Banks to add more to RBA rate rises

Borrowers are likely to be slugged by more rate rises from RBA and more margin expanding rate rises from the big banks as well. The [...]

POSTED ON November 2, 2009
Switch your lender & save $3,800

Over the last 14 months of the GFC, many people moved their money and their business to a big four bank. Many people could simply [...]

POSTED ON November 2, 2009
Four steps to switching banks

Switching bank accounts to a new bank is easier than it has been in the past, but can still be a complex process. ASIC and [...]

POSTED ON November 2, 2009
Fee changes to all transaction accounts

Almost all banks, credit unions and building societies have announced changes to the fees they charge their credit card, loan and account customers. Now may [...]

POSTED ON November 2, 2009
Banks trying to connect with customers

ANZ, Westpac and NAB have launched new marketing programs recently all trying to reconnect with their customers and communities. ANZ have re-fashioned their signage with [...]

POSTED ON November 2, 2009
Most borrowers reject fixed rates

Most homeowners are choosing to stick with their variable rate mortgages with only ten per cent saying they are opting to fix their rate now. [...]

POSTED ON November 2, 2009
Aussies are stashing their cash

The first national study by Westpac into the social effects of the global financial crisis shows more than 32% of Australians are cocooning in the [...]

POSTED ON November 2, 2009
School tuckshops take credit cards online

Parents at some schools are paying for their children’s lunches online with their credit card to avoid having to give their children money. Holy Cross [...]

POSTED ON October 6, 2009
Aussie share obsession cuts our wealth

Australians lost almost twice as much money during the global financial crisis as people in other countries according to the 2009 global wealth report, by [...]

POSTED ON October 6, 2009
Ten million online bankers

Almost 10 million Australians visited their online internet bank each week, but more visit and spend much more time on social networking sites such as [...]

POSTED ON October 6, 2009
Less competition in banking

National Australia Bank yesterday acknowledged to a senate committee hearing in Melbourne that banking consumers' choices had narrowed in the past year. “I think it's [...]

POSTED ON October 6, 2009
Auction continue to deliver results

There were only 171 auctions listed in Sydney on the October long weekend but the clearance rate improved to 72.5 per cent from 62 per [...]

POSTED ON October 6, 2009
Competition returning to mortgage market

NAB, ANZ and second tier lenders all managed to claw back mortgage market share in August. ANZ said they have improved turnaround times on mortgage [...]

POSTED ON October 2, 2009
Borrowers head to Commonwealth in August

The growth story in the loan market remains that of Commonwealth Bank, which lifted its lending by 1.2 per cent over the month of August [...]

POSTED ON October 2, 2009
200,000 Ford car loans sold to Macquarie

Macquarie Leasing will take over the servicing of the Ford loans by January 2010. The portfolio covers around 200,000 vehicles and adds to the bank’s [...]

POSTED ON October 2, 2009
Savings tax to be slashed

The federal government’s Henry review into taxation is set to recommend that tax on savings should be slashed. Ken Henry said yesterday that a middle [...]

POSTED ON October 2, 2009
Savers want good rates and no fees

Bank customers are fed up with fees on savings accounts and want to be rewarded with higher rates for saving regularly, according to a new [...]

POSTED ON October 2, 2009
RaboPlus to launch bonus saver account

RaboPlus will add a bonus saver account to its product portfolio to be launched next week. It will pay five per cent interest to customers [...]

POSTED ON October 2, 2009
Banks deny rate rise plans

Speculation is continuing that the big banks are planning to raise interest rates on variable rate mortgages independently of the Reserve Bank. Banks are continuing [...]

POSTED ON October 2, 2009
Grants cut down but sales to hold up

First home buyers of new homes will be entitled to $14,000 of federal government assistance from today, October 1, down from the $21,000 grant paid [...]

POSTED ON October 1, 2009
ME’s Online Savings Account ahead of the pack

ME Bank’s Online Savings Account has won the Australian Financial Review Smart Investor Blue Ribbon Awards 2009, Overall Savings Account Category. Savings products from over [...]

POSTED ON October 1, 2009
InfoChoice more popular than ever

Traffic to the InfoChoice website has grown 56 per cent from January to June 2009. InfoChoice.com.au remains Australia’s most popular banking product comparison website as [...]

POSTED ON August 31, 2009
50,000 seek hardship relief

More than fifty thousand Australian households have been given hardship relief by major banks in the past year. Westpac, St George, ANZ, National Australia Bank, [...]

POSTED ON August 31, 2009
Government checks up on bank rate rises

Sources within the major banks say the federal Treasury rang around all major banks last week to check on rumours that they are planning on [...]

