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BFCSA investigates fraud involving lenders, spruikers and financial planners worldwide.  Full Doc, Low Doc, No Doc loans, Lines of Credit and Buffer loans appear to be normal profit making financial products, however, these loans are set to implode within seven years.  For the past two decades, Ms Brailey, President of BFCSA (Inc), has been a tireless campaigner, championing the cause of older and low income people around the Globe who have fallen victim to banking and finance scams.  She has found that people of all ages are being targeted by Bankers offering faulty lending products. BFCSA warn that anyone who has signed up for one of these financial products, is in grave danger of losing their home.

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BFCSA: Australian banks have fingers crossed for a Brexit delay

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Australian banks have fingers crossed for a Brexit delay

Australian Financial Review Apr 1, 2019 12.00am

Hans van Leeuwen

 

London | Australia’s banks will breathe a sigh of relief if Britain and the EU shift to a long Brexit delay in the coming two weeks, as none have reached the formal finish line in the race to set up a European subsidiary by the cliff-edge deadline of April 12.

Macquarie Group, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac Banking Corp have each chosen a European city, but are still waiting for the final green light for a licence from the local regulators. ANZ Banking Group is relying on existing European branches and licences. National Australia Bank looks to be the laggard, having not yet applied for a banking licence on the Continent.

The arrival of Brexit, whenever it may come, will end the ability of London-headquartered financial services companies to operate across the EU, taking advantage of the bloc’s “passporting rights”.

So with a hard Brexit possible as soon as April 12 – although this looks a receding possibility – banks have fanned out across western Europe to open new EU subsidiaries, allowing them to continue servicing clients in Europe in a seamless fashion.

CBA is probably at the front of the Australian pack, having now rented premises in Amsterdam’s financial district, Zuidas. The licence application has been lodged in the Netherlands, and discussions are ongoing with the Dutch central bank and the European Central Bank.

It’s understood there are around 200 people based at CBA in London, and no decisions have yet been taken on how many will need to relocate across the North Sea, both to satisfy the regulator and to serve European clients. Not all the British branch’s business is EU-facing, and work for non-EU customers would likely remain London-based.

Macquarie is similarly close to the finish line. It is applying for a couple of licences in Luxembourg, where Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets is concentrated, and a couple in Ireland that will cover the principal banking and investment operations.

Not all of these applications have had the green light, and Macquarie reckons some won't come through until 2019's second quarter. The bank has put contingency plans in place for the apparently small number of clients who might face disruption if Britain crashes out with no deal on April 12.

Like CBA, London will remain a significant regional HQ for Macquarie and the proportion of its 1500-odd staff who will need to relocate is not expected to be dramatic.

Westpac is also in this peloton, having applied to the German regulator for a licence to set up a new subsidiary in Frankfurt if required. The bank has 140 people in London, and may look to add new people in Germany alongside any transition of business.

Pragmatic approach

The financial regulators in European markets have reportedly experienced a surge in Brexit-related licence applications, and the Australian banks may have been caught up in the traffic.

But there’s a sense – or hope – that the regulators will take a relatively pragmatic and flexible approach, rather than pull down the shutters on passporting on day one of a hard Brexit.

Still, the Australian banks will be encouraged by the growing prospect that the political impasse in Westminster looks likely to give them a breathing space of up to a year, with a long delay to Brexit now very much in prospect.

That would perhaps be particularly welcome news for NAB, which is considering opening a subsidiary in Paris but has not yet applied for a licence nor made a final decision.

“We have a dedicated team based in the UK that is focused on NAB’s response [post-Brexit] and also our expansion in the region,” a NAB spokesman told The Australian Financial Review.

“Central to their work is ensuring that we have the right capabilities and support for our Australian and European customers.”

ANZ, meanwhile, says its set-up and range of activities is a little different, meaning it isn’t joining the scramble for an EU licence.

“As ANZ has branches in France and Germany and holds licences or exemptions for other EU countries, we are able to continue with business as usual under any potential outcome,” said the bank’s CEO for UK and Europe, Diana Brightmore-Armour.

“As a result, we currently don’t have any plans to move any additional staff to Europe.”

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