Banks swiftly decrease deposit rates

Many of the major banks have pointed to increased funding costs as the primary reason for not being able to pass on the full 25 [...]

POSTED ON April 16, 2009
Cash Converters lending more

Retailer, pawn broker and financial services provider Cash Converters is planning to expand the range of financial services it offers to customers. Cash Converters boast [...]

POSTED ON April 16, 2009
Infochoice Smart Investor Awards Survey

InfoChoice would like your help in judging the upcoming AFR Smart Investor Awards. We want to know how you rank the most important factors based [...]

POSTED ON April 16, 2009
Rate cuts – RBA forced to go big

The Reserve Bank will be forced to make big cuts to interest rates in coming months to ensure that at least some of the cuts [...]

POSTED ON April 15, 2009
Bankwest simplifies personal loans

Bankwest has 'relaunched' its three personal loan products which it says have been improved to better meet customer needs. The Bankwest Car Loan offers a [...]

POSTED ON April 15, 2009
Stimulus money goes on card debts

More than half of taxpayers who are due to receive economic stimulus payments of up to $900 from the federal government will use the money [...]

POSTED ON April 15, 2009
Your cheque is in the mail says ATO

People who have already lodged their 2007-08 tax return will begin receiving their tax bonus payments from this week. Tax Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo said if [...]

POSTED ON April 15, 2009
St George offering business mentoring

St George Bank is again running its Small Business Mentor Program competition, together with ActionCOACH. The program, now in its second year, aims to provide [...]

POSTED ON April 15, 2009
More taking the easy way out of debt

Middle class and high income earners are choosing to take advantage of cheap and easy insolvencies to escape their debt. During the three months to [...]

POSTED ON April 14, 2009
Banks unmoved by kick in bum

The major banks will reap $800 million dollars from their decisions to hold back at least part of the Reserve Bank's 0.25 per cent rate [...]

POSTED ON April 9, 2009
Cheap bankruptcies booming

The growth in non-business related bankruptcy activity continues to grow. Bankruptcies were up 13.66 per cent over the figures from the March quarter of 2008 [...]

POSTED ON April 9, 2009
Banks pass on rate cut to depositors

The Reserve bank of Australia yesterday cut official interest rates by 0.25 per cent to a 49 year low of three per cent. Although banks [...]

POSTED ON April 8, 2009
Only one fee-free bank account remains

Bankwest's Zero Transaction Account is the only account in the market currently to provide a rebate covering all foreign ATM withdrawal fees, as long as [...]

POSTED ON April 8, 2009
No compo for wrong credit reports

The Federal Court has dismissed a case against the credit reporting agency Veda Advantage claiming defamation and negligence arising from alleged failure to maintain accurate [...]

POSTED ON April 8, 2009
Stimulus payments start coming through

The government's tax bonus payments began on Monday, with eligible taxpayers set to receive $250, $600 or $900. An estimated 8.7 million taxpayers are eligible [...]

POSTED ON April 8, 2009
RBA cuts cash rate, how have the banks responded

It was anyone's guess as to what the decision would be proceeding today's Reserve Bank of Australia's Board Meeting. Leading economists across Australia were equally [...]

POSTED ON April 7, 2009
Banks wear losses from card skimming

The Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) is assuring customers they are not liable for unauthorised transactions on their accounts when they become victims of skimming crimes. [...]

POSTED ON April 7, 2009
Banks are NOT profiteering

Banks have not added much to their margins over the course of the credit crunch says the Reserve Bank of Australia. Ric Battelino, deputy governor [...]

POSTED ON April 6, 2009
Westpac extends aid to business borrowers

Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly says that the Westpac/St George Banks will extend the mortgage and loan assistance package for unemployed people to its small [...]

POSTED ON April 6, 2009
Housing approvals show signs of recovery

The latest February building approvals data released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has indicated signs of recovery in most states. Western Australia posted the [...]

POSTED ON April 3, 2009
Falling property prices, a recipe for disaster

Falling house prices are starting to have an effect on the housing market, with many borrowers losing equity in their home. Unemployment fears are prompting [...]

