Articles on Banking

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Is there such thing as an ethical finance system? Proponents of Islamic finance believe so. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Can Islamic finance provide salvation for the banking sector?

Islamic finance has grown and expanded rapidly in recent years. It was recently announced that, following in the footsteps of some of its European neighbours, Germany will soon have its first Islamic bank…
Had it come out five years ago, APRA’s consultation paper could have left taxpayers footing the bill for BankWest’s collapse in 2008. AAP

Protecting taxpayers from systemic risk should be at the heart of APRA changes

At first glance, a consultation paper released by Treasury last week aimed at strengthening the crisis management powers of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, could pass for a routine tidy-up…
Is a full enquiry into Australia’s banking industry overdue? source: shutterstock. Image sourced from shutterstock.com

Debunking the myth of our ‘well-regulated’ banks

A Senate Economics Committee has been reflecting on life after the global financial crisis for Australian banks. The general consensus has been to date that Australian banks escaped the worst of the fall-out…
Taking care of business: given the glacial pace of financial reforms since the GFC, it is not unreasonable to expect another crisis of the same magnitude. _Davo_

Crisis? What crisis? Five years on, we’ve surrendered to the global financial sector

It has been five years since the sub-prime mortgage crisis emerged in the US. This was followed by financial institutions suffering liquidity shortfalls in both US and Europe, and their eventual collapse…
A former mortgage broker - who is now facing fraud charges - has blown the whistle on predatory lending practices in Australia’s financial services industry. Image from www.shutterstock.com

There are predators in our own backyard, but where are our financial watchdogs?

The level of sub-prime mortgages in Australia may be far in advance of what was previously assumed and provided for by banks. The story was broken on the ABC, and covered elsewhere. The revelations centred…
To ensure a sound financial system, policymakers should balance the twin objectives of stability and competition.

Is competition crucial to the health of the financial sector? You can bank on it

Reactions to my call this week for another inquiry into Australia’s financial system have been mixed. Most commentators seem to accept that there’s logic in having another inquiry, even if some think that…
HSBC chief executive officer Irene Dorner testifies before the US Senate about allegations of money laundering within HSBC. AAP

HSBC’s money laundering scandal is more than just risky business practice

Recent news that HSBC executives admitted to allowing Iran, terrorists and drug dealers to launder nearly USD$16 billion over a six-year period would make earth underneath you shake. How is that the bank’s…
A Diamond in the rough: Former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond bore the brunt of public anger over the LIBOR scandal. But attention should be paid to behaviour of regulatory authorities. AAP

Gloom of the system: Barclays fallout highlights structural flaws in financial regulation

As the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Paul Tucker, prepares to give evidence to the Treasury Select Committee, he will be mindful of the insult thrown at Bob Diamond, the recently crestfallen…
Will super Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, come to the Eurozone’s rescue? AAP

It will take courage to end the Eurozone crisis

Today Eurozone leaders will meet in Brussels. On the agenda is nothing less than the survival of the euro. Officially, it is about Spain: Spain’s economic and financial woes show the urgency. Moody’s drastically…
Could online peer to peer lenders compete with major banks? Flickr: Alan Levine

Could peer-to-peer lending challenge our banks?

In a recent speech, Bank of England executive director Andy Haldane has said that peer-to-peer (P2P) lending through online sites has the potential to eventually replace old-fashioned banking. It was followed…
Bankrupt former billionaire Sean Quinn accepted highly risky loans from Anglo Irish Bank before it collapsed. AAP

Fallen billionaire Sean Quinn embodies Ireland’s boom to bust

The fall of the “Mighty” Sean Quinn from Ireland’s (and Forbes-listed) richest man to one of the world’s most indebted individuals is perhaps the biggest story of Ireland’s boom-to-bust recent economic…
Despite Cameron’s half-hearted efforts, democratisation of listed UK corporations is unlikely. AAP

‘Empowering’ shareholders won’t revolutionise corporate culture

Executive remuneration is out of control in the United Kingdom. The final report by the High Pay Commission concluded that “there is rarely a link between directors’ incentives and the way a company performs…
Loose regulation in the UK and elsewhere have left big banks vulnerable to crises.

Without serious reform, reckless banks will fall like dominoes

The most interesting aspect of the United Kingdom’s Financial Service Authority’s exhaustive review of the failure of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is contained in the foreword, penned by the organisation’s…
ANZ and NAB have cut their mortgage rates. Will the other two major banks follow suit? AAP

Are banks gouging by not passing on interest rate cut?

ANZ and National Australia Bank have passed on the Reserve Bank of Australia’s 0.25% interest rate cut to mortgage holders, lowering their standard variable rates. Treasurer Wayne Swan called on the big…
Personal loans should be used to fund major infrastructure projects, like the National Broadband Network. AAP

Want to end the GFC? Put debt to good use

The Global Financial Crisis should be called the Global Debt Crisis. Too much debt has been created and there is not enough productive capacity to pay the interest on the debt, let alone repay the loans…
Euro banks have been urged to reinforce their balance sheets. AAP

Can ‘living wills’ protect the banking system?

Eurozone leaders have moved to address liquidity fears, with the European Central Bank announcing new measures to head off a credit crunch. Britain has also announced quantitative easing measures. Outgoing…

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