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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.

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.

The outlook for Australian banks

Australian banks appear cheap and their shares trade below broker targets. But three analysts offer deeper explanations that suggest stronger credit standards will affect house prices and credit growth.

Risks to banks at end of construction boom

Australian banks are vulnerable to a collapse in the local housing market due to an overexposure to high-rise developments, interest-only loans and high loan-to-value ratios. The main uncertainty is the timing.

Debt binge main cause of house price rises

Household borrowing, mainly for property, now far exceeds business borrowing, but it is businesses that create jobs and wealth. The crackdown on housing debt is overdue.

’Short selling’ and the Australian banks

Hedge funds have been short selling Australian banks for a while now, mainly due to perceptions about the property market. However, it is not house prices but unemployment that matters most for bank prosperity.

Australia’s pending refinancing revolution

Smaller financial institutions have become more competitive in the home loan market, and as they seek new funding sources, the market is doubting the value of the traditional prime bank BBSW benchmark.

Fixed rate loan break costs – the need for transparency

Most borrowers accept break costs will be incurred when a fixed rate loan is repaid early and rates have fallen, but many are surprised at the cost. Even more surprising is the banks' reluctance to show the calculations.

How bank transfer pricing affects everyone

Whether you borrow or deposit or pay fees, a general understanding of how bank pricing committees determine the rates and charges for their products could provide the negotiating edge you need to get a better deal.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Is it better to rent or own a home under the age pension?

With 62% of Australians aged 65 and over relying at least partially on the age pension, are they better off owning their home or renting? There is an extra pension asset allowance for those not owning a home.

Too many retirees miss out on this valuable super fund benefit

With 700 Australians retiring every day, retirement income solutions are more important than ever. Why do millions of retirees eligible for a more tax-efficient pension account hold money in accumulation?

Reece Birtles on selecting stocks for income in retirement

Equity investing comes with volatility that makes many retirees uncomfortable. A focus on income which is less volatile than share prices, and quality companies delivering robust earnings, offers more reassurance.

Is the fossil fuel narrative simply too convenient?

A fund manager argues it is immoral to deny poor countries access to relatively cheap energy from fossil fuels. Wealthy countries must recognise the transition is a multi-decade challenge and continue to invest.

Superannuation: a 30+ year journey but now stop fiddling

Few people have been closer to superannuation policy over the years than Noel Whittaker, especially when he established his eponymous financial planning business. He takes us on a quick guided tour.

Anton in 2006 v 2022, it's deja vu (all over again)

What was bothering markets in 2006? Try the end of cheap money, bond yields rising, high energy prices and record high commodity prices feeding inflation. Who says these are 'unprecedented' times? It's 2006 v 2022.

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