POSTED ON August 31, 2009
Be prepared for higher rates says RBA

Homebuyers have to be prepared for higher interest rates says the governor of the Reserve bank, Glenn Stevens. Stevens told a parliamentary hearing that rate [...]

POSTED ON August 17, 2009
GUF pursues merger with Australian Unity

Macquarie Bank has dropped plans to buy Grand United Friendly Society, leaving the NSW-based health fund to pursue a merger with Australian Unity. Late last [...]

POSTED ON February 4, 2005
FSR weakens insurance commissions laws

Reforms of financial services laws in Australia earlier this year appear to have made legal the style of commissions for insurance brokers that were previously [...]

POSTED ON October 28, 2004
MBF on path to demutualisation

Mutually-owned health insurance company MBF doubled its net profit to a little more than $100 million last financial year and appears to be taking steps [...]

POSTED ON October 21, 2004
Govt increases health rebate for the aged

The Federal Government will boost tax rebates for older Australians who take out private health insurance. The existing 30 per cent rebate on health fund [...]

POSTED ON August 23, 2004
Labor commits to heath rebate

Australians with private health insurance have been assured by the Opposition that their 30 per cent premium rebates would be continued should Labor win government. [...]

POSTED ON June 28, 2004
Online progress streamlines claims

The cumbersome manual health claims system is slowly moving towards extinction, with 11 of the 14 major private health insurers now offering online claims processing. [...]

POSTED ON June 18, 2004
Thousands drop health cover

About 19,000 Australians dropped out of private health insurance in the March quarter, according to the Private Health Insurance Administration Council. The proportion of the [...]

POSTED ON May 18, 2004
Medibank forced to aid consumers it misled

Medibank Private has been forced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to establish a $5 million fund to assist consumers misled by one of [...]

POSTED ON May 17, 2004
Medibank Private gets $85m injection

The Federal Government has vowed to keep Medibank Private in government hands, after allocating the health insurer an extra $85 million in the 2004-05 Budget. [...]

POSTED ON May 12, 2004
Funds face lean times, says S&P

Australia’s health insurance funds are facing a negative future despite premium increases this year, according to Standard & Poor’s. In 2003, the industry made $176 [...]

POSTED ON April 30, 2004
Health cover rebate no great cure

New research shows that private health insurance is still unaffordable for many low-income households, despite the Federal Government's $2.5 billion a year on rebates. Only [...]

POSTED ON April 21, 2004
April arrives and up goes health cover

Private health insurance premiums will rise around the country for most policyholders from today in what's becoming an annual April Fools Day tradition. Some households [...]

POSTED ON April 1, 2004
South Australians to pay $10 more

About 44 per cent of South Australians take out private health insurance and will be affected by the premium increases which take effect from April [...]

POSTED ON March 24, 2004
Health chiefs get discounts

The CEOs of Victoria's three largest health insurers will get generous discounts on their health insurance premiums while members are charged up to $300 more [...]

POSTED ON March 22, 2004
Medibank Private returns to profit

Medibank Private has posted a 2003-04 first-half net profit of $11.2 million, a huge improvement on its previous $175 million loss. CEO George Savvides described [...]

POSTED ON March 16, 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
Health cover set for annual price rise

Private health insurance premiums are expected to rise next month by up to $250 a year for households on top cover. But a new study [...]

POSTED ON February 23, 2004
Victorian fury at health premiums

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be asked to investigate private health insurance premiums following revelations that Victorians are paying up to twice as [...]

POSTED ON February 19, 2004
Victorians still paying more for private cover

Victorian households are paying up to $1,000 more a year for private health insurance than their interstate counterparts for identical policies, a study has revealed. [...]

POSTED ON February 18, 2004
Private health levels steady: PHIAC

Figures from the Private Health Insurance Administration Council show that private health cover memberships remained steady at 43.4 per cent in the December quarter of [...]

POSTED ON February 17, 2004
Insurer calls for higher rebate

Medibank Private has called on the Federal Government to introduce a special rebate to help stop young people under 30 dropping their private health insurance. [...]

POSTED ON February 5, 2004
Lifetime cover boosted funds

The Lifetime Health Cover scheme has boosted Australia's private health fund membership numbers substantially, according to a new study. The South Australian Centre for Economic [...]

POSTED ON January 29, 2004
Health funds facing a critical shortfall

The Private Health Insurance Administration Council says health funds will have to raise premiums substantially in April to avoid losses. Last year, the funds posted [...]

