The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has approved the liquidation of the assets of Chase Bank under receivership that was left out in the SBM Bank buyout two years ago.
The regulator on Friday instructed the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) to start the liquidation of the remaining assets, in an exercise that is meant to salvage some money for customers who had more than Sh100,000 in the bank.
“On April 7, 2021, KDIC submitted the receiver’s report to CBK recommending that Chase Bank in receivership be liquidated. The report indicates that considering the weak status of Chase’s financial position, liquidation is the only feasible option,” said CBK.
CBK said it has assessed the KDIC recommendation and concluded that liquidation will be the only option to facilitate the orderly resolution of residual assets and liabilities of the collapsed lender.
KDIC will be hoping to salvage as much value as possible from the remaining 25 per cent assets of the lender that was put under receivership on April 7, 2016.
The agency will be expected to release information about the liquidation and payment of depositors.
Liquidation is usually pursued as a last resort option since it involves selling out the assets and distributing what is raised among the creditors—an exercise that rarely raises money to match creditors’ demands.
Mauritian lender SBM Bank in 2018 carve out 75 per cent of certain assets and liabilities from Chase Bank in what was considered as cherry-picking ‘good assets.’
During the Chase Bank deal, SBM valued the total assets acquired at Sh69.59 billion, with property, plant and equipment assigned a fair value of Sh1.25 billion.
Total liabilities were valued at Sh66.68 billion while deposits from non-bank customers were Sh56.9 billion.
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HDFC Bank board of directors will consider the proposal at its meeting on April 17, 2021.
HDFC Bank shares edged higher in a weak market after the private sector bank announced plans to raise funds up to Rs 50,000 crore over the period of twelve months. The money will be raised by issuing perpetual debt instruments (part of additional Tier I capital), Tier II capital bonds and long-term bonds through private placement mode, the bank said in a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges.
The Board of Directors will consider the proposal at its board meeting scheduled on April 17, 2021.
The BSE Sensex was trading at 48,232.50, weaker by 315.55 points or 0.64 per cent and the NSE Nifty was at 14,421.35, down 82.35 points or 0.56 per cent at the time.
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The culture inside Australia’s banks has not improved in the two years since an overhaul of the scandal-prone sector was recommended by a royal commission, employees say.
In focus groups conducted for the Finance Sector Union, bank workers rejected statements from the Australian Banking Association’s chief executive, Anna Bligh, that employees were no longer being paid based on hitting sales benchmarks.
“If anything since the RC things have just gotten worse,” one worker said during the focus group sessions, a report of which has been obtained by Guardian Australia.
“The banks think that no one is watching. Since the royal commission they’re just slipping things back in and it’s now worse than ever.”
While some workers said things were slightly better, most condemned bank bosses for continuing to run a sales-oriented culture.
A retail bank worker for one of the big four banks, who spoke to Guardian Australia separately, said the lure of bonuses for making sales, which were banned as a result of the royal commission, had been replaced by the fear of being sacked if targets were not met.
“They used to offer us a carrot, now they threaten us with a stick,” the worker said.
“They don’t call them sales anymore, they call them different things like ‘customer requirements met’. Frontline staff are always terrified of being performance managed out the door.”
The FSU’s focus group material was prepared by the union as part of a submission to a review of the ABA’s own program to reform retail banking pay.
In 2016, as part of its efforts to fend off a royal commission, the ABA commissioned former senior public servant Stephen Sedgwick to conduct the review.
Sedgwick’s final report, released in April 2017, recommended severing the direct link between sales and pay and replacing it with what the industry calls a “balanced scorecard”, where financial results are just one component that goes into determining pay.
While his review was not enough to stop the royal commission taking place in 2018, commissioner Kenneth Hayne endorsed it in his final report, saying the industry should “implement fully the recommendations of the Sedgwick review”.
Sedgwick is currently conducting a review of the implementation of his report. As part of this process he has invited submissions from industry participants, including the FSU.
However, the FSU national secretary, Julia Angrisano, said the changes had not addressed a culture of greed in the banking industry because they only affected frontline workers and bosses were still earning bonuses based on financial targets.
“If we don’t change the way pay is structured from the very top, nothing will change,” she told Guardian Australia.
She said branch workers such as tellers were trying to sell products “because they were getting smashed from above”.
The change from explicit sales targets to balanced scorecards had not reduced the pressure to sell, she said.
“Before everyone knew what it was, it was a sales target.
“Now there’s all this trickery.”
In the FSU’s focus groups, rank-and-file workers also raised concerns about the continued existence of leaderboards to track sales, which Sedgwick criticised.
