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
NSW and Victorian credit unions to merge

Consolidation at the upper end of the credit union sector continues to gather pace. The boards of mecu, based in Melbourne, and Teachers Credit Union, [...]

POSTED ON September 30, 2009
Rates could rise next week

The Reserve Bank board meets next week for its October meeting and could lift rates say economists. If there is no rate rise in October, [...]

POSTED ON September 29, 2009
Rates are dangerously low says RBA

The Reserve Bank governor, Glenn Stevens, told the Senate economics committee in Sydney yesterday that interest rates were now at unusually low levels to fight [...]

POSTED ON September 29, 2009
Penalty fee cuts pressure mortgage rates

Westpac has made the deepest cuts to penalty fees out of the four big banks according to analysis by brokerage Citigroup.Westpac is expected to lose [...]

POSTED ON September 25, 2009
Queensland banks are open for business

Queensland businesses are continuing to borrow and Queensland banks are continuing to lend in further evidence that the financial crisis has been short lived and [...]

POSTED ON September 23, 2009
NAB still least popular business bank

Business banking customers are generally more satisfied with their bank than they were a few years ago but in recent months satisfaction ratings have declined [...]

POSTED ON September 23, 2009
BoQ the most popular bank for business

St George’s business banking customer satisfaction rating has decreased 10.8% over the last 12 months (to 74.2%), although the bank remains in second position amongst [...]

POSTED ON September 23, 2009
ANZ changes penalty fees

ANZ announced that it would reduce or eliminate exception fees on personal accounts and establish a simpler fee structure by abolishing 27 fees on personal [...]

POSTED ON September 21, 2009
ANZ to charge up to ten fees in a row

Penalty fees are being changed, but not exactly lowered, at ANZ as the bank catches up with reform of this controversial suite of fees instigated [...]

POSTED ON September 21, 2009
Credit Unions increase deposits and lending

Figures issued by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) show that credit unions increased housing loans by 10.3 per cent in the year to 30 [...]

POSTED ON September 18, 2009
How to reduce your bank fees

Bank fees can be very confusing.  With several banking products available in the market, and with different terminologies used to describe the nature of the [...]

POSTED ON September 17, 2009
CUA to expand customer services

CUA, Australia’s largest credit union expects to enhance and expand its suite of products and services in 2010. The credit union also continued to prove [...]

POSTED ON September 17, 2009
Reserve says wait and see on rate rises

The Reserve Bank of Australia is unlikely to raise interest rates before February 2010 says ANZ economist Riki Polygenis.The RBA released the minutes of its [...]

POSTED ON September 16, 2009
Deposits flowing into credit unions

Credit unions increased deposits by 14 per cent over the 2008/2009 financial year to $40.4 billion, a faster rate of growth than that reported by [...]

POSTED ON September 16, 2009
Netbank outages drive exec pay down

Commonwealth Bank has cut the pay of its senior IT staff because outages to the bank’s internet banking system has angered its customers.The netbank website [...]

POSTED ON September 16, 2009
Government driving up interest rates

The federal government is driving up interest rates with its continued spending of economic stimulus money says the opposition. The treasurer Wayne Swan said interest [...]

POSTED ON September 15, 2009
Interest rates will rise says Swan

Interest rates will rise said the treasurer Wayne Swan this morning. "We're not going back to an era of cheap money,'' Mr Swan said on [...]

POSTED ON September 15, 2009
More consumers funnelled into debt agreements

Up to forty per cent more stressed debtors will become eligible for part nine debt agreements under proposed changes to bankruptcy law. The attorney general, [...]

POSTED ON September 14, 2009
Commonwealth Bank accounts go real time

Commonwealth Bank customer transactions will be made instantly by a new core computer system that will be fully implemented by next year. Currently transactions are [...]

POSTED ON September 11, 2009
Rates will rise says government

The treasurer Wayne Swan yesterday said that interest rates will go up as the government withdraws its economic stimulus programs from the economy. "As the [...]

POSTED ON September 10, 2009
Commonwealth rakes in the fees

Commonwealth Bank raked in $1.5 billion in fees last year, up $212 million on the year before, according to the bank’s annual report which was [...]

