Trending Financial News 2 March 2020

Coronavirus fears to spark RBA rate cut

The treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the prime minister Scott Morrison and the heads of Australia’s financial regulators discussed responses to the spreading coronavirus on the weekend. Economic data from China reveals manufacturing has slowed significantly since January and is expected to hit Australian exports in coming months.

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd said the government should be stimulating the economy. The RBA is expected to cut interest rates as soon as tomorrow.

Keep up to date with the latest outlook for RBA interest rates in Australia at InfoChoice.

Coronavirus spooks ASX and Wall Street

Last week, Wall Street suffered its worst week since the global financial crisis in 2008. Share prices on the American stock exchange plunged 11 per cent in five days as coronavirus fears gripped investors.

The ASX 200 share price index fell 10 per cent last week and is expected to fall another 0.6% today.

US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell made an unscheduled statement designed to reassure markets that: “we will use our tools …. to support the economy.”

Former RBA board member Warwick McKibbin told the Australian Financial Review that cutting interest rates in response to a “supply disruption shock” is “not going to help much.”

Keep up to date with the latest outlook for RBA interest rates in Australia at InfoChoice.

Savers are moving to neobanks

Judo Bank, 86 400, Xinja, Up, UBank and Volt are attracting millions of dollars from savers looking for better rates than the big four banks are offering.

Judo Bank has attracted $470 million of household deposits according to the latest banking statistics from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

86 400 had $120 million of deposits in January, Xinja Bank had $75 million.

Compare savings account rates at InfoChoice.

Which banks are popular with savers?

According to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, total retail deposits held by banks and major credit unions grew by 5.7 per cent over the 12 months to January 2020. Commonwealth Bank holds more retail deposits than any other bank.

Of the big four banks, ANZ Bank’s retail deposits grew by 3.9 per cent over 12 months.

Commonwealth Bank’s by 0.1 per cent, NAB’s by 1.8 per cent and Westpac’s by 1 per cent.

Macquarie Bank’s deposits were up 30.7 per cent over 12 months. HSBC Bank Australia’s deposits were up 19.5 per cent, AMP Bank deposits were up 31.6 per cent and Arab Bank up 23.4 per cent.

Compare savings account rates at InfoChoice.

Greens oppose Morrison’s cash ban

The Senate’s Economics Legislation Committee issued a report supporting the Morrison government’s proposed ban on business cash transactions over $10,000 on Friday. Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson produced a dissenting report highly critical of the “cash ban.”

Senator Whish-Wilson agreed with Ian Love, former director of Credit Suisse, who told the committee that cash supported freedom.

“A peer-to-peer cash transaction holds within it a number of freedoms, these include: freedom from the need to trust the counterparty as it is an open exchange between the parties; freedom from the need for permission to trade/deal with each other; freedom from the possibility of censorship and the freedom of privacy.”

Raiz vs Spaceship vs high interest savings account

Micro-investing through apps like Raiz and Spaceship can potentially give you much larger returns than savings accounts but this comes with extra risk.

Raiz’s Aggressive portfolio has lost 7.27% over the last three months while Spaceship’s Universe portfolio has lost 10.37% pa in the last week of February.

The highest at-call savings rates are now above 2.0% pa with the big four banks offering rates around 1.6% pa. Read more about Raiz vs Spaceship vs savings accounts at InfoChoice.

What are the penalties for ‘breaking’ a term deposit?

Breaking a term deposit means withdrawing from it early or closing the account early. The term deposit is broken because the term will not completed.

Many banks will not pay interest or will pay reduced interest on a term deposit that is ‘broken’ early. Some banks will require 31-days notice if you want to withdraw from your term deposit. Some banks do allow immediate access, so check before signing on.

Read more about the penalties for breaking a term deposit at InfoChoice.

Links to bank financial hardship applications

Australians are entitled to claim financial hardship assistance from their lender/card issuer if they hit hard times. You need to show that you can’t pay your current debts while meeting your living expenses. Banks and other lenders have hardship schemes to assist you.

Commonwealth Bank Financial Difficulty contact page.

Westpac Financial Hardship contact page.

NAB Financial Hardship contact page.

ANZ Bank Financial Hardship contact page.

Read more about financial hardship assistance at InfoChoice.

Top personal loans for bard credit

People who have had problems with credit and debt can still get approved for personal loans. People with bad credit may have to pay a higher rate in some cases but can still get approved.

Harmoney unsecured personal loans offer interest rates starting at 6.99 per cent p.a. (comparison rate 7.69 per cent p.a.). Harmoney’s rates can go up to 28.21 per cent p.a. (29.55 per cent p.a.) depending on your credit  rating.

Moneyplace unsecured personal loans offer interest rates starting at 7.65 per cent p.a. (comparison rate 7.65 per cent p.a.). Rates range up to 20.99 per cent p.a. for average ratings.

Read more about personal loans for bad credit at InfoChoice.

Are you looking for your bank’s personal loan interest rates?

Do you know how to check your personal loan interest rate and compare it with others in the market? Do you know what repayments you are making each month?

You can easily check on the interest rates and fees information, as well as the all the basic features on your loan, card or account at InfoChoice. InfoChoice also has calculators to help you budget and work out how much you can afford.

Find your bank or financial provider at InfoChoice and go directly to their interest rates, comparison rates and fess information on loans, cards and accounts.

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