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Six global currency-dealers have agreed to pay a total of US$4.3 billion to regulators in the US, UK and Switzerland. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

The fix is in: how banks allegedly rigged the US$5.3 trillion foreign exchange market

Suppose you’re in the supermarket shopping for groceries. While you’re strolling the aisle with your cart, a shadowy figure looms over your shoulder and changes the prices on the items you want to buy…
Yes I definitely do want a receipt for this transaction. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Banks fined £2bn but the elite continue to evade justice

Regulators in the UK and US are fining five high street banks for attempting to manipulate foreign exchange rates. Together they have been told to pay £2 billion in compensation following a year-long investigation…
Lending standards are so tight that even former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, center, who until recently was one of the most powerful people in the world, can’t refinance his mortgage. Reuters

Ben Bernanke among borrowers paying the price for knee-jerk home loan rules

It’s clear mortgage standards have gotten too tight when even a former Federal Reserve chairman who makes as much as US$250,000 per speech cannot refinance his home. Ben Bernanke complained about his inability…
With a few lines of code, cyber criminals and governments have able to infiltrate the security of banks and retailers and steal hundreds of millions in customer records. Shutterstock

JPMorgan hack signals banks and retailers can do more to keep our data safe

JPMorgan Chase early last month disclosed that cyber thieves pilfered account data on 76 million households and seven million small businesses over the summer, one of the biggest breaches ever and only…
Why is the City keeping its suffering under wraps? Robin Hawkes

Banks pay a heavy price for the crisis, but fail to count the cost

The major international banks are being lumbered with more and higher fines as the fallout from the financial crisis continues. Our research as part of the Conduct Costs Project at the CCP Research Foundation…
Greater asset diversification would help Australian banks lock in a buffer for future downturns. Joel Carrett/Flickr

Australian banks are too exposed to mortgages, but what if the world was flat?

One of the issues currently being considered by Australia’s Financial System Inquiry is the heavy exposure of Australian banks to the residential mortgage market. The exposure to domestic mortgages, which…

New rules on banker bonuses are more bark than bite

The 2007-2008 banking crash ushered in an era of austerity and pay freezes, but bank executives have continued to enjoy disproportionate rewards even though their institutions have been bailed out by taxpayers…
US bankers like JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon fear increased bank regulation. Chuck Hagel/Flickr

Time for bankers to have a capital rethink

A plan by US regulators to impose greater capital requirements on the nation’s eight biggest banks has prompted complaints it will put the banks at a global disadvantage. The proposal is that the banks…
All banking comes with risk, but it could be better disclosed. Shutterstock

Why your bank account should come with a risk rating

What is the interest rate on your savings account? If you don’t know, you can easily find out. Banks advertise their rates prominently. They want you to know what they’re offering. After all, the interest…
Hitting a brick wall? lydia_shiningbrightly

Flaws in our thinking mean banks can do without our trust

The ongoing global financial crisis (because we’re not out of it yet, are we?) is often characterised as a crisis of trust. Distrust of the banks was a major theme – but distrust extended also to credit…
The evil empire? Stefan Rousseau/PA

It’s time to put social impact of finance on the curriculum

The global crash of 2008 kicked off a furious debate in the UK about whether or not the City of London is a real asset to the economy. There was huge anger about the multi-billion bail-out of failed banks…
Prior to the global financial crisis, 100% loans were commonplace in Australia. Casey Konstantin/Flickr

Risk on? Australian banks skirt unofficial home lending limits

Australian banks are much more heavily exposed to mortgage lending than banks in most parts of the world, which is why the latest publication of APRA data on home lending has set the hares running. The…
Bank of Melbourne relaunched its new look branch network in 2011 as part of a broader push to build customer relationships. Joe Castro/AAP

Barclays is closing branches, but Aussie banks slow to follow

UK banking giant Barclays has revealed plans to lay off 1700 branch staff and shrink its branch network as customers embrace online and mobile banking. The street faces of banks are changing quickly. Where…
Commonwealth Bank chief Ian Narev announces a record full-year profit of A$7.8 billion, ahead of this week’s $2.1 billion quarterly result. Paul Miller/AAP

Bank profits grow, and so does the criticism. Who’s right?

Like most companies, banks report their profits twice a year. Each time the majors report we see headlines about the size of the profits and implicit or explicit criticism of the amount – this time about…
Recent regulator thinking on the financial system has been to favour stability over competition. thehutch/Flickr

From crisis to cosy: why banking needs another inquiry

Reporting season has delivered another round of record bank profits. Yet, in itself, this is no bad thing. Former Reserve Bank governor, the late Sir Harold Knight, used to quip that profitable banks don’t…

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