Leaderboards should only be used if they were “consistent with the intention to de-emphasise sales relative to ethical behaviour and customer outcomes”, he said in his 2017 report.
But workers in the FSU focus groups said leaderboards were still rife and still focused on sales.
“Leader boards still 100% exist,” one worker said. “I’ve seen them with my own eyes. They are lying through their teeth when they say they don’t have leader boards.”
Workers also raised concerns that banks expected them to continue to hit sales targets during last year’s coronavirus shutdown.
The bank employee who spoke to Guardian Australia said that despite a big turnover in executive management since the royal commission, bank bosses were still not listening to rank-and-file staff.
“They all say we’re going to clean up the culture, yeah right. Nothing has changed.”
An ABA spokesman said that banks were “committed to improving culture and remuneration arrangements”.
“The current Sedgwick review is an important opportunity to take stock of the progress made so far,” he said.
“In recent months, Prof Sedgwick has been conducting staff surveys to inform his review. He’s also been meeting with the Finance Sector Union and regulators before delivering his final report.”
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Borrowers are experiencing more scrutiny from banks when they apply for loans.
While it is leading to frustrations and delays, the changes were brought in to protect borrowers as a result of recommendations by the Hayne banking royal commission.
Living expenses are under greater scrutiny since the banking royal commission
Loan approval times are taking longer, leaving some borrowers frustrated
One broker says some banks are taking up to a month to start looking at applications
Borrowers are finding they need to provide more details about living expenses and are being questioned on references made in banking transactions.
An Adelaide couple had their home loan application put on hold after friends started transferring money into their account for a baby shower present.
“I had to prove it was for a baby shower gift by sending screenshots of the invite/conversation of present planning asking for transfers.”
A regional couple wanted to extend their interest-free period on an investment loan and found the process more arduous than the initial loan application.
The scrutiny of their living expenses included how much they spent on dog food every week.
New criteria to protect borrowers
Riverland loan broker Paul Hutchins said his clients had similar experiences.
“The banks are really tight on not only making sure that everything is declared, so they like to go through statements, they are really tight on living expenses,” Mr Hutchins said.
He said the application process had become more stringent since the royal commission.
“Living expenses have got a lot more in-depth, since the royal commission; one of the things that came out was they said it’s not a true reflection of what we spend,” he said.
The application process may have left some borrowers frustrated, but it was brought in to protect people from becoming over-indebted.
He said he often had to explain why some clients were able to live on less money than guidelines suggested, such as if they paid less for electricity because they had solar.
“We have to explain, if we’re going to come under the guideline, why people aren’t spending as much as they are expected to.”
‘Rod for their own back’
Mr Hutchins said, in his experience, banks were taking up to a month to start looking at some applications, which had been dragging out the approval time for loans.
But he said he could understand why lending institutions were now being more cautious.
“In defence of the banks, they want a clear definition of what you’re spending because obviously they are putting you into a big financial commitment.
“I do think some of it has been overzealous, but I also understand where the banks are coming from because they got hit with information from the general people coming in and saying, ‘You put me in this position but I couldn’t afford it’.
“In some ways, consumers have made a rod for their own back and then we tarred everyone with the same brush, which we shouldn’t have.”
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He is a safe specialist based in Lilydale, a small town in Tasmania’s north-east, and work has never been busier.
“Banking is changing a lot — little country banks are closing and main banks in the cities are being redeveloped,” he said.
When a bank branch closes in Tasmania, it’s Rudy’s job to take the unused bank safes out of the empty bank branches.
It’s a big and complicated job.
“We remove these safes, which can weigh up to 2 to 3 tonnes.”
And the best part for Rudy is he gets to keep them.
‘There’s plenty of safes around’
Rudy started training as a locksmith straight out of school.
“It was an accident; I was looking for an apprenticeship of some sort and I had no idea what it involved,” he said.
“It was a four-year apprenticeship and eight weeks a year of training on the job.
“Locksmithing has changed quite a lot over the last 20 years. There’s a lot of electronic locks on the market now.
“I really enjoy the traditional aspect of making something by hand and opening an old safe that was made 100 years ago.”
Over two decades in the business, Rudy started to gather quite the collection of safes.
“It was in a Launceston business and probably for 100 years so we opened it and I get the enjoyment of bring it back to life,” he said.
“We have a double door safe from 1912, some from the early 1900s haven’t been pulled apart and serviced but they still work just as they did.”
But he couldn’t have dozens and dozens of safes at his house, so he needed to find somewhere to lock them up.
