Citibank to face court over $40 fees

Four more banks will have to respond to class actions over penalty fees on common bank accounts. Law firm Maurice Blackburn said on Friday that [...]

POSTED ON December 19, 2011
NSW first home buyers acting now

First-home buyers have been energised by the removal at the end of the year of the state government's stamp duty concession for the purchase of [...]

POSTED ON December 19, 2011
Auction results hit new low in Sydney

Sydney's auction clearance rate hit a new record low for the year this weekend and the median price of houses sold at the weekend collapsed [...]

POSTED ON December 19, 2011
Melbourne home values crash in 2011

Melbourne's median house price has lost $50,000 this year after peaking at $601,000 last December - an 8.3 per cent drop according to the Real [...]

POSTED ON December 19, 2011
Mosman still Australia’s top property market

Point Piper in Sydney's eastern suburbs recorded the highest median sales prices for both units and houses, while Brewarrina in North Western Australia was found [...]

POSTED ON December 16, 2011
Young want to save, old want to refinance

A new poll by Loan Market Group found 53 per cent of Australians want to boost savings in 2012. When asked "What's your 2012 financial [...]

POSTED ON December 16, 2011
More older Australians have a mortgage

The number of Australians who own their home outright has fallen over the past decade, as more older Australians remain in debt for longer. 37.2 [...]

POSTED ON December 16, 2011
Banks overstating funding problems

Banks are overstating the impact of the euro-zone crunch on their profit margins according to some analysts. In Australia deposits generally cover a little more [...]

POSTED ON December 16, 2011
ANZ eStatements hacked and offline

ANZ says it could take several weeks to fix the disabled eStatements function of its internet banking. A security magazine alerted ANZ to a technical [...]

POSTED ON December 16, 2011
NAB signals a new higher rates policy

National Australia Bank has warned that future rate cuts may not be passed on in full. Chairman Michael Chaney yesterday defended the banks' robust profitability [...]

POSTED ON December 16, 2011
Savers to win as rates fall

An analyst said a deposit rate battle between the banks was on the cards, but noted that it might be relative given markets were expecting [...]

POSTED ON December 15, 2011
Big rise in hardship disputes with banks

The Financial Ombudsman Service registered more than 6000 "financial difficulty" disputes in 2010-11, up from 2648 such disputes the previous year. This was part of [...]

POSTED ON December 15, 2011
Upset CBA customers told to call bank

CBA ATMS are working again after a service disruption overnight but the system failure has angered customers. "NetBank, ATM and EFTPOS services have been restored. [...]

POSTED ON December 15, 2011
Westpac wants flexibility to raise rates

Westpac chairman Ted Evans told the Government yesterday that it should butt out of banks' interest rate decisions. "Australian governments must allow our institutions of [...]

POSTED ON December 15, 2011
Business chases debt in 2011

Australian businesses are reducing their exposure to credit risks as they struggle with cash flow problems, a report has found. According to the Veda 2011 [...]

POSTED ON December 14, 2011
Credit card debt at historic lows

Credit card balances in Australia dropped to $49.11 billion for October, the fourth monthly drop in the longest sustained decline since records started in 1985. [...]

POSTED ON December 14, 2011
NSW leads the refinancing boom

The latest official home loan approval figures for October 2011 from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show a 17 per cent rise in refinancing activity [...]

POSTED ON December 14, 2011
House prices to rise in 2012 – maybe

SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher has predicted house prices will return to growth in 2012. While he conceded this was a "relatively bullish scenario", [...]

POSTED ON December 14, 2011
Ombudsman vows to get tough on lenders

The Credit Ombudsman Service has issued a position statement on responsible lending, claiming it will "get tough" on lenders. Ombudsman Raj Venga said the guide [...]

POSTED ON December 14, 2011
Challenging year for bank customers

The Financial Ombudsman Service has said consumer awareness is behind a massive rise in disputes. FOS reported a 27 per cent rise in disputes for [...]

POSTED ON December 14, 2011
Cardholders get no choice on contactless

The Financial Ombudsman Service has received "quite a number" of inquiries and dispute allegations about contactless card payments over the past year. The FOS reported [...]

POSTED ON December 14, 2011
Non-bank lenders get most complaints

Non-bank lenders continued to top the list of disputes over mortgages according to a report from the Financial Ombudsman Service. GE Money was the worst [...]

POSTED ON December 13, 2011
Most complaints get sorted out by bank

Disputes between borrowers and their banks surged nearly 30 per cent last financial year. A series of natural disasters last summer put more customers at [...]

POSTED ON December 13, 2011
More Aussies want home loans for less

The number of housing finance commitments has edged up steadily since the start of the year, but the value of these commitments has been declining [...]

POSTED ON December 13, 2011
Credit card cash advances dying out

A secular shift in the use of credit cards as a tool of household finance may be underway, with a decline for the fourth consecutive [...]

