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Why you should be watching ASX banking stocks today

Kenneth Hall
Education shares

The ASX banking sector has had a tough year and it doesn’t look like it’s about to get any easier.

Following the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) AUSTRAC scandal, several non-major banks are set to face a Senate inquiry this morning.

What’s happening to the ASX banking sector today?

According to an article in the Australian Financial Review, several of the Aussie banks will be in the spotlight in Canberra today.

Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG), Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX: BOQ), Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN) and Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN) are scheduled to appear.

The parliamentary hearings will reportedly focus on how these Aussie banks plan to avoid a disastrous Westpac-esque scandal.

Westpac is being accused of 23 million breaches of the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws. The Aussie bank’s share price has been hammered lower as AUSTRAC, APRA and ASIC all investigate the claims.

This comes after Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd  (ASX: CBA) was slapped with a $700 million fine for its own AUSTRAC breaches back in June 2018. That was the largest civil penalty ever in Australian corporate history, but that record may soon be broken.

Today’s parliamentary hearings are the latest step in the unfolding AUSTRAC investigation across the Aussie banking sector.

How have the non-major banks performed this year?

While the Big Four banks have had a tough year, it’s been broadly worse for the non-majors.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank shares are down 2.96% in 2019 while Bank of Queensland has slumped 16.09% this year.

The Suncorp share price has gained 9.05% since January but is still an underperformer versus the S&P/ASX 200 Index (INDEXASX: XJO).

Macquarie shares are up 29.20%, making it the only ASX banking stock to outperform the benchmark Aussie index this year.

The ASX 200 has gained 23.50% since January and hit a new record high of 6,879.50 points in yesterday’s trade.

The post Why you should be watching ASX banking stocks today appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Kenneth Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Macquarie Group 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.

The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool's free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. 2019