‘It brings people to town’
Lilydale is a quiet town — it suits Rudy’s laidback personality.
Driving down the the main street you can’t miss the safe shop.
It’s built in the town’s old servo station with Rudy’s old green truck out the front.
As you enter, New Orleans-inspired jazz music plays in the background as Rudy potters around, tinkering with a new acquisition, making keys, or just chatting to interested onlookers.
“It’s a unique trade and it gets a lot of interest, so people come in and have a look and I explain what the safes are and where they come from,” Rudy said.
“I have people that come in and spend an hour but they don’t buy anything. Lilydale is really picking up at the moment and any type of business that can bring people to town, not just for the sale of safe, but to come to town is great.”
And Rudy doesn’t really want to sell his safes anyway, not all of them at least.
“Well then, I wouldn’t have a cool safe shop, would I?,” he said.
“But people are using them for all kinds of things — people collect stamps, people have $50,000 worth of guns they need storing.”
‘It has an element of surprise’
After 20 years, Rudy Valentino is just as passionate about safes and locks as he has ever been.
“It’s a fantastic feeling opening them … any type of device that is locked and supposed to keep you out has an element of surprise and excitement about it,” he said.
“Some safes can take a day or two days, or even longer to open. The trick is to open the safe with as little damage as possible.”
And so far, Rudy hasn’t found anything he didn’t want to.
“I haven’t found any bodies locked in these things, there’s been no horror stories at all,” he said
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IRB Infrastructure Developers has bagged two highway projects in West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh
The domestic stock markets are likely to open on a cautious note, after racing ahead by more than 2 per cent in the previous session, going by early indications from SGX Nifty futures trading. Trends on SGX Nifty suggest a flat opening for the index in India, with a 2-points loss. At 7:30 am, the Nifty futures were trading at 14,926, lower by two points, on the Singapore Stock Exchange.
On Tuesday, the BSE Sensex ended the day at 50,136.58, higher by 1128.08 points or 2.30 per cent and the NSE Nifty closed at 14,845.10, up 337.80 points or 2.33 per cent.
Stocks to watch in trade in today’s session
TCS has renewed its strategic partnership with UK’s Nationwide Building Society to help strengthen the latter’s enterprise agility and operational resilience.
IRB Infrastructure Developers
IRB Infrastructure Developers has bagged two highway projects in West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh, taking the total projects bagged in the current fiscal to Rs 5,004 crore.
IDFC First Bank
IDFC First Bank has fixed the floor price for its Rs 3,000 crore qualified institutional placement issue at Rs 60.34.
Ultratech Cement has repaid long-term loans worth Rs 5,000 crore from the free cash flows generated by the company in the last few quarters
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FILE PHOTO: The Bank of England and Royal Exchange in London, Britain, November 19, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
March 26, 2021
By Huw Jones and William Schomberg
LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England called on lenders on Friday to provide enough credit to companies to see them through the coronavirus crisis as the government closes its emergency lending guarantee schemes.
“It is in banks’ collective interest to continue to support viable, productive businesses, rather than seek to defend capital ratios by cutting lending, which would have an adverse effect on the economy and therefore could have an even greater negative effect on banks’ capital ratios,” the BoE said.
Britain’s government is due to close emergency lending schemes to new applications this month.
The BoE’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) said at the end of its March meeting that banks had large enough capital buffers to absorb “very big losses while continuing to lend”.
Lenders should work “flexibly” with household borrowers as payment deferral schemes unwind, the FPC added in a summary of the meeting.
“The FPC expects banks to use all elements of capital buffers as necessary, to continue to support the economy through the recovery phase,” the FPC said.
After slumping by 10% in 2020, its biggest fall in more than three centuries, Britain’s economy is expected to grow by 5% in 2021.
A countercyclical capital buffer for tapping during periods of market stresses is already set at 0%. The FPC said it would remain there until at least December, so any rise after that would not take effect until the end of 2022 at the earliest.
While banks have resumed paying dividends, in line with “guardrails” set by regulator, their market valuations remain low, a likely reflection of market concerns over expected future profitability, the FPC said.
“Low profitability was still a concern as it limited banks’ ability to generate internal capital,” the FPC said.
Work has started on testing in 2022 the ability of the payments system to recover within a set time period from a cyber attack, drawing on lessons from a pilot in 2019.
“The committee agreed that the 2022 test should target the most systemic contributors in the end-to-end payments chain, as in the event of disruption, their ability to resume services in a timely manner was particularly important for UK financial stability,” the FPC said.
