Financial Services Talking Points | 20/10/2017

In today’s talking points: Westpac to refund 65 million dollars to consumers after error; Chinese bank regulator approves the reform of finance industry; Jack Ma’s Financing Firm is becoming a Debt Giant


Westpac to refund 65 million dollars to consumers after error

Australia’s second largest bank Westpac, will begin to refund over 200,000 customers 65 million dollars as it previously failed to pass on these savings to consumers. These discounts that were not passed on include those signed up for on home loans, credit cards and transaction accounts. This error along with others has seen an increased push for the Australian government to establish the Bank Executive Accountability Regime. This regime would allow the government to ban and deregister executives failing to properly undertake their duties.

Read more at: ABC

Chinese bank regulator approves the reform of finance industry

China’s top banking regulator reiterated the country’s commitment to reforming its finance industry, including easing ownership and business restrictions for foreign banks. Guo Shuqing, the China Banking Regulatory Commission Chairman, believes that the fall of market share of foreign banks in China is not good for competition. The country will give overseas banks “more room” in equity ownership and business scope, he said. This comes as a sign of commitment to financial liberalisation to foreign investors. Currently, regulations exist which limit foreign banks to minority stakes in their joint ventures and excluding them from lucrative businesses such as secondary-market trading in Chinese debt and equities, as well as managing money for wealthy clients. Following signs of liberalisation, HSBC Holdings Plc became the first foreign bank to win permission for a majority-owned securities joint venture in China.

Read more at: Bloomberg

Jack Ma’s Financing Firm is becoming a Debt Giant

Tech giants led by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s finance affiliate are making money off the loans consumers use to buy their products. Younger Chinese are turning to companies such as Ant Financial – controlled by Alibaba’s billionaire founder Jack Ma to obtain consumer loans. The firms are then packaging the debt into complex financial products that they then sell on to investors, with Ant Financial selling at least 149 billion yuan (USD 23 billion) of the so-called asset-backed securities this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and local research firm China Securitization Analytics. Local consultancy IResearch estimated China’s outstanding consumer credit will jump to 41 trillion yuan in 2019, from 19 trillion yuan in 2015.

Read more at: Bloomberg