POSTED ON September 10, 2009
ANZ is greenest bank in the world

ANZ has been named the most sustainable bank in the world for the third year in a row by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. ANZ [...]

POSTED ON September 9, 2009
NAB abolishes overdrawn account penalties early

National Australia Bank has announced, effective immediately, that overdrawn account fees on all NAB personal transaction and savings accounts will no longer apply. This change [...]

POSTED ON September 8, 2009
ANZ reviews penalty fees

ANZ Bank will announce big changes to its penalty fee structure in the next few weeks, following changes by the other big banks to their [...]

POSTED ON September 7, 2009
NAB and rediATMs now one network

NAB and Cuscal (rediATM/Credit Unions) have received interim ACCC approval to join ATM networks. The new network, which is now live, will save NAB and [...]

POSTED ON September 7, 2009
Rates will rise before Christmas

The National Australia Bank is predicting two rate rises by the Reserve bank of Australia before the end of 2009, the head of retail Lisa [...]

POSTED ON September 7, 2009
Big 4 banks are safe

National Australia Bank has been named as the ‘safest’ Australian owned bank and the eleventh safest in the world. US-based Global Finance magazine, has listed all [...]

POSTED ON September 4, 2009
St George expands in Victoria

St George Bank is planning to open up to six new branches across Melbourne, adding to the 37 it now operates in Victoria and 390 [...]

POSTED ON September 3, 2009
Australia to lead world in rate rises

Australia looks set to lead the world in raising interest rates over the next year as the country emerges relatively unscathed from the global financial [...]

POSTED ON September 3, 2009
Rates unchanged – for now

At its meeting yesterday, the Reserve Bank Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 3.0 per cent. Economic conditions in Australia have been [...]

POSTED ON September 2, 2009
NAB is the least popular bank

The latest Nielsen quarterly retail customer survey shows that all five big banks scored an increase in customer satisfaction in the March quarter and two [...]

POSTED ON September 2, 2009
RBA keeps rates on hold once again

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 3.0 per cent. Remaining at it's 49 year low, the RBA [...]

POSTED ON September 1, 2009
ING Direct tops customer satisfaction ratings

ING DIRECT customers are the most satisfied of any bank in Australia according to the latest Nielsen Financial Services Monitor. According to the monitor 76 [...]

POSTED ON September 1, 2009
Suncorp expands mobile banking

Suncorp is expanding the services it offers its’ customers via their mobile phone. A year ago Suncorp launched mobile banking with a fairly simple transaction [...]

POSTED ON September 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
Rates to rise by 3.0 per cent

Official interest rates are expected to rise by three per cent over the next three years said Westpac chief economist Bill Evans. In a report [...]

POSTED ON August 28, 2009
Suncorp suffers as deposits head to big 4

Suncorp says it is at a competitive disadvantage to the major banks because of the structure of the federal government’s bank guarantee and the situation [...]

POSTED ON August 26, 2009
Banks demand to know what you owe

The Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) Chief Executive, David Bell, and ABA Director of Retail Regulatory Policy, Ian Gilbert, yesterday told the Senate Economics Committee that [...]

POSTED ON August 25, 2009
Business banking customers vote for BoQ

There has been a decrease of 5.5% in business customer satisfaction with the four major banks relative to the same period 12 months ago (73%). [...]

POSTED ON August 25, 2009
Six rate rises expected, starting early 2010

Financial markets are expecting that the Reserve Bank may raise rates more than six times, starting early next year. In the August board minutes published [...]

POSTED ON August 19, 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
Big credit unions to merge

Members of Australian Central Credit Union and Savings and Loans CU will vote on a merger proposal that will create Australia’s second biggest credit union, [...]

POSTED ON August 14, 2009
We will decide on rates says CBA

Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ralph Norris said yesterday that CBA will raise rates outside of movements by the Reserve Bank of Australia if it deems [...]

POSTED ON August 13, 2009
CBA benefits from branch, netbank upgrades

Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ralph Norris was happy to acknowledge yesterday that the bank had benefited from a “flight to quality” in the banking market, [...]

