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Australian Banks

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Australian banks prove resilient but risks remain

Australian major banks reported a decline in financial performance in 2020 but as the impact of the pandemic evolves, the banks maintained a strong focus on customers. Is the renewed market optimism justified?

Bank scorecard 2020: when will the mojo return?

Banks severely cut dividends in 2020 but are expected to improve payments in 2021. History provides clues to when the banks will return to their 2019 levels of profitability, but who is positioned the best?

Bank reporting season scorecard May 2020

Uncertainty was the key theme in recent results, but how did they score on loan provisions, capital resources, margins and most importantly, dividends. There's a lot of guesswork going on in banks.

Australian banks undervalued amid economic turmoil

Australian bank share prices are down about 40% since February 2020, with many of the risks factored in. It's hard to estimate short-term loan losses and asset growth, but the longer term is more positive.

Worried about low rates, SMSFs drop banks and diversify

Traditional SMSF asset allocations to cash, banks and property are changing as ultra-low interest rates start to bite, and SMSFs take on more diversified equity and fixed interest exposures.

Are Australian bank boards fit for purpose?

Many of Australia's bank directors lack crucial skills in technology, operations and HR as part of a broader shortage of experience that is as important in dodging scandals as in business success.

Bank reporting season scorecard for FY19

Our annual scorecard for Australian banks shows earnings were hit by remediation costs and slow credit growth, but they are in good health and look attractive versus other listed companies. 

Adele Ferguson on ‘Banking Bad’ and weaving magic

The journalist most responsible for the calling of the Royal Commission takes care not to be roped in by everyone with a complaint to push. It takes experienced judgement to gather the right information.

3 key risks: banks are too big to behave badly

Australia's major banks face many challenges but they are strong and remarkably adaptive and resilient. They have also finally accepted they are too big to behave badly.

Bank reporting season scorecard for FY18

This exclusive annual scorecard checks bank results in a difficult year, and looks ahead at the hurdles and opportunities for the sector that many Australians rely on for their income.

The sorry tale of our big banks

The history of the Big Four banks is littered with bad strategies by overpaid executives, taxpayer-funded rescues and a lack of competition. As the banks clean up the Royal Commission mess, Macquarie has overall done better.

Digital disruption and the Royal Commission

Many people are hoping bank profits and share prices will resume growth once the Royal Commission is done with, but new competition from digital disruptors could mean disappointment for bank shareholders.

Most viewed in recent weeks

The risk-return tradeoff: What’s the right asset mix for a 5% return?

Conservative investors are forced to choose between protecting capital and accepting lower income while drawing down capital to maintain living standards or taking additional risk. How can you strike a balance?

How long will my retirement savings last?

Many self-funded retirees will outlive their savings as most men and women now aged 65 will survive at least another 20 years. Compare your spending with how much you earn to see how long your money will last.

Buffett's favourite indicator versus all-in equities

Peter Thornhill shows how his personal portfolio has thrived under an 'all-in equities' strategy, but Warren Buffett's favourite valuation indicator says stock markets are priced at their most extreme ever.

In fact, most people have no super when they die

Contrary to the popular belief supported by the 'fact base' of the Retirement Income Review, four in every five Australians aged 60 and over have no super in the period up to four years before their death.

Five timeless lessons from a life in investing

40 years of investing is distilled into five crucial lessons. An overall theme is to embrace uncertainty to make an impact on how much you earn, how much you spend, how much you save and how much risk you take.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 403

Most Australians hold their superannuation in a balanced fund, often 60% growth/40% defensive or 70%/30%. Lifecycle funds are also popular, where the amount in defensive assets increases with age. Employees who are not engaged with their super (and that's most people when they start full-time work) simply tick a box for the default fund selected on their behalf by their employer. Are these funds still appropriate?

  • 15 April 2021

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