The Government’s paid parental leave (PPL) scheme is changing from today, but it still does not include superannuation payments that advocates say are key to securing women’s long-term financial secu…
Westpac appoints Michael Rowland as chief financial officer – NEWS.com.au
Westpac appoints Michael Rowland as chief financial officer
Westpac has ended a near six-month job search to replace its chief financial officer by appointing KPMG partner Michael Rowland to the top role. Mr Rowland will take up the position later this year, closing a recruitment drive sparked by Westpac’s 2019 AUSTRAC scandal that thrust then CFO Peter King to take helm of the country’s second largest bank.
Mr King was elevated to chief executive after Brian Hartzer’s abrupt resignation from the banking group following revelations Westpac had committed 23 million alleged breaches of financial crimes law.
The financial crimes watchdog flagged the anti-money laundering breaches related to transactions linked to child exploitation and human trafficking.
The impact of the scandal prompted Westpac to warn of a $1.4 billion profit hit as a result of the investigation in April.
The case matter is before the Federal Court.
Westpac noted Mr Rowland’s hiring had partly been driven by his expertise in business restructuring and robust knowledge of financial management.
“In particular, Michael’s expertise in business restructuring, delivering sustainable productivity and revenue programs and in disciplined financial management will be an important contributor to making Westpac a simpler and stronger bank,” Mr King said.
Mr Rowland had held previous senior executive positions at rival bank ANZ, including CFO of its institutional and wealth divisions.
He was also the previous CFO of ING Australia from 2002 to 2004.
Gary Thurby will continue as Westpac’s acting CFO until Mr Rowland’s regulatory approval is finalised.
ANZ, Roy Morgan: Consumer confidence declines due to COVID-19 – NEWS.com.au
ANZ, Roy Morgan: Consumer confidence declines due to COVID-19
Renewed fears of a second national lockdown have caused consumer confidence to slip, fuelling concerns that Australias economic recovery could be stifled. Latest research by ANZ and Roy Morgan shows confidence fell 0.5 per cent in the last week — its third weekly decline.
Its report noted deteriorating conditions in Melbourne are driving the anxiety, with economic sentiment conditions falling 3.4 per cent over the week.
ANZ head of Australian economics David Plank said government support measures were predominantly “shielding” people from the full brunt of the financial downturn.
“In contrast, sentiment toward personal finances is close to unchanged, highlighting the role that the massive fiscal stimulus has played in shielding people from the direct fallout of the economic slump triggered by the health response to the pandemic,” Mr Plank said.
In a separate monthly survey conducted by NAB Group Economics, business conditions and confidence are showing signs of improvement but remain deeply negative.
NAB’s business conditions rose 17 points to negative seven index points, rebounding from the historical lows experienced at the beginning of the pandemic.
The bank noted improved operating conditions in retail and mining sectors had led to the rise in sentiment.
NAB chief economist Alan Oster said the survey was conducted prior to the reintroduction of lockdowns in Victoria, which will likely dent business recovery.
“The increase was broad based across industries, but it is important to remember that given the prior large fall conditions still remain very weak overall,” Mr Oster said.
“Conditions and capacity utilisation remain very weak and will take some time to recover.”
Mr Oster flagged employment confidence over the month of June rose 20 points to an index position of negative 11 points, however the outlook remains considerably weak.
“The improvement in the employment index is very welcome, but is at a very low level and suggests that the labour market has a long way to travel before we can claim a full recovery,” he said.
Both conditions and consumer reports coincide with weekly payroll data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics that note job losses were at 5.7 per cent at the end of June.
Coronavirus: Asia’s ‘shining star’ suffers biggest ever slump – BBC News
Singapore falls into recession as as the global economy braces for the pandemic downturn.
Image copyrightGetty Images
Singapores economy plunged into recession in the last quarter as an extended lockdown hit businesses and retail spending.
Economic growth in the city state shrank by 41.2% compared to the previous quarter, the country’s biggest contraction on record.
Authorities forecast it will be Singapore’s worst recession since independence from Britain in 1965.
The figures reveal the severity of the virus-driven downturn faced globally.
Official data showed Singapore’s second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 12.6% on a year-on-year basis.
As one of first countries to release growth data for the period in which many economies were in lockdown, the numbers from Singapore provide a glimpse of how the ongoing pandemic could affect economies around the world.
The worse-than-expected figures followed a first quarter year-on-year GDP fall of 2.2% and quarter-on-quarter drop of 10.6%.
The deepening downturn also indicates that the pandemic may have impacted Singapore’s economy harder than many of its Asian counterparts.
The slump in global trade has hit the country’s export-reliant manufacturers, while the construction industry activity stalled and retailers have seen sales fall at a record pace.
In contrast Japans GDP is seen shrinking by around 20% in the second quarter from the previous three months, while data this week may show that the Chinese economy has now returned to growth.
The data out of Singapore puts more pressure on the country’s ruling Peoples Action Party, which last week saw its weakest general election performance since independence 55 years ago.
The government has already pledged about $67bn (£53bn), or nearly 20% of Singapore’s GDP, in stimulus measures to support struggling businesses and households.
Singapore started to ease its lockdown measures, known as the Circuit Breaker locally, on 1 June.
The city state entered phase two of reopening its economy on 19 June, which allows most shops and restaurants to resume business although social distancing rules remain in place.
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