POSTED ON August 13, 2009
ME Bank opens new branches

ME Bank, formerly known as Members Equity Bank, has recently opened three new branches, two in Canberra and one in the Melbourne CBD. In addition [...]

POSTED ON August 12, 2009
Bank fees – $10/month is too much

Generally speaking if you are paying more than about $10 per month in bank fees it may be time to shop around for a better [...]

POSTED ON August 11, 2009
Rates likely to rise

Interest rates are likely to rise in coming months after the latest labour force figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that unemployment was [...]

POSTED ON August 7, 2009
Don’t get fees? Get on the phone

Bank fees are disclosed in the terms and conditions of the documents you sign when you open an account with your bank. You can also [...]

POSTED ON August 7, 2009
ANZ thinking about penalty fees

ANZ Bank is working on a restructure of its fees and penalties said CEO Mike Smith yesterday. In the last week all three other big [...]

POSTED ON August 6, 2009
Interest rates on hold – for now

The Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday decided to leave the official cash rate unchanged at three per cent. Economists are interpreting the Reserve Bank’s statement [...]

POSTED ON August 5, 2009
RBA says steady as she goes

At its meeting yesterday, the Reserve Bank Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 3.0 per cent. Economic conditions in Australia have been [...]

POSTED ON August 5, 2009
Profitable penalty fees disappearing

For every dollar a big bank takes from a customer in penalty fees, 87 cents is pure profit according to an industry analysis by Deutsche [...]

POSTED ON August 4, 2009
Lending up, deposits down at HSBC

HSBC may be doing better than most other foreign banks in the local lending market. The bank reported growth in home loans of 11 per [...]

POSTED ON August 4, 2009
Bank funding gets easy again

Australian banks raised almost A$6.0 billion in international debt markets last week, most of it in the US and none of it guaranteed by the [...]

POSTED ON August 3, 2009
Rural Bank to use Bendigo branches

Elders Rural Bank had strong deposit flow for the 2008/09 year, and at June 30 total deposits of $3.7 billion exceeded loans. Elders Rural has [...]

POSTED ON July 31, 2009
New house price bubble forming

Low interest rates and a reduced supply of new housing are inflating Australian house prices and possibly has the potential to create a price bubble [...]

POSTED ON July 29, 2009
Interest rate cycle has bottomed

Interest Rates may have reached the bottom of the cycle. The Governor of the Reserve Bank yesterday hinted strongly that the next move in rates [...]

POSTED ON July 29, 2009
Credit unions undercut banks on cards

Credit unions and building society credit cards often have much lower interest rates than other institutions says Luke Lawler, Acting Head of Public Affairs at [...]

POSTED ON July 28, 2009
Plain english card contracts – at last

The new credit union and building society Mutual Banking Code of Practice came into effect this month. Its self-regulatory initiatives will be adopted by credit [...]

POSTED ON July 28, 2009
The price of banking goes down

The price of financial services has gone down in the last year says the Australian Bankers Association. Over the year ending 30 June 2009, the [...]

POSTED ON July 27, 2009
Credit Unions say “we are people’s bank”

Australia’s credit union and mutual building society peak body, Abacus - Australian Mutuals, has responded to a letter by economists on the concept of a [...]

POSTED ON July 23, 2009
Credit Unions complain about preferential guarante

Credit Unions released research from KPMG suggesting that the differential pricing of the government guarantee on wholesale funding is hurting competition. Whilst fundamentals are strong [...]

POSTED ON July 23, 2009
Bankruptcy getting easy

Total insolvency activity is up eleven per cent in the year to June 2009, despite a dip in the numbers following the economic stimulus payments [...]

POSTED ON July 23, 2009
Interest Rates have bottomed out

The Reserve Bank of Australia may have decided that the interest rate cycle has bottomed out, with rates set to increase early in 2010. The [...]

POSTED ON July 22, 2009
Infochoice dominating financial comparisons

The global financial crises and associated frequent interest rate changes has encouraged Australians to research and compare interest rates on the internet like never before, [...]

POSTED ON July 17, 2009
Bankruptcy can save your life

Without going to court bankruptcy quickly enables ordinary people to get out of debt, so you won't owe anything more on your credit cards, GST [...]