POSTED ON December 13, 2011
Most Aussies don’t want mobile payments

60 per cent of Australians aren't willing to use their mobile phones as digital wallets, according to KPMG, compared with 34 per cent globally. Only [...]

POSTED ON December 13, 2011
RBA rates to fall to 3 per cent

Analysts predict another RBA rate cut following a sharp slide in Australia's trade surplus by more than 25 per cent. The Australian dollar, which peaked [...]

POSTED ON December 13, 2011
Greater, NAB & online lenders make splash in 2011

In the mortgage market, Greater Building Society, spruiked by Jerry Seinfeld, has been making waves with big rate cuts. Internet sites loans.com.au, www.LowerYourRates.com.au and www.betteroption.com.au [...]

POSTED ON December 12, 2011
Switching banks is easier than ever

Switching banks is easier than ever and at last there are good reasons for making the trouble worthwhile. Good low-fee bank accounts and discount-rate mortgages [...]

POSTED ON December 12, 2011
Savers told to lock in high rates now

Infochoice says the top rates on offer last week for 12-month term deposits were about 5.75 per cent, while for online savings accounts they were [...]

POSTED ON December 12, 2011
Pre-paid cards come under scrutiny

Australia's A$1.5 billion gift card market may face tougher regulation in response to consumer complaints about variable expiry dates, restrictions on use, and fees that [...]

POSTED ON December 12, 2011
ANZ to become the rates whipping boy

National Australia Bank personal banking chief Lisa Gray said the group had no plans to review and announce changes to interest rates every month. "We're [...]

POSTED ON December 12, 2011
Lay-by competing with credit cards

Lay-by is making a comeback as customers look for ways to buy Christmas presents without spiralling into debt. The global financial crisis kickstarted the lay-by [...]

POSTED ON December 9, 2011
Phones with credit cards now on sale

The first Google Android smartphones potentially capable of replacing credit cards at point-of-sale retail terminals have shipped in Australia. A spokesman for Mobicity said pre-orders [...]

POSTED ON December 9, 2011
New responsible lending rules explained

The National Consumer Credit Protection Act has imposed responsible lending obligations on lenders and their credit representatives for the first time. The aim is to [...]

POSTED ON December 9, 2011
ANZ to set rates independently of RBA

ANZ warned the RBA now had little influence on bank funding costs and the bank would now set its interest rates monthly. NAB said it [...]

POSTED ON December 9, 2011
Big banks cave and cut rates

The big four banks have bowed to ferocious political pressure, cutting their mortgage rates by 0.25 per cent. Last night, Westpac became the last of [...]

POSTED ON December 9, 2011
AMP brings term deposits to workplace super

AMP said the popularity of term deposits in its personal super products had led it to introduce term deposits for its corporate super products, CustomSuper [...]

POSTED ON December 8, 2011
Banking & finance pull in massive profits

Financial corporations in Australia, including banks, generated A$68 billion in profits in the year to September 2011, 18 per cent of all profits earned by [...]

POSTED ON December 8, 2011
Credit unions offer best loan rates

Mutuals are currently offering the best available variable interest mortgage rates, at 6.57 per cent, compared with the best rate among the big four banks [...]

POSTED ON December 8, 2011
Retirees benefit from no rate cuts

Savers with bank deposits stand to benefit from any move by the big four banks not to pass on in full this week's 25 basis [...]

POSTED ON December 8, 2011
BoQ business borrowers get full rate cut

The Bank of Queensland passed on the full recent RBA rate cut to its business clients. The big four banks, however, are yet to act. [...]

POSTED ON December 8, 2011
Government tells banks to cut rates

Commonwealth treasurer Wayne Swan has warned the nation's major banks they face the wrath of their customers if they don't pass through the latest official [...]

POSTED ON December 8, 2011
Banks may not cut rates at all

The big banks may not cut mortgage rates at all as they shore up their profit margins in anticipation of a global credit freeze. The [...]

POSTED ON December 8, 2011
Borrowers like ongoing discount mortgages

Mortgage Choice data for November shows demand for fixed rate mortgage products has levelled off. Fixed rate approvals remained fairly steady at around 20%, but [...]

POSTED ON December 7, 2011
Property buyers are downsizing

According to research conducted by Bankwest, 38 per cent of home approvals were for medium density dwellings over the past year. The bank said this [...]

POSTED ON December 7, 2011
Travelex improves cash passport card

Travel money specialist Travelex has relaunched its foreign currency pre-paid card, Cash Passport, with new features and sharper pricing. Cash Passport is now a multi-currency [...]

POSTED ON December 7, 2011
BoQ and ME Bank first to cut rates

Bank of Queensland and ME Bank both announced cuts of 25 bps. These were the only rate reductions publicised late yesterday after the RBA announced [...]

