Protection on the rise

In a recent report the Productivity Commission estimates that Australian farmers receive subsidies to the effect of 6% of their income. Subsidies vary, with dairy [...]

POSTED ON April 4, 2008
Double the first number you thought of

The latest AFSA-Westpac retirement cost of living for September 2007 indicates that a couple will need to have an annual income of over $48,000 to [...]

POSTED ON April 3, 2008
Australia has little to worry about

Assuming models created by the academics at the Australia National University (ANU) and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) are correct, a downturn in the [...]

POSTED ON April 3, 2008
Business lending stalls

Recent interest rate increases have begun to take effect on business with signs that the market for business lending is slowing quickly. RBA data released [...]

POSTED ON April 2, 2008
Wheat farmers buoyed by news

US Department of Agriculture data on US grain has supported Australian expectations of good wheat prices. Rabobank analyst Luke Chandler said that assuming good rain [...]

POSTED ON April 2, 2008
Australian banks avoid sub-prime

The Australian banking sector is among the few globally that have showed a positive return in 2007, having had the second largest decline in total [...]

POSTED ON April 2, 2008
Home ownership declines

In evidence to a Senate Select Committee yesterday Federal Treasury has indicated that just half of home buyers aged 55-64 have paid off their homes. [...]

POSTED ON April 2, 2008
RBA keeps interest rates unchanged

In good news for home loan borrowers, the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 7.25% at [...]

POSTED ON April 1, 2008
Banks fight it out for online supremacy

New market entrants have forced the more entrenched banks to improve online access for their clients. It is expected that banks will be required to [...]

POSTED ON April 1, 2008
Banks capture entire growth in lending market

According to The Sheet, statistics recently issued by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) have indicated that banks have captured almost 100% of the growth [...]

POSTED ON April 1, 2008
Bluestone buy out

Funded by BOS International, Bluestone advised key relationships on Friday that Management had purchased Bluestone. Alistair Jeffery who previously held 25% of the company is [...]

POSTED ON March 31, 2008
Crunch as banks trim loans

Banks and other lenders are beginning to reduce loan to valuation ratios, reversing recent trends. According to Martin North there is no appetite for high [...]

POSTED ON March 31, 2008
Bank results beginning to sour

Four of the five major banks close their books for their financial half year and banking analysts are expecting to see further write downs. Analysts [...]

POSTED ON March 31, 2008
States agree on business reporting and securities

The state governments have reached agreement on a project which will streamline the financial reporting businesses have to submit to regulators and tax agencies. The [...]

POSTED ON March 28, 2008
More land needed, not money

Light has been shed on the housing affordability problem with new figures from the Reserve Bank estimating that first home buyers between the ages of [...]

POSTED ON March 28, 2008
US consumers worried about economy

Consumer confidence in America has sunk to its lowest point since the oil crisis in 1973 and, along with a weaker job market and falling [...]

POSTED ON March 27, 2008
Banks may have to lift home loan rates further

Banks are still absorbing some of the higher cost of funding their loan books despite increasing their rates by more than official cash rate movements [...]

POSTED ON March 27, 2008
ASX beefs up fines for market manipulation

Any stockbrokers found to be seriously manipulating the market will face a maximum fine of $1 million from Monday. The Australian Securities Exchange said that [...]

POSTED ON March 27, 2008
Non-bank lenders should get government support

Leading economists have called on the government to support small mortgage lenders by creating funding scheme similar to those operating in the US and Canada. [...]

POSTED ON March 27, 2008
Funds check their short selling

Several superannuation funds have reviewed their stock lending practices following concerns about the level of targeted short selling in the market. AustralianSuper says that the [...]

POSTED ON March 26, 2008
Broker regulation talks start

Business groups have said that regulation of the mortgage broking industry will help drive out fringe lenders. Peak groups representing brokers, the Mortgage and Finance [...]

POSTED ON March 26, 2008
Every silver lining has a cloud

Share markets staged something of a recovery yesterday following news from the US of stranger than expected housing sales in February, and JP Morgan's decision [...]

POSTED ON March 26, 2008
Franchisees want more than money

A good work and life balance is the reason most commonly nominated by franchisees for getting involved in franchising. A study of 890 franchisees found [...]

