Australia opens door to covered bonds...
Australia opened the door to covered bonds at the weekend, announcing a series of bank reforms that included a promise to amend a key law restricting the sale of covered bonds. That law enshrined the priority of depositors in a bank default — so the government pre-empted any gripes from depositors by guaranteeing all deposits worth up to A$1m.
Details are still scant, but market participants do not expect a full covered bond law. The government will draft an amendment to the 1959 Banking Act in the first session of parliament in 2011, starting in early February, and will then discuss the amendment with regulators.
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