POSTED ON July 14, 2009
Banks set rates themselves

More than fifty lenders have made more than 500 changes to interest rates since the Reserve bank of Australia last changed official interest rates.More than [...]

POSTED ON July 13, 2009
Your lender wants to know more about you

The Australian credit reporting system needs to be completely overhauled so a lender can find out exactly how much an applicant for a loan or [...]

POSTED ON July 13, 2009
ACCC warns off the big banks

The chairman of Australia's competition regulator the ACCC, has warned banks that they face a wide ranging enquiry into Australia's financial service industry if they [...]

POSTED ON July 10, 2009
Laiki launches super loan

Laiki Bank has joined the small number of lenders offering investment loans to the trustees of self managed superannuation funds, with the launch this week [...]

POSTED ON July 10, 2009
Bankrupts back in business after 1 year

Proposed new bankruptcy laws will allow first time bankrupts to access credit again after just 12 months as a bankrupt, down from 36 months currently. [...]

POSTED ON July 9, 2009
No rate cut – yet

The Reserve Bank board decided yesterday to leave official interest rates on hold at three per cent. The governor of the Reserve Bank Glenn Stevens [...]

POSTED ON July 8, 2009
Netbank problems are ‘customer related’

Reports persisted yesterday of continuing problems with transaction histories and other minor bugs on CBA's award-winning NetBank platform. The Sheet was contacted by a couple [...]

POSTED ON July 8, 2009
We need a ‘people’s bank’

Six influential economists have written a open letter to the government calling for the establishment of a basic 'people's bank' to break the market stranglehold [...]

POSTED ON July 8, 2009
No rate cut expected

The Reserve Bank board is not expected to cut interest rates when it meets in Sydney today despite expectations of rising unemployment.Unemployment numbers are expected [...]

POSTED ON July 7, 2009
SME’s get help with loan applications

One of the key challenges for many small to medium businesses is working out how to approach the bank for a loan. Small businesses often [...]

POSTED ON July 7, 2009
Customers coming around to CBA

CBA was the only bank amongst the big four to improve its customer satisfaction rating in the 12 months to May 2009. CBA lifted its [...]

POSTED ON July 3, 2009
Credit Unions come together

IMB and Community Alliance Credit Union agreed to merge. The credit union will ask its members to vote on the proposal in September. (Shareholders in [...]

POSTED ON July 2, 2009
Regulator wants lending with care

Banks face a crack down on their lending policies by the prudential regulator the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. APRA's views, set out in a speech [...]

POSTED ON June 30, 2009
NAB deploys Voiceprint verification

NAB’s telephone banking customers no longer need to remember PINs and passwords. Using the voice biometric functionality of VeSecure, once callers have registered their unique [...]

POSTED ON June 30, 2009
NAB closing Sydney branches

Six National Australia Bank branches in NSW are being closed, including the Pennant Hills, Silverwater, Turramurra and Clarence St branches. “Our customers have been advised [...]

POSTED ON June 30, 2009
New consumer laws good for lenders

Lenders are breathing a sigh of relief after learning last week that they will have until January 2011 to meet the responsible lending provisions under [...]

POSTED ON June 29, 2009
Responsible Lending? Not yet.

Banks and Credit Unions welcomed the federal government's announcement that responsible lending provisions of the new consumer credit laws will not come into force until [...]

POSTED ON June 25, 2009
As good as it gets for SME lending

Forty four per cent of SMEs are paying between 6-8 per cent on their business loans and thirty six per cent are paying over 8 [...]

POSTED ON June 25, 2009
Commbank biz lending in freefall

Commonwealth Bank said that it estimated that's its decline in business lending in Australia was the steepest of any of the major banks. In a [...]

POSTED ON June 25, 2009
SME face years of lending problems

Small business can look forward to at least two years of difficulties obtaining finance. JP Morgan senior banking analyst Scott Manning said yesterday that utilisation [...]

POSTED ON June 24, 2009
St George takes hard line with SME’s

St George Bank is being highlighted for all the wrong reasons in the latest round of business banking customer surveys. The bank is losing share [...]

POSTED ON June 24, 2009