POSTED ON April 3, 2009
First home buyers risky for banks

Banks are sitting on a bad debt time bomb caused by increasing numbers of first home buyers entering the market says research from Royal Bank [...]

POSTED ON April 2, 2009
Banks look after their commercial loans

Commercial property investors are vulnerable to banks raising the margins on their loan facilities because the global financial crisis constitutes a 'material change in circumstance' [...]

POSTED ON April 2, 2009
Pay day lenders find ways around the rules

The pay-day lending industry is preparing, in various ways, for the introduction of the uniform national consumer code that will set a cap of 48 [...]

POSTED ON April 2, 2009
Lending flatlines in February

Owner-occupied lending remains the only growth sector of the credit market according to figures released by the Reserve Bank. There was no growth in credit [...]

POSTED ON April 1, 2009
Qantas extends frequent flyer deadline

A last minute rush by credit card customers angling to transfer their reward points to Qantas frequent flyer points forced the airline to extend the [...]

POSTED ON April 1, 2009
Market leader Bankwest losing deposits

Thousands of Bankwest customers have abandoned the bank since it was taken over by Commonwealth and moved to Westpac, ANZ and Bendigo Bank. Household deposits [...]

POSTED ON April 1, 2009
First home borrowers need to be more conservative

Falling interest rates, government incentives and initiatives, and decreases in the overall cost of living has provided relief to mortgage stressed households. The latest edition [...]

POSTED ON March 31, 2009
Qantas Frequent Flyer: time to choose, or not?

Qantas' lengthy campaign run over the last couple of months alerting qualifying cardholders to make a decision in relation to transferring their loyalty points to [...]

POSTED ON March 31, 2009
$900 can save $3K off credit card

All taxpayers earning less than $100,000 in 2007/2008 will receive a bonus payment of up to $900 from the federal government in April. Experts say [...]

POSTED ON March 31, 2009
CBA, Westpac tighten home loan rules again

Commonwealth Bank yesterday tightened credit criteria further on home loans. In a circular to third part originators the bank announced a reduced maximum loan to [...]

POSTED ON March 31, 2009
Bankwest ends east coast expansion

Commonwealth Bank's decision to cut 400 jobs at Bank of Western Australia signals the end of any east coast expansion plans under the Bankwest banner. [...]

POSTED ON March 31, 2009
Westpac Choice goes fee free

The Australian Securities and Investments commission issued a statement saying Westpac has agreed to modify the terms and conditions of a deposit product, Westpac Choice, [...]

POSTED ON March 30, 2009
Savings accounts can be misleading

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission gave the banks notice of its intention to police advertising standards more vigorously when it wrote to the Australian [...]

POSTED ON March 30, 2009
Missing mortgage repayments no big deal

Almost a third of Australians with a mortgage said they would skip a home loan repayment in preference to doing without utilities and basic consumer [...]

POSTED ON March 26, 2009
Pension up, deeming rate down

Pensioners are better off this week after last week's increase in pensions and allowances and a cut in deeming rates to their lowest level in [...]

POSTED ON March 26, 2009
ATM direct charging a success

Reserve Bank assistant governor Philip Lowe yesterday gave his seal of approval to the outcome of the new ATM direct charging system, declaring that "most [...]

POSTED ON March 25, 2009
ANZ ATM skimmed

ANZ Bank is working with Victoria Police to find the criminals responsible for installing a fraudulent skimming device near an ATM at 353 Elizabeth St [...]

POSTED ON March 25, 2009
Spend up or forget about card rewards

Credit card holders must spend at least $2,000 per month to get any value from credit card rewards programs according to consumer advocates. Consumers who [...]

POSTED ON March 24, 2009
Customers choose convenience over free ATMs

Almost half of all ATM transactions in Australia are foreign ATM transactions incurring charges. Analysis of the latest Reserve Bank payment data by MWE Consulting [...]