POSTED ON March 25, 2008
Interest rates at mutuals hit profits

Revenue growth has not kept pace with cost growth at credit unions and building societies as they try to limit passing on increased funding costs [...]

POSTED ON March 25, 2008
Broker business jumps

Loans obtained through mortgage brokers jumped 24 per cent to $18.24 billion during the December quarter. Figures from researcher Market Intelligence Strategy Centre show that [...]

POSTED ON March 25, 2008
Property flood softens market

The number of residential properties for sale jumped almost 80 per cent in February compared with the same time last year. After 70,000 homes were [...]

POSTED ON March 25, 2008
Antiquated systems cost customers

Banks are being accused of ripping off their customers by running 30-year-old payment processing systems that cannot transact in real time. Mike Aston, chief executive [...]

POSTED ON March 25, 2008
Commission restructure set to worry brokers

National Australia Bank and St George Bank have both changed their commission arrangements with mortgage brokers in an effort to encourage more high margin business. [...]

POSTED ON March 20, 2008
Growth rate worries RBA

Australia's population grew by 318,500 in the year to September, our fastest growth rate since late in 1989. Much of the growth came from the [...]

POSTED ON March 20, 2008
New tool offers CFD experience

The Australian Securities Exchange has revamped its online education tools including a new trading simulator available to help investors learn about contracts for difference. Head [...]

POSTED ON March 19, 2008
Reserve happy with rates for now

Minutes from the Reserve Bank's March meeting suggest that borrowers are likely to be spared another rate rise when the board next meets on 1 [...]

POSTED ON March 19, 2008
Traveller’s cheques

A traveller’s cheque is a fixed amount cheque that can be purchased in a variety of amounts and currencies. The cheques are usually signed by [...]

POSTED ON March 18, 2008
Cash passport

A cash passport is a prepaid card designed for use when travelling. The card can be loaded with a range of currencies so that you [...]

POSTED ON March 18, 2008
One way or return?

Is the quoted fare for a one-way or return flight? Many of the low fares on offer are one-way tickets only. Be sure you are [...]

POSTED ON March 18, 2008
Coalition to quiz RBA

The governor of the Reserve Bank, Glenn Stevens, is expected to face questioning over its handling of monetary policy when he appears before a parliamentary [...]

POSTED ON March 18, 2008
Investors worried by extent of US Fed action

Interventions by the US Federal Reserve intended to boost the economy are being increasingly seen by investors as signs of desperation and only serving to [...]

POSTED ON March 18, 2008
Non-bank lenders squeezed by rates

Non-bank lenders are being hit with a double whammy at the moment with wholesale lenders imposing hefty rate increases and funding costs soaring in wholesale [...]

POSTED ON March 18, 2008
Cards, cheques or cash – what’s best?

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY The general consensus in the marketplace is that when travelling overseas you should take a combination of cash, cards and travellers cheques [...]

POSTED ON March 17, 2008
Travel now or save for later?

Live now, pay later may sound a great maxim, but it’s not one that should be applied to travel and holidays. If you can avoid paying [...]

POSTED ON March 17, 2008
Minimising the costs of going away

Travelling is normally great fun, but it can really knock a hole in your finances, particularly if you have chosen expensive destinations. Order a round [...]

POSTED ON March 17, 2008
Travel Insurance

Whatever your age, fitness level or destination, taking out the right insurance before you travel is an absolute necessity. It really doesn’t matter how careful [...]

POSTED ON March 17, 2008
Organising passports and visas

Passports While all new Australian passports now contain microchips that enable the bearer’s identity to be electronically confirmed in some ports, a passport is still [...]

POSTED ON March 17, 2008
Playing It Safe

Travelling, for most people, is one of great pleasures of life. Well, at least it can be if all goes smoothly. However, travelling throws up [...]

POSTED ON March 17, 2008
Mutuals cheaper than big banks

The major banks have increased their variable mortgage rates by between 0.29 and 0.35 of a percentage point, but only eight out of 146 credit [...]

POSTED ON March 17, 2008
Auctions show property softening

The busiest weekend for auctions this year has seen clearance rates tumble with only 24 per cent of homes on the block in Brisbane sold, [...]

POSTED ON March 17, 2008
Inflation worries Reserve

The Reserve Bank remains concerned about the rate of inflation with governor Glenn Stevens saying that the headline rate is likely to reach 4 per [...]

