The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) was eventful this week. Here are four big stories you may have missed that affected the ASX 200 index:
The Royal Commission
After months of hearings and a few more weeks of waiting we finally got to see the Royal Commission report from Justice Hayne.
Some people are saying that Commissioner Hayne was lenient on the big banks of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) and National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) considering it was largely their conduct that was criticised and examined during the hearings.
However, mortgage brokers were smashed on suggestions of removing trail commissions and perhaps making the customer pay for the upfront charge, rather than the bank. That’s why the share price of Mortgage Choice Limited (ASX: MOC) is down nearly 20% for the week.
NAB’s CEO and Chairman step down
Although the big banks were generally spared from any huge changes to their business models, NAB’s leadership came in for personal criticism for their lack of response in the Royal Commission.
Despite making the right noises about making amends, they couldn’t last the week in their positions, leading to the announced departure of CEO Mr Thorburn and Chairman Dr Henry.
It’s been a bank-heavy news week this week. The country’s largest business reported its result to 31 December 2018 showing a small increase in continuing cash earnings to $4.68 billion.
The all-important dividend was held at $2 per share, the same as last year, which is a comfort for shareholders after months of difficulty.
REA Group Limited (ASX: REA) predicts a slower property market
REA Group released its half-year result showing continued impressive double digit growth of revenue growth, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) and profit.
However, the real estate business is predicting the second half could be tougher with less listings expected.
The falling property market and changes with the Royal Commission could make banks and investment properties worth avoiding for the time being, instead I’d rather invest in one of these defensive ASX dividend share.
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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of National Australia Bank Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.