POSTED ON March 24, 2009
Debit better value than credit card

The value of payments made on debit cards is increasing at almost three times the rate for credit and charge cards, according to the latest [...]

POSTED ON March 23, 2009
Govt encouraging Aussie sub-prime crisis

The federal government is encouraging an Australian version of the US sub-prime crisis with its economic stimulus payments and first home owner grants says a [...]

POSTED ON March 23, 2009
Fixed rate loan disputes boom

The banking and finance division of the Financial Ombudsman Service has reported that the number of disputes it is handling doubled in the second half [...]

POSTED ON March 19, 2009
Amex improves Membership Rewards

The Qantas Frequent Flyer move to a direct earn points system has sparked plenty of re-positioning in the reward program market. While some card issuers [...]

POSTED ON March 19, 2009
ANZ/Esanda offer premium term deposits

Esanda managing director Moray McDonald said it was business as usual after the finance company's parent, ANZ, announced yesterday that it would absorb the company, [...]

POSTED ON March 19, 2009
ABN Amro now RBS

RBS Australia undertook some public relations via national newspapers in connection with the rebranding of the ABN Amro businesses under the names of its new [...]

POSTED ON March 17, 2009
Westpac calls customers on Do Not Call register

Westpac copped a warning from the Australian Communications and Media Authority over what the regulator described as prohibited telemarketing calls. In a media release yesterday [...]

POSTED ON March 17, 2009
Pay off $5K card debt with $3K

The economic stimulus payments from the federal government are a once in a lifetime opportunity to pay down debt, but smart consumers can make even [...]

POSTED ON March 16, 2009
Customers reject nasty ATMs

Customers Limited, owner of the largest non-bank network of automatic teller machines, said transaction levels declined 12 per cent over first two weeks of the [...]

POSTED ON March 16, 2009
Govt widens lending support to banks

The Australian government may co-invest in commercial loans in any industry sector and will not confine its lending to commercial property and construction as first [...]

POSTED ON March 13, 2009
Investors come back to the banks

The four major banks outperformed the index this week (ending Thursday), marking an average 2.9 per cent increase to a 1.5 per cent lift in [...]

POSTED ON March 13, 2009
ATO checks in on businesses for super obligations

Concerns that businesses may be tempted to avoid their legal obligations in providing compulsory superannuation contributions to their employees as they battle financial hardships has [...]

POSTED ON March 13, 2009
Beware of the mortgage exit fee sting

Many fixed rate borrowers who opted to lock in their mortgages in the first half of 2008 when interest rates were peaking are likely to [...]

POSTED ON March 13, 2009
Money rolls in for independent ATM owners

The Reserve Bank's controversial "direct charging" ATM reform introduced last week is proving to be a lucrative deal for independent ATM owners. The changes now [...]

POSTED ON March 13, 2009
Commbank chases small business

The Commonwealth Bank has announced a small business initiative. According to Ian Narev, Head of the Commonwealth Bank's Business and Private Banking division, the package [...]

POSTED ON March 12, 2009
Consumers fight unfair ATM charges

Three days after the Reserve Bank of Australia's ATM fee reform came into effect on 3 March 2009, consumer dissatisfaction has prompted Westpac and St [...]

POSTED ON March 12, 2009
40,000 GE customers can exit for free

Under an agreement between GE (the owner of Wizard Home Loans) and Aussie Home Loans, a Wizard customer is free to place the business with [...]

POSTED ON March 11, 2009
First home buyers make use of government grants

Successive interest rate cuts, government incentives and falling property prices have been key factors in driving significant improvements in housing activity for first home buyers. [...]

POSTED ON March 10, 2009
60,000 credit card details stolen

Sixty thousand credit card customer records held by a internet domain name reseller, Bottle Domains, have been stolen and offered for sale to criminals on [...]

POSTED ON March 6, 2009
Beware scams and fake bank emails

Have you ever been made an offer that sounds too good to be true, that compels you to provide confidential personal information or asks you [...]

