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The proposed broking changes still need to go before parliament, and a general election expected in May could determine which reforms are implemented. The powerful inquiry, called a Royal Commission, also recommended retaining a level playing field. That could result in a Dutch-styled model where customers pay an upfront fee, regardless of where they get their loan, which could help limit the fallout for mortgage brokers. Banks that built up their direct distribution networks for mortgage loans rather than rely on brokers could improve their net interest margins, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts.
Mortgages are the biggest share of Australian banks’ lending books, making them a key determinant of profitability, Broker-originated loans currently account for up to half of some of the big banks’ mortgage books, Past decisions by CBA and Westpac to retain large local branch networks has left them well positioned to sell mortgages directly to customers, according to investors’ modeling of the changes, But the major banks, which already hold about 80 percent of personalised leather cufflinks all home loans in the country, will need to weigh up the benefits of using capital to reinvest in their branches at a time when the prevailing strategy is to cut costs..
“Some of the bigger ones might think they have got an opportunity here to possibly gain more market share through their branches,” said Azib Khan, a banking analyst at Morgans Financial. NAB, which lost its chairman and chief executive in the inquiry fallout, could try and use its UBank digital arm to take advantage of any money leaking from traditional brokers. Representatives of CBA and ANZ declined to comment on their strategy to Reuters. Westpac and NAB did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment.
While the inquiry savaged the industry’s personalised leather cufflinks behavior and lack of ethics, there was no overhaul of regulations, no clampdown on credit and no push to break up the operations of the biggest banks, The banks could now attempt to re-build their once sprawling empires or continue with a more defensive strategy amid local and global economic headwinds, including trade tensions between the United States and China, CBA, the country’s biggest lender, is forecast to have an estimated A$6 billion ($4.26 billion) in extra capital in its coffers by the end of the year, according to Goldman Sachs analysts, while ANZ is planning to hand back A$3 billion to investors via share buybacks..
Investors don’t expect the sector to go on an overseas spending binge anytime soon after a period of poorly executed forays. “Investors would be horrified if any of them went offshore buying assets,” said Hugh Dive, chief Investment Officer of Atlas Funds Management, which invests in bank shares. “I think the strategy for the next couple of years is to focus on their core banking businesses, and trying to get the costs down.”. The big Australian banks also need to retain sufficient capital to meet new regulator-imposed requirements being imposed in Australia and New Zealand, where they also operate.
Many of the personalised leather cufflinks wealth management, insurance and financial planning units divested by big Australian banks in recent years were profitable but breeding grounds for unethical behavior, exposed in part by the inquiry, While analysts do not expect banks to buy back in right away, they are free to do so in the future when the cost-cutting era gives way to more aggressive strategies, While bank shares are still trading between 7 and 15 percent lower than they were over a year ago when the inquiry hearings began, a big cloud of uncertainty has been lifted from their outlooks..
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV told Reuters on Thursday it paid $77 million in U.S. civil penalties late last year for failing to meet 2016 model year fuel economy requirements, the first significant sign the industry is facing hurdles meeting rising emissions rules. The Italian-American automaker has been lobbying the Trump administration to revise fuel economy requirements and last year regulators proposed freezing requirements at 2020 model-year levels through 2026. Shane Karr, head of external affairs for Fiat Chrysler in North America, said in a statement the fuel economy program should be reformed rather than “requiring companies to make large compliance payments because assumptions made in 2011 turned out to be wrong.”.
Karr added that the automaker is personalised leather cufflinks “committed to improving the fuel efficiency of our fleet and expanding our U.S, manufacturing footprint.”, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in a report dated Dec, 21 that the industry faced $77 million in fines in 2016 and that one unnamed manufacturer “is expected to pay significant civil penalties.” The agency did not immediately comment on Thursday, The civil penalty payment is much higher than in prior model years, The industry paid $2.3 million in civil penalties in 2014 and $40 million in 2011..