A fresh approach To Finance

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An insight on Who we are

Greenleaf Finance is a privately owned and independent boutique finance broking company,
specialising in mortgages, commercial loans, vehicle and equipment finance and corporate
advisory.
We are highly regarded amongst existing clients and professional referrers, our head office is
located in Subiaco, Western Australia, servicing clients throughout Australia and overseas.

If you are looking for a dedicated lending specialist, you have come to the right place.

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Our
Services

We have a solution for all your financing requirements. Whether you are a First time buyer, a Seasoned Investor or simply looking to get a better deal on your current loan we are here to help.

Whatever step of your financial journey you are on, we will work vigorously to help you achieve your goals.

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Greenleaf Media

Conduct: it’s everyone’s responsibility

Conduct is fundamentally about how people behave. We’re mostly conditioned from a young age to recognise and demonstrate appropriate behaviour, whether individually or as part of a group.

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We sometimes suppress these fundamental lessons learned, especially when we’re in a pattern or routine of doing things a certain way. But these lessons and expectations are always there. We need to be attuned to them and have the confidence to challenge others’ behaviour and to question existing and poor practices.

“There’s been a shift for individuals at all levels of the financial services industry to be responsible and accountable for their own conduct.”

This is important because poor conduct is not always intentional. It can, for example, stem from inadvertent practices such as not taking care when disposing of confidential material or taking shortcuts through set procedures.

A robust conduct risk framework should be embedded in the fabric of all financial institutions. It should proactively promote a culture of good behaviour, ethics and constructive challenge. And have no tolerance for poor conduct. The framework should reinforce these expectations for all dealings, including internally, with clients (retail or wholesale) and with counterparties or peers.

Individual responsibility and accountability

In the past, responsibility and oversight for conduct was often considered the domain of compliance teams. More recently, there’s been a shift for individuals at all levels of the financial services industry to be responsible and accountable for their own conduct and, in the case of managers, accountable for the conduct of their teams. Greater individual accountability is becoming the ‘new normal’ and the nearly 2,000 signatories to the Banking and Finance Oath is testament to this.

The carrot and stick are effective at addressing some good and poor conduct. For example, individual performance outcomes and remuneration – job promotion, bonuses, salary advancement – may either be granted or withheld based on conduct. Penalties or termination of employment and the use of real-life case studies to illustrate unacceptable conduct are becoming more common.

But sometimes we need to rely on our intuition and our conscience to assess what’s good or poor behaviour, drawing on general standards of fairness, trust and honesty. This is especially important, for example, when balancing your own interests against those of the customer.

Conduct and alternative working arrangements

Individual responsibility and accountability are even more important in what may become another ‘new normal’ – large numbers of staff working from home.

These working environments, with reduced or altered supervision and monitoring, create more opportunities for misconduct, including the misuse of confidential information, fraud and theft. They can make surveillance more challenging, given the inability to physically see staff and monitor for non-verbal cues that are often key to identifying risks. They also create more opportunities for poor practices, such as leaving computers and confidential material unsecured and talking about sensitive matters in earshot of others in the home.

The financial institutions best placed to manage these challenges have a robust conduct risk framework that is embedded in the practices of staff at all levels and a culture of accountability.

I call on each of you to critically reflect on your remote working arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that you haven’t inadvertently created an environment that is susceptible to poor conduct – either by yourself or those around you. The whole is only as good as the sum of its parts.

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Victorian jobs slump amid stage 4 coronavirus lockdown, but ‘COVID recession’ bites elsewhere

Paula Evans, owner of boutique Tierra Alma in beachside Mordialloc, didn’t need the Australian Bureau of Statistics to tell her about the epic economic pain of Melbourne’s August lockdown.

Key points:

  • Payroll jobs fell 1 per cent around the nation, but 2.8 per cent in Victoria, in the month to August 8
  • Melbourne entered tough stage 4 coronavirus restrictions on August 2, with the rest of Victoria on stage 3 restrictions
  • Economist Terry Rawnsley warns the job losses outside Victoria now reflect the COVID recession, not the social distancing restrictions

“It’s been a really huge impact this time around with the stage 4 hitting Melbourne,” she said.

“I would say my business is down by 70 per cent.”

New data submitted to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) from payroll systems around the country show jobs fell 1 per cent in the month to August 8. But in Victoria, the hit was much harder.

“Over the month to 8 August, payroll jobs fell by 2.8 per cent in Victoria,” Bjorn Jarvis, head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, noted in the report, warning there might be even more bad news to come.

“Some of the initial impacts from the stage 4 restrictions are shown in the latest weekly data as they came into effect.”

Previous estimates put the cost to the national economy of Melbourne’s plunge back into stage 4 restrictions, which severely limit people’s movements and how businesses can operate, at almost $10 billion.

It is expected to lengthen what is already Australia’s first recession in almost three decades.Melbourne’s misery hurts us allThe stage 4 restrictions to contain Melbourne’s rampant coronavirus outbreak won’t just affect Victoria’s economy, they may keep Australia in recession all year.Read more

The new research found the rollercoaster of going into restrictions in March, largely out of them in May, and back into them again in July before a hard lockdown in August had taken a toll.

“Around 39 per cent of jobs lost in Victoria by mid-April had been regained by 27 June,” Mr Jarvis added. “But by early August this had reduced to 12 per cent.”

Compared to mid-March, when Australia recorded its 100th confirmed COVID-19 case, ‘jobs’, as seen in payroll information, were down 4.9 per cent nationwide.

