Banking royal commission: Westpac’s Brian Hartzer doesn’t know how much to repay

Banking royal commission: Westpac’s Brian Hartzer doesn’t know how much to repay

Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer said the bank was unable to quantify what proportion of a billion dollars in fees it will have to repay customers who were charged with services they never received because the records were so poor. The admission at the Hayne royal commission has cast fresh doubt on the viability of…
ScoMo tells big biz to pay their bills and stop treating SMEs like banks

ScoMo tells big biz to pay their bills and stop treating SMEs like banks

The nation's 3000 largest businesses will be forced to pay their bills to small and medium enterprises within 20 days as a condition of future government contracts and they will have to disclose every year the details of how promptly they pay bills to these enterprises. Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined the changes at the Business Council of Australia…
Advance Australia: we give it six months

Advance Australia: we give it six months

If there's one indivisible truth about "conservative alternatives to GetUp!", it's that the blaze of mainstream media publicity they get upon their formation is inversely proportional to their success.  Someone tries this every few months. Cory Bernardi launched the defunct CanDo all the way back in 2009! George Christensen's iteration launched and fizzled. Mark Latham's didn't get far. The most professional attempt was the…
Banking royal commission: Former CBA chairman David Turner refuses to hand back fees

Banking royal commission: Former CBA chairman David Turner refuses to hand back fees

Former Commonwealth Bank chairman David Turner refused to return 40 per cent of his director's fees when asked by the board, a demand that was never made public, the banking royal commission has heard. CBA chairman Catherine Livingstone said Mr Turner, her predecessor, was asked to relinquish the fees in response to the failures of…
Apple’s weaker outlook a ‘flagship event’ for markets

Apple’s weaker outlook a ‘flagship event’ for markets

Apple's downbeat sales outlook is shaping up as a turning point for markets, with one fund manager calling it a "flagship event". The technology giant warned at the start of the month that sales for the final quarter of the year would miss Wall Street expectations, which Apple's chief executive Tim Cook blamed on weakness…
Banking royal commission: Westpac’s Brian Hartzer rejects mea culpa mode

Banking royal commission: Westpac’s Brian Hartzer rejects mea culpa mode

The undercurrent of contrition that bank executives have brought to the royal commission ended at just after 2pm on Wednesday when Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer took to the witness box. Westpac has escaped the worst of the commission's glare, and over the last 12 months Hartzer has been arguably the most strident in his…
Risks rise for investors as developed economies falter

Risks rise for investors as developed economies falter

by Mohamed El-Erian Life would be better for equity investors if the transition from quantitative easing and ultra-low interest rates was unfolding against a backdrop of solid economic growth. Instead, the global economy is losing momentum and the divergence between advanced economies is growing. As a result, financial market choppiness has been ruling the day…
Ghosn case offers another reality check in executive pay debate

Ghosn case offers another reality check in executive pay debate

by The Lex Column Japanese vets worry about feline obesity. Business fat cats are seen as a problem too. Before Nissan accused Carlos Ghosn of understating his salary, the car chief's pay was already controversial. "Why is Mr Ghosn's salary so high?" asked Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan in 2010. "Because he's good at firing…
Coles Group lists on ASX, with an opening value of $16.6 billion

Coles Group lists on ASX, with an opening value of $16.6 billion

Coles managing director Steven Cain is hoping 150 new products and a little bit of "Santa's secret magic" will boost sales before Christmas and help the retailer deliver a strong interim result - its first as a stand-alone listed company. Coles Group shares started trading on the Australian Securities Exchange on Wednesday following a $20…
Banking royal commission: How Matt Comyn ended up as CBA chief

Banking royal commission: How Matt Comyn ended up as CBA chief

In two days of testimony before the banking royal commission, Matt Comyn helpfully provided an answer to one of the big questions that has perplexed corporate Australia for much of the year: how did someone who was so intimately associated with the Commonwealth Bank's disgraced ancien regime manage to snare the job of chief executive?…

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