POSTED ON January 27, 2004
Member numbers fall as funds lift premiums

Private health fund membership is continuing to fall with the national participation rate at 43.3 per cent in the September quarter. In Queensland it fell [...]

POSTED ON January 20, 2004
Health insurer warns on gap fees

Medibank Private says households could face the return of gap fees but the fund will continue to fight private hospitals' push to impose these charges [...]

POSTED ON January 14, 2004
Health premiums set for annual rise

Health insurance premiums are set to rise as insurers lodge their annual price applications with the federal Department of Health by today's deadline. Increases below [...]

POSTED ON January 9, 2004
MBF says sorry for misleading ad

Health insurer MBF will print corrective advertisements for a campaign it ran in 2001 under the banner “Join today - claim tomorrow“. The ads featured [...]

POSTED ON January 5, 2004
Specialists reap gap rewards

Hospital specialists have experienced a dramatic rise in income from health insurance gap schemes with payments more than doubling to $330 million. Total medical costs [...]

POSTED ON December 15, 2003
Health funds to raise charges

The Private Health Insurance Administration Council's annual report states that health fund premiums will rise again in 2004 despite increases of 7 per cent for [...]

POSTED ON December 12, 2003
Holes appear in no-gap health

The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman has received 280 complaints about doctors charging patients surgery "booking fees" which are not eligible for Medicare or health fund [...]

POSTED ON December 12, 2003
Victorians pay higher health premiums

Victorians are paying hundreds of dollars more than other Australians for the same level of private health cover, and they're set to pay even more. [...]

POSTED ON December 9, 2003
Health insurers warned over rises

Some health funds have been issuing bills for higher premiums and reducing benefits to members that had paid up to 12 months in advance, the [...]

POSTED ON November 26, 2003
Young dropping health cover

Young people in their 30s are abandoning private health insurance and being replaced by people in their 50s, according to the Australia Institute. In the [...]

POSTED ON November 24, 2003
Mutual Community courts lost members

Former Mutual Community fund members who want to rejoin following the resolution of the dispute with Healthscope will not face 12-month waiting periods before they [...]

POSTED ON November 19, 2003
What the Medicare changes mean

A cornerstone of the Medicare changes proposed by the Federal Government is a new "safety net" to prevent patients' medical costs getting out of hand [...]

POSTED ON November 19, 2003
PM prescribes new Medicare safety net

The Federal Government will announce its revised Medicare package today, the core of which will be Medicare Plus, a "safety net" for lower income households. [...]

POSTED ON November 18, 2003
SA health insurance dispute settled

A No longer will health fund members be out of pocket after the dispute saw them having to pay charges upfront at Healthscope hospitals. The [...]

POSTED ON November 18, 2003
Insurance complaints fall

Consumer disputes with the insurance industry have dropped 20 per cent to 2,046. The General Insurance Enquiries and Complaints Scheme says, however, that the fall [...]

POSTED ON November 18, 2003
Drift from private health continues

Australians' participation in the Federal Government's Lifetime Health Cover Initiative is falling away, new figures reveal. In the September quarter, participation in the private health [...]

POSTED ON November 17, 2003
Gap insurance reforms may be jettisoned

The Federal Government may have to discard proposed health insurance reforms to get its Medicare overhaul bill through the Senate. The extension of health insurance [...]

POSTED ON November 13, 2003
HCF lifts health benefits

HCF will increase benefits for some ancillary services from January 1. Some optical and dental services will rise by up to 17 per cent, physiotherapy, [...]

POSTED ON November 4, 2003
Gap payments on way back

The Mayne Hospital Group's GM Robert Cooke says that a return to gap payments by hospital patients is "inevitable" as hospital operators strive to recoup [...]

POSTED ON October 22, 2003
Healthscope, BUPA call truce

Private health insurer BUPA and hospital operator Healthscope have called a truce in their dispute after a three-week stand-off which saw BUPA members not covered [...]

POSTED ON October 21, 2003
Not well: SA’s health system

Private health insurance cost increases and young people returning to public healthcare are putting more pressure on hospitals, says SA Department of Human Services CEO [...]

POSTED ON October 20, 2003
Research reveals insurance on the decline

New research commissioned by CommInsure shows there has been a fall in the sales of life and health insurance policies over the past two years [...]

POSTED ON October 15, 2003
BUPA members face hike in charges

Members of one of Australia's largest health funds, BUPA Australia Health, will face upfront fees and higher gap payments from October if using any of [...]

POSTED ON September 29, 2003
Medibank warns of higher gap fees

Private health cover patients have been warned they may face more "gap" charges after Medibank Private said it may dump some contracts with hospitals that [...]

