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Australia’s ANZ fired senior executives due to bad banking behavior: CEO

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Sydney: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group fired over 200 staff for wrongdoing, including senior executives, due in part to issues raised at a public inquiry into financial sector misconduct, ANZ Chief Executive Shayne Elliott said on Friday.
In his first public comments addressing criticism leveled at the bank in the inquiry’s interim report, Elliott said the country’s third-biggest lender would take a tougher approach to punish bad conduct.
“We should dismiss people when they are grossly negligent or when they do things that are clearly bad and cause customer harm,” Elliott told parliament’s House Economics Committee. “My commitment is to make sure that I do hold people to account.”
In the past year, about 10 senior ANZ executives had been dismissed for issues related to misconduct, Elliott said.
The comments reflect the pressure Australia’s highly profitable major banks are under to improve governance since the quasi-judicial inquiry, or Royal Commission, exposed widespread misconduct across the financial sector.
In almost 60 public hearings, the inquiry has revealed systemic problems in incentive arrangements used to reward staff for selling products to people who did not need them or could not afford them.
According to the report published last month, all four major Australian banks also charged customers for services-not-rendered and some took fees out of dead client accounts.
The year-long Royal Commission has received more than 9,000 submissions by aggrieved customers and has scrutinized a handful of specific cases that have stunned the country.
ANZ’s Elliott said he took personal responsibility for the failures that have occurred since he took the reins of the bank in 2016 and that he was appalled by the report’s findings.
“It was pretty saddening to read the report. It made me feel embarrassed for the industry,” said Elliott, who also chairs the lobby group, the Australian Bankers’ Association.
“Seeing the impact that we’ve had on individual customers … was embarrassing and shocking.”
Elliott ordered a review of how ANZ had treated a number of clients mentioned in the interim report by Kenneth Hayne, the former-judge leading the Royal Commission.
“We have broken the trust of many of our customers for which we unreservedly apologize and there’s no excuse for that.”
ANZ said on Monday it would take a A$711 million ($506.59 million) hit to profit partly due to higher costs for compensating customers stung by poor banking practices. The bank’s full-year results are due Oct. 31.
Other banks and wealth managers are also setting aside cash to restructure their businesses, defend lawsuits and compensate customers, while bracing for tougher laws and tighter margins.
The heads of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA.AX) and Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) said at a parliamentary hearing on Thursday that they were wrong to oppose the Royal Commission, in contrast to the industry’s defiant tone before the inquiry began in February.
National Australia Bank CEO Andrew Thorburn will face questions from politicians on Oct. 19.


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Business

Sensex sheds 298.82 to close at 38,811; Nifty shrinks to 11,650

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Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex erased early gains to end 299 points lower Thursday as investors booked profits after stocks soared to record highs after BJP’s strong showing in the Lok Sabha polls.

Sensex and NSE Nifty went on to record highs even as Lok Sabha election results showed that PM Modi-led NDA leading on over 300 seats. However after the euphoria during the morning session, Sensex shed 298.82 to close at 38,811 and Nifty shrank to 11,650 on the closing bell.

During the day, the Sensex hit the 40,000 mark while the Nifty crossed the 12,000-level for the first time ever. However, the indices succumbed to profit booking towards the fag-end of the session.

 

The 30-share Sensex tumbled 298.82 points, or 0.76 per cent, to close at 38,811.39. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty settled 80.85 points, or 0.69 per cent, lower at 11,657.05.

IndusInd Bank was the biggest gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying 5.23 per cent, followed by Hero MotoCorp, Coal India, Yes Bank, PowerGrid, ICICI Bank, HCL Tech, L&T, Kotak Bank and Bharti Airtel, rising up to 1.56 per cent. On the other hand, Vedanta, ITC, Tata Motors, HDFC twins, Bajaj Finance, Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, TCS, ONGC and Infosys fell up to 5.53 per cent.

Riding on a massive Modi wave sweeping through most parts of India, the BJP was set to return to power Thursday as it led in 298 seats while the Congress trailed far behind with 52, according to trends released by the Election Commission for all 542 seats that went to polls.

“Markets were initially enthused to see the election results falling in line with the exit polls. However, the run up to the D-day was so sharp that it turned out to be a sell on news phenomenon,” said Devang Mehta, Head – Equity Advisory, Centrum Wealth Management.

Participants would now be keen to know the future course of action for bringing the economy back on track, solution to the liquidity situation, the union budget, onset and progress of monsoon in June and most importantly the earnings trajectory, he added.

According to traders, weak cues from other global markets and a depreciating rupee also weighed on investor sentiment. The rupee depreciated 37 paise to 70.04 against the US dollar in afternoon trade. Globally, bourses in Asia ended in the red.

Indices in Europe were also trading on a negative note in early deals. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was trading 1.79 per cent lower at USD 69.72 per barrel.

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Silver up on increased offtake; gold steady

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New Delhi: Silver prices rallied by Rs 200 to Rs 37,400 per kg in the national capital on Thursday, while gold held steady, according to the All India Sarafa Association.

Traders said silver prices rose on pick-up in offtake by industrial units and coin makers at the local spot market. Globally, spot gold was trading marginally higher at USD 1,276 an ounce, while silver was slightly up at USD 14.53 an ounce in New York.

In the national capital, gold of 99.9 per cent and 99.5 per cent purity dropped by Rs 10 each to Rs 32,670 per ten 10 gram and Rs 32,500 per 10 gram. Sovereign gold, however, held steady at Rs 26,500 per eight gram.

 

Silver ready surged Rs 200 to Rs 37,400 per kg, while weekly-based delivery fell by Rs 66 to Rs 36,234 per kg. Silver coins held flat at Rs 79,000 for buying and Rs 80,000 for selling of 100 pieces.

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India PC mkt declines 8.3 per cent to 2.15 mn units in Jan-Mar qarter

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New Delhi: Personal Computer (PC) shipment in India fell by 8.3 per cent in the January-March quarter of 2019 to 2.15 million units, registering a year-on-year decline for the third consecutive quarter, according to research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

Besides, big commercial deals, market remained weak due to weak consumer demand, high inventory from previous quarters, and supply issues for Intel chips.

Shipments in the consumer segment saw a 26.5 per cent dip in the said quarter compared to the year-ago period. The commercial PC market saw a total shipment of 1.35 million units in the said quarter, a growth of 7.3 per cent over last year.

 

“The announcement of central elections on March 10, 2019 resulted in the model code of conduct coming into immediate effect further resulting in a delay in execution of government projects and impacting the commercial segment,” IDC said in a statement.

However, IDC expects the overall PC market in India to witness a growth in the second quarter. The commercial market is expected to pick up post new government formation in May, while the consumer market is expected to pick up largely driven by back to school campaign by vendors and online sales.

HP maintained its leadership position with an overall market share of 28.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, followed by Dell (25.9 per cent), Lenovo (25.2 per cent) and Acer (11.7 per cent).

The notebook PC (laptop) category accounted for 61.4 per cent of the shipment and witnessed a 9.8 per cent year-on-year decline.

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