POSTED ON December 7, 2011
RBA rate cuts give $100/month to borrowers

The Reserve Bank of Australia's Board decided to lower the cash rate to 4.25 per cent. Overall, the Board concluded, on the basis of all [...]

POSTED ON December 7, 2011
Big banks set to hold onto rate cuts

The Reserve Bank could be forced to cut interest rates again if the major Australian banks don't pass on yesterday's cut in full. The top [...]

POSTED ON December 7, 2011
RBA cuts rates – more cuts to come

The Reserve Bank will cut rates again in coming months economists say. Business leaders yesterday welcomed the central bank's move to lower the official interest [...]

POSTED ON December 7, 2011
Fraudsters hack CBA Netcode

Fraudsters are increasingly using social engineering techniques to steal mobile phone numbers and intercept their owners' online banking verification codes. The scam is sophisticated, as [...]

POSTED ON December 7, 2011
Credit union customers are happier

Consumer group CHOICE today released its 2011 bank customer satisfaction report. CHOICE's survey found that members of mutual banking groups were far happier and far [...]

POSTED ON December 7, 2011
Consumers want better banks

Consumer group CHOICE wrote to all big banks this week. CEO Nick Stace said that in 2011 ANZ reported profits of $5.36 billion, Commonwealth Bank [...]

POSTED ON December 7, 2011
CBA, NAB & Westpac fees to be challenged

Litigation funder IMF (Australia), which is running the ANZ penalty fees case, together with law firm Maurice Blackburn, said in a media release that it [...]

POSTED ON December 7, 2011
Rate cut causes spike in new mortgages

Mortgage aggregator AFG reported its highest monthly sales figures in almost three years in October, when its brokers completed A$2.9 billion worth of mortgage sales. [...]

POSTED ON December 7, 2011
Westpoint investors get $1.4 million

A group of investors in the failed Westpoint Group stand to receive over $1.39 million in compensation in a settlement reached by ASIC against Queensland [...]

POSTED ON December 7, 2011
Best restaurant gift card launched

The Australian gift card market is estimated to be worth close to $2 billion and is growing at 20 per cent per year. "I can [...]

POSTED ON December 5, 2011
Aussies choose savings over debt

New figures show deposits on the books of Australian banks keep rising dramatically, relative to loans, as consumers address their new-found craving to save. In [...]

POSTED ON December 5, 2011
Small loan reforms need a ‘revisit’

On Friday, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, which was inquiring into the changes, found that proposed short-term lending reforms did not [...]

POSTED ON December 5, 2011
Banks quietly slashing thousands of jobs

National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and Westpac have collectively cut more than 3300 jobs during the year, figures from the Finance Sector Union show. [...]

POSTED ON December 5, 2011
Rate cut brings investors back to market

It seems the Reserve Bank's decision to cut the official cash rate had a positive impact on Australia's borrowers, with the number of mortgages processed [...]

POSTED ON December 5, 2011
Rate cuts in question as bank ratings cut

The big four banks have had their credit ratings slashed, in a move that is tipped to dramatically reduce the chances of a rate cut [...]

POSTED ON December 5, 2011
Robin Hood hackers targeting credit cards worldwid

Hacktivist groups Anonymous and TeaMp0isoN have announced "Operation Robin Hood", a campaign of stealing credit card details to make donations to charities, homeless people and [...]

POSTED ON December 2, 2011
Social lending experiment to reopen in 2012

Australian online peer to peer lending service www.igrin.com.au is preparing to start broking new loans in early 2012. Peer to peer lending is people investing [...]

POSTED ON December 2, 2011
Westpac forced to drop ‘stress-free’ investments

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has rapped Westpac over the knuckles for publishing a guide to geared equity investment titled: "Stress-free Strategies to Accelerate [...]

POSTED ON December 2, 2011
Greater has the lowest 12month fixed rate

Greater Building Society yesterday cut its one-year rate by 25 basis points to 5.69 per cent, claiming it as the lowest home-loan rate on the [...]

POSTED ON December 2, 2011
NAB winning customers in deposits cards & loans

National Australia Bank is continuing to win market share in key lending and deposit areas from its big bank competitors. NAB increased its total lending [...]

POSTED ON December 2, 2011
Demand for personal credit is falling

Monthly data from APRA and the Reserve Bank on demand for credit shows no deviation from the consistent theme of 2011, which has been one [...]

POSTED ON December 1, 2011
NAB gaining ground in mortgage market

National Australia Bank is the one bank that has acquired meaningful extra market share in the home loan market over the last couple of years. [...]

POSTED ON December 1, 2011
Westpac wants to lend to big farmers

Westpac has launched an aggressive campaign to win the banking business of Australia's 2500 biggest farmers. Graham Jennings, head of Westpac's agribusiness and regional commercial [...]