POSTED ON March 17, 2008
ASIC warns on fringe brokers

A survey of home owners struggling to meet mortgage repayments has found cases of fringe brokers engaging in "equity stripping". Borrowers are being asked to [...]

POSTED ON March 14, 2008
Construction strong despite high rates

The level of building starts has not been affected by the recent interest rate rises according to researcher BIS Shrapnel. "Rates are rising but we [...]

POSTED ON March 13, 2008
Co-operation could cut banking costs

The Bank of Queensland has put forward an argument for increased sharing of processing and payment services between banks, saying that such a move could [...]

POSTED ON March 13, 2008
Losses mounting in super funds

Superannuation funds are heading for their first annual loss in six years on the back of a 25 per cent fall in the sharemarket since [...]

POSTED ON March 12, 2008
Rate rises may be over for now

If the bond futures market is any gauge we may have seen the end to the string of interest rate rises by the Reserve Bank. [...]

POSTED ON March 12, 2008
ASIC ramps up investigations

The corporate regulator is seeking explanations for a number of suspicious share trades as it steps up its efforts to clamp down on market manipulation. [...]

POSTED ON March 12, 2008
Borrowers try dodging higher rates

ANZ and St George both announced 35 basis point increases for their variable rate mortgages yesterday, making them the most expensive of the five big [...]

POSTED ON March 12, 2008
Legal action planned against Fincorp directors

Insolvency firm KordaMentha has told creditors of collapsed property group Fincorp that there could be a basis for pursuing legal action against its directors. The [...]

POSTED ON March 11, 2008
CUA pulls out of broker channel

Credit Union Australia has decided to withdraw from broker-based mortgage origination. CUA, the nation's largest credit union, said that it is confident that the 30 [...]

POSTED ON March 11, 2008
Investors pick on the wrong AFG

Cranky investors in troubled Allco Finance Group have been taking out their frustrations on the wrong company. Allco's share price has lost more than $6 [...]

POSTED ON March 11, 2008
Businesses looking at lower profits

Rising interest rates have reduced the sales and profit expectations of businesses. A survey of 800 firms by Dun and Bradstreet found that the index [...]

POSTED ON March 11, 2008
Easing property market expected this year

A global real estate survey has found that the Australian property market has been more resilient to the effects of the credit crunch and sub-prime [...]

POSTED ON March 11, 2008
CBA rates higher than other major banks

The Commonwealth Bank has revealed a 0.35 percentage point increase on its standard variable mortgage. The rise means that CBA now has the most expensive [...]

POSTED ON March 11, 2008
Analyst tips Aussie recession

Chief market strategist at Morgan Stanley, Gerard Minack, is predicting that Australia will be dragged into recession by a slowing world economy, the effects of [...]

POSTED ON March 10, 2008
Amex users pay more and are less accepted

Holders of American Express credit cards are finding that they pay higher surcharges than if they use Visa or MasterCard. Research has found that since [...]

POSTED ON March 10, 2008
Westpac up, others sure to follow

Westpac has followed the lead of National Australia Bank by increasing its variable rate home loan by more than the Reserve Bank's 0.25 percentage point [...]

POSTED ON March 10, 2008
Big margin call on Allco directors

Shares in Allco Finance Group, owned by the company's directors through a margin loan facility held by Allco Principals Investments, have been handed over to [...]

POSTED ON March 7, 2008
Increased scrutiny for short-sellers

Market regulators are clamping down on short-selling activities, reminding hedge funds that they have legal obligations to disclose their activities in this area. The Australian [...]

POSTED ON March 7, 2008
NAB leads charge with higher rates

Of the major banks National Australia Bank has moved first to announce increased variable rates for its mortgage products. The bank has taken the opportunity to [...]

POSTED ON March 6, 2008
Record February share trades

The Australian Securities Exchange has reported its busiest February on record. Cash market trades of 8 million in February were 80 per cent higher than [...]

POSTED ON March 6, 2008
Banks may have to lend less

Banks are starting to reduce their lending activities and the Reserve Bank believes the tightening could get worse. Assistant governor Guy Debelle told a conference [...]

POSTED ON March 6, 2008
GDP up but productivity weak

The national accounts to the end of December show that gross domestic product rose a healthy 3.9 per cent last year, although productivity did not [...]

