finding it gave them personal advice. In the judgment handed down on December 21, judge Jacqueline Gleeson said the phone campaign, in which customers were urged to move their superannuation into accounts at Westpac subsidiary BT, breached the bank’s overarching obligation to provide financial services “efficiently, honestly and fairly”. However, she stopped short of finding any of the 15 case studies advanced by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission were provided with personal advice, which would have resulted in further breaches of the law. Westpac escaped without a ­financial penalty because, in a legislative anomaly...
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Stiffer penalties won’t bring bankers to account The Australian 12:00am January 4, 2019 Mirko Bagaric Mirko Bagaric is director of the Evidence-based Sentencing and Criminal Justice Project at Swinburne University.   Increased penalties for drug ­offences did nothing to reduce the incidence of drug trafficking. Many drug offenders now receive longer prison terms than mur­derers. Yet illicit drugs are available on almost any street corner. For the same reason, increasing penalties for financial crime will do nothing to improve the ­extent to which banks comply with the law. The final report by the banking royal commission will be one of the legal and economic landmarks of the year. The royal commission will prove to be a profound social and policy failure if the key or even a major recommendation that stems from it is to pass laws that make it easier to lock up dishonest bankers. There are already ample state...
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Regulation slows loans, says Westpac bank chief Lindsay ­Maxsted The Australian 12:00am January 4, 2019 Eli Greenblat   Westpac chairman Lindsay ­Maxsted has warned that a rising tide of banking regulation, ­including excessive restrictions on new loans in the wake of the royal commission, is tightening credit and causing the pace of lending to homeowners and businesses to slow. After The Australian yesterday revealed Josh Frydenberg’s call for the banks to reignite “affordable and timely’’ lending in the wake of the property market’s worst year since the global financial crisis, Mr Maxsted defended Westpac against criticism that it wasn’t lending at the same rate it had in the past. He said Westpac’s books were “open’’ but there were limitations on demands from borrowers as people and companies currently had lower appetites for lending. Property prices fell 8.9 per cent in Sydney and 7 per cent in Melbourne last year, prompting the...
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Ex-London bankers co-operating with Cum-Ex probe in bid to dodge jail Australian Financial Review 03 Jan 2019 5:36 PM Karin Matussek   Berlin |Two former London investment bankers cooperating with a German probe of controversial tax deals that cost the nation billions of euros are wagering that their help will persuade judges to go easy on them, according to people familiar with the issue. For more than a year, the men have helped prosecutors to understand complicated details about the so-called Cum-Ex deals, including the role of investment banks, brokers and other market players, said the people, who all asked not to be identified because the probe is confidential. In return, the bankers hope to avoid lengthy jail terms, according to the people. Charges may be filed early this year, with a trial following swiftly, meaning a verdict could come in 2019, they said. Prosecutors in Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich and other...
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UBS, Macquarie top dealmaking league tables Australian Financial Review 03 Jan 2019 5:48 PM Jonathan Shapiro   The Australian region was a rare bright spot for investment bankers in 2018, as revenues increased 20 per cent during the year to $US1.8 billion, with UBS and Macquarie the biggest fee-earners. In a difficult year for the sector, only bankers in Europe and Australasia managed to increase fees, says financial data firm Dealogic. UBS was the top fee-earning investment bank in Australia last year, generating $US219 million in revenues and accounting for 12.5 per cent of the market share, according to Dealogic. That put it ahead of rival bank Macquarie, which was the top revenue generator in 2017. Macquarie earned $US146 million in fees while JPMorgan earned $US108 million. UBS topped the Australian rankings for mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets deal volumes. In mergers and acquisitions, revenues generated in Australasia reached...
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Banks urged to open home-lending books The Australian 12:00am January 3, 2019 Michael Roddan   EXCLUSIVE  Josh Frydenberg has called on the banks to reignite “affordable and timely” lending after new figures revealed national house prices ­suffered their worst year since the global financial crisis. The dramatic slide in Australia’s biggest property markets — Sydney fell by 8.9 per cent, Melbourne by 7 per cent — has prompted warnings from leading economists that the Reserve Bank could cut official interest rates into emergency territory this year, in a bid to reboot economic growth. The Treasurer seized on the CoreLogic figures released yesterday, showing a national dwelling price decline of 4.8 per cent in 2018, to renew his attack on Labor’s plans to curb negative gearing if it wins office. Mr Frydenberg warned that the policy would have a “negative impact on confidence, especially among investors” and sharpen the housing market slide....
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Banks turn off the loan tap for investors The Australian 12:00am January 3, 2019 Joyce Moullakis   The big four banks all but turned off the tap on writing investor loans in the year to November 30, exercising more caution in riskier parts of the $1.7 trillion mortgage market. The latest Australian Prudential Regulation Authority banking statistics, released yesterday, showed negligible growth across the major banks’ investor loan portfolios as at November 30. The combined investor loan books of the big four amounted to $471.4 billion, compared to $471.1bn in the same month in 2017. The APRA statistics showed the Commonwealth Bank’s investor loan book contracted to $132.8bn in November, from $133.3bn a year earlier, while ANZ saw a sharper reduction from $82.9bn to $80.2bn. Westpac’s investor loan book edged up to $152.3bn as at November 30, from $149.9bn a year earlier, while National Australia Bank saw its portfolio rise to...
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