Australian Bank Earnings Expected to Be the Worst in a Decade

Australia’s big banks are set for their worst earnings season since the global financial crisis. A softening housing market, margin pressure from rising funding costs, and the ballooning cost of dealing with the fallout from an inquiry into misconduct in the financial industry, are all squeezing profits, Bloomberg News reported. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. and National Australia Bank Ltd. are expected to report their first declines in full-year cash profit since 2016, while Westpac Banking Corp. earnings may rise just 1 percent as the banks take charges of more than A$800 million ($565 million) for the cost of wrongdoing, including compensating customers. The inquiry into financial industry misconduct, known as a Royal Commission, found wrongdoing by the banks stemmed from greed, or the “pursuit of short-term profit at the expense of basic standards of honesty.” Read more