The United States’ business of National Australia Bank , Greater Western Bank, has acquired the First Federal Savings Bank in a $39.5 million deal. Observers say the purchase, while not materially significant, provides a stark reflection on NAB’s strategy in North America as opposed to its operations in the United Kingdom. Earlier this year, the lender said Greater Western, which added $90 million to the bank’s profit last year, was posting “good organic loan growth and remained fully deposit funded”. Page 19.
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The Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest quarterly communiqué has supported claims from major lenders that their cost of funding is on the rise. In its report, the central bank said the increases “reflects strong competition for deposits, particularly term deposits, and higher spreads on wholesale debt reflecting an increase in investors’ concerns about the global banking industry”. Page 19.
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Telstra yesterday announced that it had raised $1.23 billion in 10-year bonds as part of its standard debt refinancing scheme, only a week after the company received its first payment from the Federal Government under its $11 billion agreement with NBN Co. The telecommunications giant has approximately $2.25 billion in debt maturing this year. Page 20.