POSTED ON September 26, 2003
Health gap hits the bush

People living in country areas of Australia are missing out on government funding due to inequities in the private health insurance system, according to the [...]

POSTED ON September 25, 2003
Health cover hits home at the office

Australian Unity will launch a TV advertising campaign aimed at single people aged between 25 and 30 with no children. The ads will target a [...]

POSTED ON September 18, 2003
Three-year low for private health cover

Around 60,000 Australians have dropped their private health insurance in 2003 and the percentage of the population with cover has fallen below 44 per cent [...]

POSTED ON September 16, 2003
Premium warning on health insurance

A leaked e-mail from the Australian Private Hospitals Association board after its meeting with the Federal Health Minister suggests that Senator Patterson warned the APHA [...]

POSTED ON September 11, 2003
Fund ‘lifestyle’ payouts to be scrapped

Health insurance funds will scrap so-called "lifestyle" benefits; payouts on items such as gym memberships, golf clubs, running shoes and other sports and entertainment products. [...]

POSTED ON September 4, 2003
BUPA members lose in hospital battle

Negotiations over funding have collapsed between private hospital operator Healthscope and health insurer BUPA. As a result, BUPA members will have to pay for a [...]

POSTED ON September 1, 2003
Health funds at ‘risk of collapse’

A report by management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton warns that only six of Australia's 44 health insurance funds are financially viable. The report states [...]

POSTED ON August 25, 2003
IAG exits health insurance

NRMA Health customers will be transferred to MBF with no changes to their levels of cover, premiums or policies. owner Insurance Australia Group has departed [...]

POSTED ON July 2, 2003
Medibank sale off, for now

The Federal Government has decided not to sell Australia's largest private health insurer, Medibank Private. After spending $850,000 studying a potential sale, the Government has [...]

POSTED ON June 18, 2003
Gene test plan for insurance

People with genetic dispositions to certain diseases will have to disclose test results to get health and life insurance under proposals about to be unveiled [...]

POSTED ON May 29, 2003
More premium rises predicted

Standard & Poor's annual report on the health insurance industry predicts there will be further consolidation amongst Australia's 44 private health funds as they look [...]

POSTED ON May 23, 2003
Further health fund rises predicted

Standard & Poor's has downgraded its outlook for Australia's private health insurance industry saying that further substantial premium increases could result in younger healthier members [...]

POSTED ON May 8, 2003
Government to extend gap cover

The Federal Government is planning to extend private health insurance to allow people with high out-of-hospital medical bills to take out extra insurance for the [...]

POSTED ON April 4, 2003
NIB buys IOOF Health

NSW NIB Health Funds has acquired IOOF Health Fund for a price believed to be between $5 million and $10 million. NIB was one of [...]

POSTED ON March 28, 2003
Health fund premiums to rise by 7%

Private health insurance premiums will increase from April 1, set to cost the average household an extra $175 a year. Australia's two largest funds, Medibank [...]

POSTED ON March 14, 2003
Doubts over rebate impact on private cover

Dropping the 30 per cent government rebate would make little difference to people staying in private health funds, a survey by Global Reviews has found. [...]

POSTED ON March 13, 2003
Slip up reveals big premium rises

The New South Wales-based Government Employees Health Fund has inadvertently mailed out letters announcing premium increases of between 17 and 25 per cent - before [...]

POSTED ON March 6, 2003
Medibank in profit as premiums rise

Australia's largest private health insurance fund, Medibank Private, is back in the black. After a loss of $175 million in 2002 the fund has posted [...]

POSTED ON February 28, 2003
Mixed response to fund lifestyle cuts

Private health funds' decision to cut rebates for some ancillary "lifestyle" products and services such as fitness club memberships, gym shoes and relaxation CDs has [...]

POSTED ON February 19, 2003
Health insurance exodus by young

A total of 194,000 Australians under 40 cancelled their private health insurance cover between September 2000 and December 2002 with 12,000 opting out in December [...]

POSTED ON February 19, 2003
Funds must cut ‘lifestyle’ rebates

Private health insurance funds will no longer offer cover for items such as golf clubs and running shoes following a Federal Government decree that these [...]

POSTED ON February 14, 2003
Cuts urged for private health rebate

State governments and Catholic Health have called for the Federal Government to cut the $2.3 billion private health fund rebate following a report by Medicare's [...]

POSTED ON February 7, 2003
Health rebate a failure: report

A health economist's report says the Federal Government's health insurance rebate scheme has not provided an incentive for people to join funds. The report, by [...]

POSTED ON February 5, 2003