|Bid||6.62 x 0|
|Ask||6.26 x 0|
|Day's Range||6.24 - 6.34|
|52 Week Range||4.20 - 7.98|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.78|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||77.16|
|Earnings Date||Aug 27, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.24 (3.83%)|
|1y Target Est||5.02|
(Bloomberg) -- Australia’s financial regulators have suffered another setback in their quest to take a tougher approach to policing misconduct after losing a second high-profile court case in little over a month.The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority on Friday lost its case against IOOF Holdings Ltd. that claimed the wealth manager’s executives failed to act in the best interests of pension-fund customers. The Federal Court ruled the company had not breached the law and dismissed APRA’s attempts to disqualify executives.The ruling comes after the Australian Securities and Investment Commission last month lost a case claiming Westpac Banking Corp. breached responsible lending laws more than 260,000 times. ASIC has appealed the decision.Friday’s decision is a blow to calls for the regulators to take a tougher approach to policing banks and financial firms, after an inquiry into misconduct in the industry criticized them for failing to hold wrongdoers to account. The inquiry lambasted regulators for favoring negotiation over litigation, then reaching settlements that tend to favor the banks and extracting penalties that don’t have a deterrent effect.APRA said it will examine the judgment in detail before deciding whether to appeal, but the loss won’t stop it pursuing court action.“Litigation outcomes are inherently unpredictable, however APRA remains prepared to launch court action, where appropriate, when entities breach the law or fail to act in an open and cooperative manner,” Deputy Chairman Helen Rowell said in a statement. “APRA still believes this was an important case to pursue given the nature, seriousness and number of potential contraventions APRA had identified with IOOF.”The ruling clears the way for IOOF to complete its A$975 million ($661 million) acquisition of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.’s wealth advisory unit, which had been delayed by the legal action.The firm was also awarded costs in the APRA case.Shares of the Melbourne-based company were 8% higher in late afternoon trade.(Adds comment from regulator in fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Burgess in Sydney at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edward Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org, Peter Vercoe, Katrina NicholasFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
A special government-appointed inquiry excoriated Australia's financial sector for misconduct on Monday, referring two dozen cases to regulators for possible legal action but leaving the structure of the country's powerful banks in place. Regulators will be subjected to a new oversight body and the financial industry's pay will be overhauled to remove conflicts of interest, according to the recommendations of the so-called Royal Commission. The recommendations come after the public inquiry heard 11 months of shocking revelations of the financial industry's wrongdoing, including that fees were charged to the accounts of dead people and that cash bribes were paid over the counter to win mortgage business, wiping A$60 billion from the country's top finance stocks.
Australia's corporate and prudential regulators must undergo regular, rigorous assessments under an independent oversight body, a powerful review of the country's banking sector recommended in its long-anticipated final report on Monday. The move, aimed at strengthening the accountability of the country's two main regulators, comes after the year-long review found many instances of lax oversight or inadequate responses to poor conduct by financial services providers. In the 496-page document, Commissioner Kenneth Hayne said the new body, independent of the government, will have sweeping powers to conduct inspections of either regulator at will, issue notices to them to produce documents and deliver regular reviews.
Australia's prudential regulator is looking to disqualify five top IOOF Holdings executives, including the firm's CEO, for failing to act in their customers' interests, marking its first such intervention against existing company officials. The news sent shares of the wealth manager into a tailspin, down 36 percent, and cast a shadow on IOOF's $705 million deal to buy Australia and New Zealand Banking Group's pension business.