Trending Financial News 18 September 2019

ING Savings Maximiser cuts maximum interest rate

ING Australia have announced to their customers that the Savings Maximiser bonus rate is being cut from today, 18 September. The bonus rate will now be 1.70 per cent, down from 1.80 per cent. The base rate is still 0.50 per cent pa, making the maximum rate for this account now 2.20 per cent.

ING Australia’s Savings Maximiser account is one of Australia’s most popular high interest savings accounts.

To earn the bonus rate, customers must have a linked Orange Everyday transaction account and be using it five times per month for transactions and be receiving $1,000 per month into an ING account.

Westpac ranked Australia’s favourite business bank

Westpac has surged ahead of the other big banks in the business bank customer satisfaction rankings according to DBM Consultants.

Westpac’s rating of 7.6 out of 10 is the highest customer satisfaction score a big bank has received since 2015. Commonwealth and NAB have overall ratings of 7.1 and ANZ is lagging at 6.9. DBM said Westpac is “a long way ahead” of its rivals, especially among micro and small businesses. Among large business Westpac is ranked fourth with CBA and NAB the most favoured banks at the big end of town.

Rate cut chances firming up for October

The Reserve Bank board has raised expectations of a rate cut in October. with economists saying the minutes of the last board meeting indicate the next cut is coming soon.

The board said: “Members judged that it was reasonable to expect that an extended period of low interest rates would be required in Australia to make sustained progress towards full employment and achieve more assured progress towards the inflation target.”

“Members would assess developments in both the international and domestic economies, including labour market conditions, and would ease monetary policy further if needed to support sustainable growth in the economy and the achievement of the inflation target over time.”

Debt helpline helps thousands

The National Debt Helpline and free financial counsellors helped more than 179,400 Australians in 2018/19, up from 173,300 the previous year.

The numbers of Australians calling the debt helpline has jumped 75 per cent since 2013-14.

Financial Counselling Australia’s chief Fiona Guthrie said many Australians are struggling with massive credit card debts, unpaid utilities and buy now, pay later bills. The National Debt Helpline is 1800 007 007.

Comprehensive credit reporting is here – at last

The big four banks have finally uploaded their data to the comprehensive credit reporting system. Commonwealth Bank uploaded borrower data on Tuesday, one day after Westpac, two days after ANZ and six months after National Australia Bank last February.

Simon Bligh, chief executive of credit bureau Illion, told The Australian that the sharing of mortgage repayment data will make assessments of credit applications by consumers more transparent, equitable and efficient.

“CCR should provide consumer credit deals like insurance policies, in that premiums — or interest rates and fees — could be priced according to a customer’s risk.”

No dead cat bounce for property

Sentiment in the property market looks to be improving, particularly in the Melbourne and Sydney markets.

In July, house values in Sydney rose 0.2%, whilst Melbourne house values were up 0.1%.House price forecasts from leading economists, collected by Domain, show Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra as the capitals with the strongest outlook in 2020.

Read more about the outlook for property and rates in 2020.

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