Trending Financial News 24 July

Commonwealth Bank cuts savings account rates

Commonwealth Bank has cut savings rates by up to 0.25 percentage points. Australia’s biggest bank has more than $265 billion in deposits under management.

Commonwealth Bank has slashed the base rate on the NetBank Saver account by 0.15 percentage points from 0.30 per cent pa to 0.15 per cent.

The five-month maximum introductory rate on new Netbank accounts has come down from 2.2 per cent to 2.05 per cent.

Commonwealth Bank has also cut the maximum bonus rate on the GoalSaver account by up to 0.25 percentage points, depending on the balance.

New loan rules to protect farmers

Banks face new rules when lending to farmers under the Banking Amendment (Rural Finance Reform) Bill 2019 which introduces new protections for small primary producers with loans under $5 million.

The bill has new protections for small primary production businesses that make profits over a multi-year cycle rather than every season. Their ability to pay creditors or reduce their debt level is based on these cycles.

Banks must be more open about valuations, changes to loan contract terms and give plenty of notice before changing loan terms and conditions.

Heritage Bank opening new branches

Queensland based mutual lender, Heritage Bank is reorganising its mortgage servicing process and is opening branches outside of its home state.

Heritage Bank chief executive Peter Lock told Banking Day that Heritage was preparing to add two Sydney branches this year to its network of 59 branches in Queensland, and will eventually expand in Victoria.

“We don’t think the physical branch is dead,” he said.

“We are starting with branches in Castle Hill and Parramatta in Sydney.

“We will hopefully get that up to six sites in NSW and when that’s bedded down, we will look to Melbourne.”

Which mobile banking app is still the best?

The Commonwealth Bank mobile banking app has been named the best in Australia by research firm Forrester, for the third consecutive year.

“Commonwealth Bank’s mobile banking app combines good functionality with best-in-class usability that centres on easy navigation, clear design, and high-quality content that shows customers how to achieve their goals,” said the Forrester report.

Commonwealth Bank has recently announced a redesign of the CommBank app, which was first launched in 2011.

Young people find credit cards “fatiguing”

The number of personal credit card accounts in Australia has dropped by 810,000 since the start of 2018 to 14.6 million, according to the Reserve Bank.

A new report from research firm illion says Aussies aged in their 50s own an average one card each but only one in five adults aged under 25 own a credit card.

The illion research also found that 35,000 Aussies own five or more credit cards. 1.4 million Australians with credit card debt are thought to be at high risk of default.

Buy now, Pay later schemes such as Afterpay have grown customer numbers significantly to two million accounts mainly young people.

illion CEO Simon Bligh said young people found applying for a credit card too “fatiguing.”

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