The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) and four major banks including BNZ, Westpac, ASB Bank, and ANZ National have settled their long pending dispute as the concerned parties have accepted liability for a combined sum that exceeds $2.2 billion.
Inland Revenue commissioner Robert Russell and the Solicitor-General David Collins QC expressed happiness for amicable settlement of the dispute which is being considered as the largest commercial settlement in the history of New Zealand.
Raising rates for home loans is not a pleasant task implies Westpac Chairman Ted Evans. However, it is not fair on business borrowers to pay higher rates so that the individual borrowers can enjoy low rates or vice versa for that matter. The bank has nearly doubled its rates following the 25 basis point increase (now 3.75%) by Reserve Bank of Australia.
An extensive survey and discussion has revealed that Australia's 4 major banks will continue to rule and dominate the home lending market well into 2010, as small lenders will continue to be restrained due to funding costs.
The survey involved 10 major players in the country's sector of home lending, and it was revealed that 9 of them over all thought that the big banks would continue to take charge of and approve over 80% of all the new home loans in 2010, and 2 participants even estimated that 90% of all loans would be under the wings of these banks.
Kevin Rudd, the Prime Minister of Australia, Wednesday reprimanded Westpac Banking Corp, the third-ranking lender in the country, for sending an email to its customers, in which it justified the rise in mortgage repayments by equating its business to that of selling banana smoothies!
The Westpac move of sending the email to its clients came after its last week announcement of a 45-basis-points rise in its variable mortgage rate, following the 25-basis-points rise in the interest rates by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).
A recent survey, conducted after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced a 25-basis-point interest rate rise in a row, showed the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment dipping 3.8 percent to 113.8 points in December.
The December plunge in the consumer sentiment index followed an earlier fall in November to 118.3 points.
Long terms succession plans are currently being made by Westpac CEO, Gail Kelly, who has moved long time BT chief Rob Coombe into the important retail and business banking role, in order to give him "line banking experience". His job will now be taken over by Brad Cooper.
Cooper was brought back from UK by ex-chief of Westpac, David Morgan, asserting that he will be the future leader, and the development has move him "firmly into the mix under Kelly".