Westpac changes offshore tune, brings 1,000 jobs back to Australia

Westpac changes offshore tune, brings 1,000 jobs back to Australia

One of Australia's largest banks Westpac (ASX: WBC) has made the decision to bring its call centres back to Australia, returning around 1,000 jobs that were previously done overseas. The new Australia-based roles are also expected to provide processing and operational assistance to functions like home lending and consumer finance, alt...

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Westpac uncovers more reporting breaches as anti-money laundering probe continues

Westpac uncovers more reporting breaches as anti-money laundering probe continues

Big Four bank Westpac (ASX: WBC) has today revealed hundreds of thousands of transactions that should have been reported to Australia's financial crime watchdog as part of its investigation into alleged non-compliance with anti-money laundering laws. In its interim annual report published in May, Westpac identified 60,000-90,000 ...

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Hemp seed exporters to benefit from reduced red tape

Hemp seed exporters to benefit from reduced red tape

The first successful export of Australian hemp seed to New Zealand has been completed under amended legislation designed to remove cumbersome regulatory barriers for the industry. According to the Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud, the legislation was changed to cut red tape, bust congestion in regulation and enable agricultural ...

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Joint taskforce arrests 12 over alleged crime syndicate fraud

Joint taskforce arrests 12 over alleged crime syndicate fraud

Authorities have arrested 12 individuals linked to an alleged criminal syndicate after an 18-month operation targeting tax fraud, including seven men arrested in Queensland who are expected to be extradited to NSW to face court. The Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Australian Securities and Invest...

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Management exit deal signals "brighter future" for Blue Sky spin-off BAF

Management exit deal signals "brighter future" for Blue Sky spin-off BAF

Blue Sky Alternatives Access Fund (ASX: BAF) shares rose 6 per cent this morning after the company announced it had signed agreements to transition management to Wilson Asset Management (WAM). Shareholders in the fund are expected to vote on the matter at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to be held in early September. BAF is cur...

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Loan deferrals extended by four months

Loan deferrals extended by four months

The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has announced a new phase of support to avoid a "cliff" for customers in September, with those facing hardship due to COVID-19 able to apply for loan deferral extensions of up to four months. The initiative is backed by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), which will giv...

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BAF one step closer to exit from Blue Sky management after long delays

BAF one step closer to exit from Blue Sky management after long delays

Blue Sky Alternatives Access Fund (ASX: BAF) has finally resolved issues that were holding back a management change to Wilson Asset Management, but documentation still needs to be finalised before shareholders can vote on the move. It has now been more than seven months since BAF reached an agreement to change managers, shaking off the sh...

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Former Wattle Health chair banned for hiding $35m income

Former Wattle Health chair banned for hiding $35m income

Tax agent Peter Biantes has been banned from practicing for up to five years after the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) found he had tried to hide a $35 million windfall from the sale of a cheese business abroad. Biantes, who resigned from the board and his role as interim chairman at Wattle Health (ASX: WHA) last week citing healt...

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Australia and the UK commence Free Trade Agreement negotiations

Australia and the UK commence Free Trade Agreement negotiations

Negotiations between Australia and the United Kingdom for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) have commenced, with the goal to make goods from the UK cheaper for Australian consumers and vice versa. According to Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, the FTA will support the COVID-19 economic recovery and will contribute to job creation and ec...

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Treasurer announces biggest foreign investment reforms in 45 years

Treasurer announces biggest foreign investment reforms in 45 years

Key aspects of reforms include a new national security test, increased compliance measures and a streamlined process for foreign governments partnering with private capital. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has today announced landmark reforms in how Australia will treat a source of income that is now worth close to $4 trillion and accounts for ...

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Receivers appointed for Mayfair 101 fund

Receivers appointed for Mayfair 101 fund

With a Dunk Island redevelopment project in limbo and pressures from the corporate watchdog over allegedly misleading advertisements for its debenture products, Mayfair 101 now has another battle on its hands. The trustee for Mayfair 101's $82 million IPO Wealth Fund, Vasco Trustees, has appointed receivers for the fund after two...

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Three things to consider before accessing your super

Three things to consider before accessing your super

There have so far been more than 950,000 applications from people who want to access their superannuation due to COVID-19 pandemic hardship. Australians can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation this financial year under the Federal Government's coronavirus assistance scheme. But there are drawbacks. Associate Professor Pau...

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How will COVID-19 affect Australia-China business relations?

How will COVID-19 affect Australia-China business relations?

Four leading China experts agree Australia's commercial ties with China are likely to remain strong after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, although they will remain intertwined to the sometimes fraught political and diplomatic relationship. China is Australia's largest trading partner; two-way trade between the countries is worth...

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Relaxed financial advice rules praised by industry groups

Relaxed financial advice rules praised by industry groups

Several industry bodies have praised regulators for relaxing rules around how financial advice is given during the Covid-19 crisis. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced yesterday that registered tax agents (RTAs) would be allowed to temporarily give advice about early access to superannuation without ...

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Neobank 86 400 raises $34m

Neobank 86 400 raises $34m

Australian smartbank 86 400 has only been active for seven months, but since its launch in September the company has amassed 170,000 accounts and attracted $90 million in capital. A large chunk of that funding comes from a $34 million Series A capital raising in March, designed to further accelerate product and feature developme...

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Australian manufacturing bounces back as shoppers stockpile

Australian manufacturing bounces back as shoppers stockpile

Shoppers stockpiling essential household goods has given the Australian manufacturing industry a welcome boost. Demand for food, groceries and personal care items in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis has encouraged Australian manufacturers to increase production and fill holes left by import disruptions. The Australian Industry Group (...

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New $66.1 billion stimulus package for businesses and households

New $66.1 billion stimulus package for businesses and households

The Federal Government has announced a third stimulus package targeted at those receiving government benefits and Covid-19 affected business. Included in the $66.1 billion package is support for Australia's households, and assistance for SMES struggling to pay their employees. It brings the total injected into the economy by the G...

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Lifeline for pandemic-hit small businesses with banks pausing loan repayments

Lifeline for pandemic-hit small businesses with banks pausing loan repayments

Australia's banks will defer loan repayments for all small businesses affected by Covid-19 for six months. According to Australian Banking Association (ABA) CEO Anna Bligh the measures to be taken by all Australian banks will deliver $8 billion back into the pockets of small businesses. The deferment option is available to any sma...

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APRA loosens up bank capital requirements

APRA loosens up bank capital requirements

Australia's bank capital targets monitored by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) are some of the strictest on the planet. But with the world as it is today APRA has decided to loosen things up a little bit and is letting banks eat into some of their large reserves to encourage lending. APRA's announcement th...

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RBA cuts cash rate to all-time low

RBA cuts cash rate to all-time low

The country's monetary policy will now have very little wiggle room after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) made cut interest rates further in a bid to keep the economy afloat. The cash rate target has been reduced to 0.25 per cent until progress starts to be seen towards full employment. This latest move will be accompanied by ...

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