Trending Financial News 22 August

PayID hacked and customer data leaked

An unnamed credit union has suffered a security breach and has lost “a number of PayID records and associated data in the Addressing Service.”

The lost data cannot be used by hackers to complete a transaction or withdraw funds from an account. PayID was introduced in 2018 as a service of the New Payments Platform and allows customers to receive and transfer money to other accounts using mobile phone numbers, email addresses and other information that can be linked to a bank account number.

In June, Westpac Bank said it had stopped an attempt by hackers to misuse the PayID Addressing Service.

You borrowing capacity has gone up – by up to 23%

Changes to mortgage serviceability guidelines have increased the amount of money borrowers can be approved for by up to 23 per cent according to Moody’s Investor Services.

Most Australian lenders have reduced their interest rate serviceability floor rates to between 5.3 per cent and 5.75 per cent from 7.25 per cent previously.

That means borrowing capacity could increase by between 17-23 per cent on a standard 30-year principal and interest home loan said Moody’s.

Gateway Credit Union is the latest lender to announce changes to its serviceability rate and buffer rates. Gateway’s serviceability rate has been cut to 5.50 per cent and its buffer rate has been lifted to 2.5 per cent.

RBA confused by Trump’s trade war

The governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia Philip Lowe said trade tensions between the USA and China is hurting investment, wages and economic growth.

“I do not have a clear idea of what strategy the US has,” said Philip Lowe. Mr Lowe said he was worried by calls for western countries to “muscle up against China.”

The Reserve Bank board has signalled a preparedness to cut interest rates again in 2019 if economic conditions remain subdued.

Westpac Group slash fixed rates

The Westpac-owned regional banks, St George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA have slashed fixed rates with some loan rates now under three per cent. On long (four and five year) fixed rate home loan deals the three Westpac owned banks are now offering market leading advertised rates.

Bank of Melbourne and St George 4 & 5 year fixed rates now start at 2.94 per cent pa on fixed rate package deals.

BankSA’s 4 and 5 year fixed advertised packaged rate is now 2.99 per cent pa.

Crypto prices sliding

Bitcoin prices have fallen 7 per cent overnight with analysts scratching their heads and not able to immediately point to any obvious reason for the dramatic fall. Bitcoin is now trading at A$14,832, down A$1,141 over the last 24 hours. Ethereum is down $17.53 (6 per cent) in the last day to A$272.96.

Meanwhile, regulators in Switzerland have given Facebook 10 days to produce details about their proposed online currency. Facebook announced plans for an online currency called Libra and said that it would be regulated by Swiss authorities. The Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner is now demanding information about the proposal by the end of August.

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