POSTED ON March 6, 2008
Adelaide Bank hikes wholesale rates

Adelaide Bank is the first lender to lift interest rates by more than the Reserve Bank's increase in the official cash rate. With the high [...]

POSTED ON March 6, 2008
Macquarie mortgage business under pressure

Macquarie has decided to significantly scale down its mortgage business in response to the increasing cost of credit. The banks says that it will continue [...]

POSTED ON March 5, 2008
Higher rates for BankWest business deposits

Following the Reserve Bank's increase in the official cash rate of 25 basis points this week, BankWest has moved quickly to pass on the benefit [...]

POSTED ON March 5, 2008
Currency dips on rate outlook

Exporters could benefit from a lower dollar which fell yesterday as markets absorbed the statement from Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens. Markets had already factored [...]

POSTED ON March 5, 2008
City Pacific stops trading, freezes fund

City Pacific has sought permission to freeze withdrawals from its $900 million First Mortgage Fund. The move comes as shares in the company were placed [...]

POSTED ON March 5, 2008
Investment property recovery will be slow

Improving rental returns had been encouraging a few more investors back into the property market but the latest rate rise is likely to delay any [...]

POSTED ON March 5, 2008
BankWest woos depositors with higher rates

BankWest has moved quickly to pass on the RBA's official cash rate, lifting the introductory rate on its TeleNet Saver by 25 basis points to [...]

POSTED ON March 5, 2008
Banks tipped to deliver double pain

The 90 day bank bill swap rate has stabilised, indicating that we may be at the end of the cycle of rate rises, but banks [...]

POSTED ON March 5, 2008
Borrowers hit with another rate rise

The Reserve Bank has today increased the official cash rate by 0.25 percentage points, citing the need to contain and reduce inflation over the medium [...]

POSTED ON March 4, 2008
Directors pressured to show their margins

Asciano is the first company to disclose the margin loan positions of its executives following a reminder of disclosure obligations from the Australian Securities Exchange [...]

POSTED ON March 4, 2008
All the signs point to higher rates

Financial indicators are all pointing to the need for another increase in interest rates by the Reserve Bank today. Company profits grew by 3.9 per [...]

POSTED ON March 4, 2008
Rental affordability plan doubled

The federal Labor government has doubled the size of its scheme to increase the number of affordable rental properties. Tax incentives will now be provided [...]

POSTED ON March 4, 2008
Scammers getting smarter

About 3 million people in Britain are estimated to have been victims of scams each year at a cost of around $7.35 billion and there [...]

POSTED ON March 3, 2008
ATO targets do-it-yourself super

The Australian Taxation Office has renewed its warnings to trustees of self-managed superannuation funds after finding that many do not understand their basic legal obligations. [...]

POSTED ON March 3, 2008
Non-bank lenders adjust loan books

As capital keeps getting harder to raise, non-bank lenders are having to cut the amount of loans they write or even stop taking on new [...]

POSTED ON March 3, 2008
Shareholders want better margin disclosure

The Australian Shareholders Association has urged the Australian Securities Exchange and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to take a tougher line on directors' disclosure [...]

POSTED ON March 3, 2008
Swan stands by economic strategy

Treasurer Wayne Swan has said that the economy will continue to grow strongly despite concerns that government spending cuts and rising interest rates could tip [...]

POSTED ON March 3, 2008
Mortgage originator goes into receivership

A mortgage provider in NSW that uses debentures to fund its business has appointed a receiver and intends to wind up the company. The Port [...]

POSTED ON February 29, 2008
Bank interest rates set to rise again

Banks once again find themselves under increasing pressure to lift their interest rates outside of adjustments in the official cash rate by the Reserve Bank. [...]

POSTED ON February 29, 2008
BankWest heads east, wins customers

HBOS Australia has reported a 15 per cent increase in profit before tax to $757 million and says that it will open 40 new BankWest [...]

POSTED ON February 29, 2008
Director margin loans under scrutiny

Investors want greater disclosure margin loans held by directors against shares in their companies and the federal Minister for Corporate Law, Nick Sherry, has asked [...]

POSTED ON February 28, 2008
Investors cannot ignore improved rents

The second half of 2007 has seen a surge in interest from investors in the property market the managing director of LJ Hooker, Warren McCarthy, [...]

POSTED ON February 28, 2008