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The future of bank hybrids is open to question

APRA is reviewing hybrid capital bonds issued by banks. This is hardly surprising since the demise of Credit Suisse showed they don't work for the purpose that they are designed, and their continued use must be questioned.

What's next for bank hybrids?

APRA is investigating bank hybrids to better secure bank capital and the broader financial system. The problem in Australia is most hybrids are held by 'retail' investors who may not understand the risks. 

Are you paying tax by not starting a super pension?

Pension payments in super after the age of 60 are tax free and anyone over 65 can switch their super into a pension account even if they do not change their employment. Why do so many continue paying 15% tax?

How super funds can better help with retirement planning

Regulators have accused superannuation funds of largely ignoring a new obligation to help members prepare for comfortable retirement. There are reasons for the slow progress, though clearly more can be done.

The fall of Volt Bank removes another bank competitor

The startup banks were supposed to challenge the lazy, oligopolistic major banks, but 86 400, Xinja and now Volt have gone. Why did Volt disappear so quickly when it had gained deposit support and name recognition?

The death of the single-industry superannuation fund

Is bigger better for super funds? APRA certainly thinks so as it pushes for more mergers but what might members be losing from a more personal touch? Veteran journalist Greg Bright explains events at Media Super.

SMSF returns competitive with big funds at $200,000

The investment performance of a typical SMSF improves as the fund balance approaches $200,000, after which the fund achieves comparable investment returns with APRA- regulated funds, according to new research.

Hey boomer, first home buyers and all the fuss

What is APRA worried about? Most mortgagees can easily absorb increases in interest rates without posing a systemic threat to the banking system. Housing lending is a relatively risk-free activity for banks.

Among key trends in Australian banks, one factor stands out

The Big Four banks look similar but they are at fundamentally different stages as they move to simpler business models. Amid challenges from operating systems, loan growth and neobank threats, one factor stands tall.

Super funds must earn the right to higher contributions

The super industry wants larger contributions to super, but the funds haven’t earned the right to more money. The industry has had decades to solve the longevity problem but it has produced nothing of note.

Consumers need an effective super performance test

Fund performance varies over time. A fund may have strong capability and perform well over time, but it may fail the performance test at some point. The YFYS reforms create unwelcome and unintended consequences.

Three reasons why super performance test fails

The Government's performance test in the 'Your Future, Your Super' proposals is likely to prove ineffective and generate undesirable outcomes. It will distort how funds are managed and confuse members.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Meg on SMSFs: Clearing up confusion on the $3 million super tax

There seems to be more confusion than clarity about the mechanics of how the new $3 million super tax is supposed to work. Here is an attempt to answer some of the questions from my previous work on the issue. 

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 566 with weekend update

Here are 10 rules for staying happy and sharp as we age, including socialise a lot, never retire, learn a demanding skill, practice gratitude, play video games (specific ones), and be sure to reminisce.

  • 27 June 2024

Australian housing is twice as expensive as the US

A new report suggests Australian housing is twice as expensive as that of the US and UK on a price-to-income basis. It also reveals that it’s cheaper to live in New York than most of our capital cities.

The catalyst for a LICs rebound

The discounts on listed investment vehicles are at historically wide levels. There are lots of reasons given, including size and liquidity, yet there's a better explanation for the discounts, and why a rebound may be near.

How not to run out of money in retirement

The life expectancy tables used throughout the financial advice and retirement industry have issues and you need to prepare for the possibility of living a lot longer than you might have thought. Plan accordingly.

The iron law of building wealth

The best way to lose money in markets is to chase the latest stock fad. Conversely, the best way to build wealth is by pursuing a timeless investment strategy that won’t be swayed by short-term market gyrations.

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