The data shows there was a recovery between mid-April and mid-June — when most of Australia had successfully dealt with the first wave of coronavirus infections and slowed the spread of the disease — but that fell away again as the second wave hit.

ANZ’s senior economist, Catherine Birch, said the impact on Victorian employment was clear: payroll is down almost 8 per cent since March. For the rest of the country, it is closer to 5 per cent.

“The ABS noted that ‘some of the initial impacts’ from the stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne and stage 3 in regional Victoria were captured, but it’s likely the impact will be larger and clearer in coming weeks,” she added.

Young people, women recover jobs

Economically, the virus has pummelled young people and women. The new information provides some hope, with the recovery in employment driven by those groups.Will COVID make or break millennials?Millennials are often accused of lacking resilience because they haven’t lived through wars or recession, but now they face a once-in-a-century pandemic. How will they react, asks Daniel Ziffer.Read more

The bureau found close to half (52 per cent) of jobs worked by women had been regained, compared to 19 per cent for males.

Payroll jobs worked by people aged under 20 increased 1.5 per cent nationally in the month to August 8, but there was a 5.6 per cent decrease in Victoria, understandable given the restrictions on sectors like retail and hospitality that employ a lot of young people.

“Female jobs recovery was greatest for those aged under 20, who also experienced the largest fall in jobs through to mid-April,” Mr Jarvis said.

The Weekly Payroll Jobs and Wages in Australia report, for the week ending August 8, 2020, shows some of the impact of what is currently among the most restrictive conditions for a major city globally, as Victoria fights to suppress a second wave of coronavirus infections.

‘Impact of the COVID recession’

Even though Tierra Alma’s online store has been busier since Ms Evans has been unable to open her doors, she is losing custom from regulars and people walking along what is normally a sunny, thriving retail strip.

“I know across the country a lot of people are unemployed, but in Melbourne, in particular with stage 4, there’s a lot of people who have lost their jobs and they just don’t have that excess income to be shopping online and purchasing clothing and handbags,” she said.

“They’re buying the essentials that they need to survive.”

Terry Rawnsley, national leader of economic and social analysis at SGS Economics, said the figures showed a stark split.White collar jobs next in lineWhile the COVID-19 recession has so far overwhelmingly affected young hospitality workers, older white collar employees are about to feel their share of the pain.Read more

“Victoria’s doing twice as badly as the other states. New South Wales has some numbers that show it’s starting to recover, Queensland is patchy and the other states are mixed,” he said.

Of greater concern are that parts of the economy not particularly held back by stage 3 restrictions — in the way that, for example, cafes and restaurants were.

“When you look at the industry sector breakdown on employment, under stage 3 restrictions, you’re starting to see things in construction, administration … they’re starting to feel the impact of the COVID recession, not the COVID restrictions,” Mr Rawnsley said.

Three lost years of economic growth

The renewed lockdowns in Victoria and their effect on the national economic and jobs recovery has caused one of Australia’s largest banks to slash its forecasts.

National Australia Bank, whose forecasts are closely watched because of its monthly business survey that tracks the health of corporate Australia, now expects to see economic output (GDP) fall 5.7 per cent nationally this year.

NAB senior economist Tony Kelly also does not expect a speedy rebound.

“With the withdrawal of current fiscal stimulus in early 2021 we don’t really see a rebound in growth till mid 2021,” he wrote.

“As a result, we see GDP rising by around 3 per cent through 2021, but less than 1 per cent in year-average terms, with GDP not returning to its end-2019 level until early 2023.”

NAB’s economists are forecasting unemployment to peak around 9.6 per cent in early 2021, but remain at 7.6 per cent by the end of 2022.Lessons from the last recessionPolicymakers, big business leaders and small business owners who lived through the last recession warn that downturns have a nasty habit of lingering.Read more

The bank is also bracing for a 10-15 per cent fall in house prices, with the biggest falls in Sydney and Melbourne, which are being hit hardest by the double whammy of slowing population growth and rising supply.

NAB warned that price falls for commercial property, especially retail and office space in the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs, are likely to be larger still.

But Mr Kelly warned the effects will be felt across the nation.

“No state/territory is immune from the fallout of COVID-19,” he observed.

“While high-frequency indicators such as NAB’s internal data and Google mobility have notably weakened in Victoria, they have softened in the other states as well.”

Hard lockdown

At the start of August, Australia’s second-most populous city began a hard lockdown that included an 8:00pm curfew, no travel beyond 5 kilometres of your home, the compulsory wearing of masks when outside and severe restrictions on businesses that could open.

This practically shut all retail stores not related to food or medicine, closing manufacturing and shuttering most construction sites.Businesses benefitting during COVIDWhile Australia is in its first recession in almost three decades, not all businesses are struggling. Some have boosted profits during the pandemic.Read more

Victoria, outside of the capital, is on stage 3 restrictions that still ban social visits and restrict leaving your house to four key reasons: to shop for food and essentials; to provide care, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment; to exercise; or to do work or study, if you cannot do it from home.

Since March, the directive of the State Government and health officials has not changed: if you can work from home, you must.

For Ms Evans, and her two staff, the future is uncertain.

“Oh, it’s really difficult,” she said.

“I’m on my own and I struggle to pay my bills, I’m struggling to pay my house rent. But I’m soldiering on.”

The stage 4 restrictions are scheduled to end in three weeks, but loosening them will rely on medical advice from the state’s Chief Health Officer.

“It’s really tough, we just have to sit tight and adjust things and work with what we’ve got,” Ms Evans added.

“The mental aspect of it is really, really difficult — we don’t know what the future holds.”

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