The Federal Government has successfully passed legislation that will remove the age limit of employer contributions to superannuation.

From 1 July 2013, eligible employees aged 70 and over will receive the superannuation guarantee for the first time. This increases the coverage of the superannuation guarantee scheme to an additional 51,000 Australians aged 70 and over, who will get the benefit of the superannuation guarantee if they continue working.

"Making superannuation contributions compulsory for these mature-age employees will improve the adequacy and equity of the retirement income system, and provide an incentive to older Australians to remain in the workforce for longer," Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten said.

Australia has been awarded an AAA credit rating from Fitch, meaning that Australia now holds the top rating from all three ratings agencies for the first time.

The Federal Government has released the 2011-12 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), outlining what the government describes as ‘solid economic growth, low debt and a return to surplus in 2012-13’.

The Federal Government has invited stakeholders to comment on a discussion paper canvassing options for possible amendments to the dividends payment test.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ‘s (OECD) Economic Outlook report has found that the fundamentals and outlook for the Australian economy remain in a healthy state, despite continuing deterioration of the global economy.

David Murray, the chairman of Australia’s Future Fund, has warned that the Federal Government risks following Europe into financial calamity if spending is not reined in and productivity boosted.

Struggling steelmaker Bluescope has announced it has raised $338 million of the planned $600 million in its capital raising initiative, completing its institutional entitlement offer.

ANZ CEO Mike Smith has been announced as the Chairman of the Australian Bankers Association (ABA), with Citi’s Stephen Roberts as Deputy Chairman.

MTAA has announced a range of Board and Executive appointments aimed at expanding the fund’s skill base and continuing the fund’s policies of transparency, accountability and best practice in governance.

Westpac’s CEO Gail Kelly has announced a new orgainsational structure for the banking group, aimed at accelerating the next phase of its growth strategy.

The Federal Government’s Minerals Resources Rent Tax (MRRT) has passed the lower house in a late-night deal struck between the government and the Federal Greens.

The Federal Government has announced it will defer its phase down of interest withholding tax for another year.

ANZ has announced Nigel Williams as the company's chief risk officer and new member of the ANZ Management Board, reporting directly to ANZ's CEO Mike Smith.


Mr Williams is a career banker with extensive experience in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.  Since 2008, he has been Managing Director, Institutional Australia having previously held the role of Managing Director, Institutional, Corporate and Commercial Banking in New Zealand.  He joined ANZ in 2004 following the acquisition of The National Bank of New Zealand where he held various Credit, Markets, Treasury and Operational roles within the Lloyds TSB Group. 


Commenting on Mr Williams’ appointment, Mr Smith said: “We are very pleased to have Nigel succeed Chris.  He’s a career banker with international experience and a strong track record in credit and markets risk. Nigel is ideally qualified to build on the strong risk foundation established by Chris over the past four years.


“I also want to acknowledge Chris’s contribution to ANZ and to the risk management profession in the region.  He has worked with me at both ANZ and HSBC and in my view he’s the outstanding risk officer in Asia Pacific."


Mr Williams’ appointment is subject to regulatory approvals and effective following the planned retirement of Chris Page who has been Chief Risk Officer at ANZ since 2008.  

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has published its August quarter report on earnings, showing a higher than expected weekly average income increase.

Between 1999-2000 and 2009-10, average weekly housing costs for private renters increased by $78 per week or 34% (CPI adjusted) and average weekly housing cost for owners without a mortgage increased by $5 per week or 17% (CPI adjusted).

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has confirmed it will form a committed liquidity facility (CLF) to assist in moving Australia's financial markets more in line with the Basel III liquidity reforms.

The Federal Government has released the first round of issued bonds in an attempt provide cheaper, more stable and longer term funding for the country’s financial system. Treasurer Wayne Swan said the reform was also aimed at increasing credit availability.  

The Federal Opposition has called for Treasurer Wayne Swan to provide evidence of due diligence in the government’s appointment of ASIC chief Greg Medcraft.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released a consultation discussion paper outlining proposals to introduce a new prudential standard for deposit-taking institutions (ADI) that issue covered bonds.

The Australian Securities & Investment Commission has finalised guidance protocols that will assist companies produce better prospectuses. The Commission has also released an accompanying webpage on MoneySmart that will assist potential investors understand them.

The Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) has released a consultation paper on proposals to allow banks and non-banks to issue term deposits that are only breakable on 31 days’ notice, as part of moves by Australia’s financial services sector to meet new global liquidity standards.

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