POSTED ON December 1, 2011
IMB has top savings account rate

According to Infochoice, 55 institutions cut their at-call rates in November. While the majority cut their rates in line with the 25 basis point reduction [...]

POSTED ON December 1, 2011
Citi & Mystate have best 90day term deposits

Infochoice figures show that more than 30 institutions cut their term deposit rates over the past month. Reductions in 90-day deposit rates were in the [...]

POSTED ON December 1, 2011
Credit unions grabbing more marketshare

Quarterly statistics released by APRA show that credit unions, building societies and mutual banks grew by 8.7% for the year ended 30 September 2011, higher [...]

POSTED ON November 30, 2011
NAB says mortgage price war will continue

The price war between Australia's majors shows no signs of abating, NAB Broker's general manager distribution John Flavell has claimed. "I expect to see a [...]

POSTED ON November 30, 2011
Savings tax discount delayed again

The Government has pushed back commencement of the tax discount for interest income to July 2013. The scheme was first announced back in May 2010 [...]

POSTED ON November 30, 2011
Amex travel cards at Aussie Post

American Express is putting its own staff into Australia Post outlets to operate standalone Amex service counters. The first of the new Amex kiosks opened [...]

POSTED ON November 30, 2011
HSBC has 24hr forex for world citizens

HSBC Bank Australia has launched a 24-hour foreign exchange trading service with live pricing. The service, Get Rate, is for retail and small-business customers. HSBC [...]

POSTED ON November 30, 2011
Citibank Plus account works everywhere

In October, Citibank removed fees for overseas ATM withdrawals, overseas point-of-sale transactions and overseas funds transfers (to other Citibank accounts) from its Citibank Plus Transaction [...]

POSTED ON November 30, 2011
The Rock to get more products from MyState

MyState will acquire The Rock, subject to final court approval on Thursday, after shareholders voted in favour of the deal yesterday. More than 96 per [...]

POSTED ON November 29, 2011
First home deposit out of reach

According to new data from ING DIRECT, 36 per cent of first home buyers said there is "no way" they would be able to save [...]

POSTED ON November 29, 2011
CBA awaits Apple approval of Kaching

Apple is dragging the chain on the release of the Commonwealth Bank's Kaching iPhone app. Kelly Bayer Rosmann, CBA's executive general manager of business products [...]

POSTED ON November 29, 2011
RBA likely to deliver Christmas rate cut

The ongoing eurozone crisis may force the RBA to introduce further interest rate cuts before Christmas. Chief economist at AMP Capital Shane Oliver said there [...]

POSTED ON November 29, 2011
Big bank term deposit rates falling fast

The big four banks have all lowered their term deposit rates this week. The rates are almost the same so I won't bother to differentiate. [...]

POSTED ON November 29, 2011
NAB has lowest rates for farm loans

National Australia Bank (NAB) has the most attractive base lending rate for agribusiness. Just five financial institutions in the agribusiness loan market have dropped their [...]

POSTED ON November 28, 2011
High fees force travellers to pre-paid cards

High card fees are making pre-paid cards more popular. Dirk Hofman, spokesperson at financial comparison service Infochoice said a range of new pre-paid offers have [...]

POSTED ON November 28, 2011
28 Degrees offers great deal for travellers

Travellers are regularly being charged $10 to withdraw their own money from their debit or credit cards at international ATMs. There's not much Australian travellers [...]

POSTED ON November 28, 2011
Virgin & Bankwest have great xmas card offers

The standout credit card offers right now include the Virgin Flyer credit card, which is offering zero per cent for six months on cash advances, [...]

POSTED ON November 28, 2011
Banks fail to cut rates on credit cards

Only four of the 200-plus credit cards on the market have reduced their annual interest rate by at least 0.25 percentage points in line with [...]

POSTED ON November 28, 2011
ME Bank is the overall customer favourite

The latest Roy Morgan Research consumer banking customer satisfaction report was published yesterday showing an overall rise in the big banks' ratings, in contrast to [...]

POSTED ON November 24, 2011
NAB takes over as our favourite big bank

National Australia Bank's “break up” campaign has propelled the bank to top spot on Roy Morgan's customer satisfaction ratings for the first time in more [...]

POSTED ON November 24, 2011
Rates predicted to fall to 3 per cent

Speculation is mounting that the Reserve Bank will again cut rates in two weeks. JP Morgan forecasts the Reserve Bank will again lower interest rates [...]

POSTED ON November 23, 2011
NAB borrowers urged to call the bank

Unlike other banks, NAB's reference rate products are reviewed annually, rather than in response to individual interest rate movements. This means NAB customers could still [...]

POSTED ON November 17, 2011
How to break a fixed mortgage

If you're already on a fixed-rate loan and are thinking about refinancing, ask first for an indicative payout figure, making sure this includes any break [...]

POSTED ON November 17, 2011