POSTED ON March 6, 2009
Bank fees are too high

Australians are paying on average 22 per cent more than British households and 11 per cent more than American households. "We have some of the [...]

POSTED ON March 5, 2009
NSW economy breathes a glimmer of hope

The government's $8.7 billion handout to consumers in December along with lower interest rates have played a key role in stimulating NSW's housing and retail [...]

POSTED ON March 5, 2009
ATM fees change

National Australia Bank emerged as a discounter in the automatic teller machine segment on the first day of the operation of the "convenience fee" regime [...]

POSTED ON March 4, 2009
Apartment buyers try to bale out

Hundreds of nervous investors are offering their Melbourne Docklands apartments for sale, leading developers and property analysts to fear an imminent price meltdown. The trend [...]

POSTED ON March 12, 2004
Email scams not a worry: ABA

The number of e-mail online banking scams has risen globally from three per week to about 50 per week since November and Australian banks' sites [...]

POSTED ON March 12, 2004
April rate rise chances evaporate

The chances of an interest rate rise in April have sharply receded this week after plunging housing finance figures, weak job figures and signs of [...]

POSTED ON March 12, 2004
Equity loans an economic risk

The Bank of International Settlements says the growing use of home equity loans poses a global economic risk - and Australia is one of the [...]

POSTED ON March 11, 2004
Differentiation the key for property investors

Differentiation should be a major factor for investors looking for investment property, says Westpac's head of property Frank Allen. He said the residential property market [...]

POSTED ON March 11, 2004
New FSR laws branded a ‘fiasco’

Hundreds of businesses are facing fines for not having new licences under the Financial Services Reform Act coming into effect today. While ASIC has processed [...]

POSTED ON March 11, 2004
Customers ‘unhappy’ with estate agents

A survey of real estate agents' customers reveals that about half were unhappy with aspects of the service they received over the past two years. [...]

POSTED ON March 9, 2004
‘Puppies’ team up to buy homes

People unable to afford homes on their own are joining up with relatives, friends and even strangers to buy under joint mortgage agreements. The new [...]

POSTED ON March 8, 2004
Big banks will bet on insurance

The Big Four banks are likely to turn to general insurance as a way to grow their non-banking products, according to Suncorp Metway. CEO John [...]

POSTED ON March 8, 2004
Rates left on hold – for now

Official interest rates were left steady at 5.25 per cent by the Reserve Bank at its March monetary policy meeting. But strong consumer borrowing levels [...]

POSTED ON March 5, 2004
House prices to keep falling

Sydney house prices have fallen 2 per cent since the beginning of this year and will continue to do so, according to CPM Research. MD [...]

POSTED ON March 4, 2004
CBA plays catch-up on SME loans

The Commonwealth Bank will target the medium-sized business sector with a $2 billion expansion in loans. The bank says it currently has a 14.2 per [...]

POSTED ON March 4, 2004
Health funds win 7.6% rise

The Federal Government has given the go-ahead to private health funds to lift premiums by an average 7.6 per cent. The increases will take effect [...]

POSTED ON March 2, 2004
AMP lifts short-term deposit rates

AMP has lifted its interest rates on 1, 2 and 3-month term deposits to 5.5 per cent on balances of $25,000 and over. Infochoice market [...]

POSTED ON March 1, 2004
NAB to face new scrutiny in the US

National Australia Bank is involved in two more investigations following its recent foreign currency trading scandal. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating NAB's [...]

POSTED ON February 27, 2004
Home buyers flock to Frankston

Frankston South is Melbourne's newest property hot-spot with the suburb's median house price soaring 45.1 per cent over the past year to $432,500. The other [...]

POSTED ON February 27, 2004
Brace for March rate rise

The latest consumer borrowing figures - combined with the strong bias the Reserve Bank retains towards raising rates - means there is a fair chance [...]

POSTED ON February 27, 2004
ASIC warns share scams on the rise

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has warned that share scams and "get-rich-quick" schemes are increasing. ASIC's head of consumer protection Peter Kell said investment [...]

POSTED ON February 26, 2004