CBA fears lead bank shares down

Shares in the major banks fell yesterday after the market was spooked by the Commonwealth Bank. The bank called an investor briefing and said that it would exclude unrealised losses and gains on derivatives used for hedging from its profit reporting which caused investor concerns that the bank must be sitting on derivatives losses. However a source at the CBA told The Australian that the rumours could not have been further from the truth. The bank's chief financial officer said that it was merely bringing profit reporting into line with its peers as accounting standards did not provide any guidance about which items should be included. Shares in CBA were down 4.2 per cent to $49, NAB lost 3.4 per cent to $34.19 while St George lost 2 per cent, Westpac fell 1 per cent and 0.7 per cent was shaved off ANZ.

Source: The Australian