Westpac slashes investor home loan rates Australia’s favourite lender for landlords, Westpac, has slashed fixed interest rates from yesterday, 22 January, by up to 0.50 percentage points. The announcement from Westpac comes as futures market trading indicates a strong expectation that the Reserve Bank will cut rates in February. The rate cuts apply to Premier Advantage package investor loans paying both Principal & Interest and Interest Only repayments. Go straight to more information on Westpac home loan interest rates at InfoChoice. New “battle hardened” Westpac chief ready for the challenge Experienced 72 year-old Scottish-born banker and former CEO of ANZ, John McFarlane, will take over from Lindsay Maxsted as chair of Westpac in April. Mr Maxsted brought forward his retirement and CEO Brian Hartzer resigned in November following allegations that Westpac did not comply with anti-money laundering laws. Mr McFarlane was most recently chairman of UK major bank Barclays and TheCityUK, a financial services group. Prior to that, he was chief of UK insurer Aviva and has been CEO of ANZ Bank from 1997 – 2007. Mr McFarlane said Westpac faced challenges ahead, which “to some extent…are not dissimilar to those in my last five financial institutions”. Is Red Cross keeping bushfire donations? Red Cross has answered questions over the distribution of donations collected for victims of bushfires in Australia. News Corp media yesterday reported that just a few million dollars of the $115 million in funds collected for bushfire assistance has been distributed so far. The Australian Red Cross said they are “getting $1m out the door every day to people who need it” and have already made 700 grants. Which savings account is right for me? There are a few different types of savings account available. Which type you choose depends on how you save and what you want from the account. An introductory rate savings account like the Citi Online Saver Account might be best for you if You will need your money soon or need to make withdrawals. An incentive saver account like ME’s Online Savings Account might be best for you if you can make regular deposits, and keep your hands off the money. A term deposit account like these market leading products from Judo Bank might be best for you if you don’t want to move money in or out or you want an income bearing investment. A Notice Saver Account, like these from Rabobank, might be best for you if you can afford to leave your money in an account with a one-month (or more) notice period on withdrawals. Read more about the different types of savings accounts and compare savings accounts and term deposits at InfoChoice. What is the First Home Super Saver Scheme? The First Home Super Saver scheme lets first home buyers withdraw some of their extra superannuation contributions for a deposit on a first property purchase. Extra contributions made since July 2017 can be used, up to a maximum of $30,000. The contributions can be salary sacrificed. The scheme aims to deliver the tax advantages of superannuation to people saving for a first home. Read more about the First Home Super Scheme at InfoChoice. Best Platinum credit cards in Australia The best platinum, black and gold level credit cards in Australia provide lots of extra benefits like discounts, frequent flyer points, airport lounge access, concierge service, insurances and other rewards. The best platinum credit cards in Australia provide benefits while charging a reasonable interest rates, fees and include plenty of interest-free days. Read more about the best platinum credit cards at InfoChoice. Dodgy comparison sites caught out by ACCC Some comparison websites are not as responsible as others and make claims that can not be delivered upon. Some comparison websites list only a few products and do not deliver a comprehensive look at all or most of the products available in the market. In 2019, some popular travel, energy and health insurance comparison websites were investigated and fined by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. InfoChoice lists 1800 home loans and thousands of other loans, accounts and financial products from Australian banks, credit unions, non-bank lenders and other financial institutions. Colonial First State faces class actions Shine Lawyers has filed a class action against Commonwealth Bank’s Colonial First State Investments. The case alleges Colonial put its members into CommInsure insurance products despite cheaper insurance options being available, resulting in higher premiums than necessary between January 2014 and January 2020. Members of the FirstChoice Personal Super and Pension; FirstChoice WholeSale Personal Super and Pension; FirstChoice Employer Super and Commonwealth Essential Super are involved. Law firm Slater and Gordon Lawyers have two separate class actions running against Colonial First State. Another major law firm Maurice Blackburn is running a separate class action on behalf of MySuper account holders.