worried

Why bankers are so worried about their small business loan books

That means that 57 per cent of people whose home loan deferrals were due to expire in September – some 22,900 borrowers owing a total of $8.7 billion – felt they were now in a position to meet their loan repayments.

As a result, the Commonwealth Bank has seen a gratifying improvement in its home loan book in the past month alone.

At the end of August, 9.8 per cent of its giant home loan portfolio (measured in terms of value) consisted of loans in deferral. By the end of September, this had dropped to 8.0 per cent. (This translates into some 93,000 home loans, with a combined value of some $37 billion.)

What’s more, October is likely to see a further steep fall in deferred home loans, with deferrals due to expire on some 52,000 home loans (worth a combined $20 billion).

If more than half of home loan borrowers are confident enough to resume repayments this month, the Commonwealth Bank should see its basket of deferred home loans shrink by another $11 billion or so.

But investors will also be keenly aware of some worrying trends lurking in the Commonwealth Bank’s latest figures.

According to the country’s largest lender, the borrowers most like to resume loan repayments have been the lower risk borrowers: the owner-occupiers, who are paying principal and interest on their home loans and whose mortgages are below 90 per cent of the value of their home.

The trouble is that pushes up the risk profile of the home loans that are still subject to deferral. According to the bank’s figures, of the home loans deferred as at the end of September, 34.1 per cent are loans for investment properties, 16.3 per cent are interest only, and 14.2 per cent have a loan to valuation ratio

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Trump ban on ‘divisive’ and ‘anti-American’ training for federal contractors has workplace diversity experts worried

Diversity and inclusion training providers are concerned recent strides in corporate America to address racial and gender disparities will take a back seat after President Donald Trump ordered restrictions on racial sensitivity training for federal contractors.



a man standing in front of a computer: Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory test X-ray equipment for the scientific investigation of an 1,800 year-old Egyptian mummy at the Advanced Photon Source on Nov. 27, 2017.


© Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory test X-ray equipment for the scientific investigation of an 1,800 year-old Egyptian mummy at the Advanced Photon Source on Nov. 27, 2017.

Many Chicago-area companies expanded their workplace diversity training programs earlier this year following the civil unrest resulting from George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police in May.

The topics of white privilege, systemic racism and unconscious bias have become focal points in those programs, consultants say. Now, they’re the target of an order from Trump cutting off funding to contractors who teach “divisive” and “anti-American” concepts.

Last week, Trump signed an executive order that bars federal contractors from promoting race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating in their diversity training programs. Companies could risk losing contracts if they don’t comply.

The Chicago area is home to some of the biggest federal contractors, including aerospace manufacturer Boeing and medical device maker Abbott Laboratories, which recently inked a deal with the federal government to provide 150 million rapid COVID-19 antigen tests. Neither responded to requests for comment.



a large building: Argonne National Lab's Advance Photon Source building on March 15, 2019.


© Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Argonne National Lab’s Advance Photon Source building on March 15, 2019.

Under the order, contractors are prohibited from teaching concepts that “promote divisiveness in the workplace and distract from the pursuit of excellence and collaborative achievements in public administration.”

Contractors can’t teach that the U.S. is fundamentally racist or sexist, claim members of a certain race are oppressors or put blame on a certain race or sex for past actions committed by other members of the

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