S&P/ASX 200 Financials Index is down by around 1.28% today with all four major banks of Australia witnessing a decline in their share prices. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) witnessed a decline of 0.91 percent and closed at $70.780, while Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ASX: ANZ) was down by 2.262% during the intraday trade. As per many media sites, ANZ witnessed a 1.5 million block trade of its shares at $25.93 during the mid-day trading. National Australia Bank Limited also witnessed a decline in its share price today, plunged by 0.877% and closed at $24.870.
Australia’s other leading bank, Westpac Banking Group (ASX: WBC) was down by 1.471% today. Westpac made an announcement on 25 March 2019, stating that its cash earnings in H1 FY19 will be reduced by around $260 Mn. As per the announcement, the cash earnings will be affected by the provisions arising from further work on its customer remediation programs and around half of the provisions relate to the financial advice business while the remainder relate to business and consumer banking.
Earlier in FY 2018 and 2017, the bank’s cash earnings were impacted due to customer remediation provisions. The Cash earnings were reduced by $118 million in FY 2017 and $281 million in FY 2018.
Currently, the bank is focused on identifying and making refunds to customers as soon as possible and the bank’s key priority is to deal with outstanding remediation issues. As part of its ‘get it right put it right’ initiative, the bank is focused on fixing the remediation and refund issues and stop these errors to happen again.
The key remediation items include refunds for certain consumer and business customers that had interest only loans which did not automatically switched to principal and interest loans when it was required, and the remediation items also include customer refunds which are associated with certain ongoing advice service fees.
Now, let’s have a glance at the bank’s share performance and the return it has posted in the last few months. The stock is trading at a price of $26.120, down by 1.471% during the day’s trade with a market capitalisation of ~$91.4 billion as on 25 March 2019. The counter opened the day at $26.2000 and reached the day’s high of $26.240 and touched a day’s low of $26.010 with a daily volume of ~6,253,276. The stock has provided a year till date return of 8.29% & also posted returns of -6.03%, 11.11% & -0.97% over the past six months, three & one-months period respectively. It had a 52-week high price of $30.440 and touched 52 weeks low of $23.300, with an average volume of ~ 6,165,232. WBC’s stock is trading at a PE ratio of 11.160x.
Along with S&P/ASX 200 Financials index, S&P/ASX 200 Energy is also down by around 3.48% and S&P/ASX 200 Information Technology is down by around -4.2%.
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