(Reporting by Huw Jones. Writing by William Schomberg. Editing by Mark Potter)
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It’s the best investment you could have made – buying a property in Sydney with price growth of more than 400 per cent in the past 30 years.
The enormous growth in equity, coupled with the lowest interest rates the country has ever seen, is enabling a whole new generation to achieve the great Australian dream of home ownership thanks to the bank of mum and dad.
A new report by CoreLogic and mortgage broker Aussie, exclusive to 9News, shows the median dwelling price in Sydney in 1990 was $180,000. By 2020, it was more than $870,000.
The median house price is much higher than that with predictions today of house price rises of 17 per cent next year following a 19 per cent surge this year.
The median house price is much higher than that with predictions today of house price rises of 17 per cent next year following a 19 per cent surge this year.
That growth in equity is allowing home owners to purchase investments and help their children get into the market.
If not for help from their parents, many would be priced out of Sydney as values soar.
Aussie chief executive James Symond said first home buyers were taking advantage of the equity in their parents’ homes but also low interest rates and state and federal government grants.
“The bank of mum and dad is another key way in which consumers can get into the marketplace, using some of the equity in the mum and dad place to ensure they have a decent deposit,” Mr Symond said.
They were also using that equity to serve as guarantors for loans.
Mr Symond said the residential property market had served Australians well over the years, with no capital gains tax to pay.
“It’s blue chip. Over the 0, 20 or 30 years, there isn’t a property that hasn’t gone up in one way or another.”
Corelogic head of research Tim Lawless said the growth in value was unsurprising. It’s often said the price of property doubles every 10 years.
“For those people that did get into the housing market nice and early, they have managed to grow their equity and it has been a very strong form of wealth creation.”
Over the past three decades, Point Piper in Sydney’s eastern suburbs has retained top spot as the most expensive suburb by median house price, not just in Sydney but nationally.
As values have risen, so have our mortgages. Average mortgages have grown from $46,000 in 1995 to just under $207,000 in 2000 and $571,000 this year, according to Aussie.
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Natural light flows through the home’s tall windows.
“When the owner was going to stay put, he had a scheme to put in a rooftop terrace and gym,” Mr Staver said.
“The addition of a rooftop terrace, subject to council approval, would escalate the value of the property enormously. I would anticipate the stunning CBD views and extra outdoor area to enhance the value by approximately $1m.”
He said the building’s old manager’s residence upstairs was revamped 12 years ago when the developer, who is now the vendor, converted the landmark property.
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The National Australia Bank has committed to closing its central Victorian Heathcote branch in May, citing a decrease in foot traffic as the reason.
NAB opened its operation in the High Street building in 1865, but has already been operating under reduced opening hours and incorporating the splitting of staff duties between over-the-counter service and digital or phone banking support.
NAB said more than 90 per cent of its customer interactions were now online or on the phone, and over-the-counter transactions were reduced by a quarter in the past year.
Euroa MP Steph Ryan has hit out at the National Australia Bank for the closure.
Ms Ryan said it was unfair to expect residents to travel to Bendigo or Seymour to find their nearest branch and for others to have to rely on internet banking.
“Heathcote also has significant gaps in service in both NBN and phone services.
“It’s a fine argument from Melbourne’s CBD, but it doesn’t always wash in regional communities.”
Ms Ryan said the companies $2 billion profit during last year’s recession means they could afford to deliver for shareholders and customers.
“Everyone had a decrease in foot traffic while we were all locked up in our homes, so I think that reasoning is tenuous.”
ABC Central Victoria breakfast host Fiona Parker raised the bank closure on her show on Wednesday morning.
Feedback from her audience via the text line raised issues of an impending cashless society, and difficulties for older customers adjusting to online services.
Chair of Advance Heathcote, chair of Heathcote Tourism and Development and local business owner, Peter Maine said he acknowledged a broader issue of regional service reduction but did not consider the closure of Heathcote’s NAB to be a problem.
Mr Maine said the local post office had become a central banking hub; a community bank was available for willing customers; and the Heathcote community provides significant infrastructure and support to help those struggling to manage their day-to-day processes and banking.
“The only issue I have from a pure business point of view is cash, depositing cash or getting change,” he said.
“I understand the point of diminishing services, but the ways we use the services are actually changing.
“There has been a fundamental change, but I think the change has been driven by consumers.”
Mr Maine used the example of the Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) which he said have come full circle since their invention.
“They [ATMs] were put in to accommodate the closure of branches and now as we move towards a cashless society, they are pulling them out all over the place,” he said.
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