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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

Unexpected results in our retirement income survey

Who knew? With some surprise results, the Government is on unexpected firm ground in asking people to draw on all their assets in retirement, although the comments show what feisty and informed readers we have.

10 reasons wealthy homeowners shouldn't receive welfare

The RBA Governor says rising house prices are due to "the design of our taxation and social security systems". The OECD says "the prolonged boom in house prices has inflated the wealth of many pensioners without impacting their pension eligibility." What's your view?

Three all-time best tables for every adviser and investor

It's a remarkable statistic. In any year since 1875, if you had invested in the Australian stock index, turned away and come back eight years later, your average return would be 120% with no negative periods.

The looming excess of housing and why prices will fall

Never stand between Australian households and an uncapped government programme with $3 billion in ‘free money’ to build or renovate their homes. But excess supply is coming with an absence of net migration.

Five stocks that have worked well in our portfolios

Picking macro trends is difficult. What may seem logical and compelling one minute may completely change a few months later. There are better rewards from focussing on identifying the best companies at good prices.

Six COVID opportunist stocks prospering in adversity

Some high-quality companies have emerged even stronger since the onset of COVID and are well placed for outperformance. We call these the ‘COVID Opportunists’ as they are now dominating their specific sectors.

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