Trending Financial News 24 October

Bank branches are disappearing – fast

Almost 10 per cent of bank branches have closed over the last two years. 16 per cent of ATMs have also been removed and decommissioned.

The number of authorised deposit taking institution branches in Australia fell from 5816 in 2017 to 5609 in 2018 and 5314 in 2019 according to the banking regulator APRA.

The number of ATMs in service has fallen from 13,815 to 11,560 in 2019.

There are 803,188 Eftpos and card payment terminals in Australia.

Special offer for ANZ savers

Savers who have an account with ANZ Bank  can open an ANZ Advance Notice Term Deposit and access a special offer of 1.60 per cent p.a.for 7 months on balances from $5,000.

The next best rate from an ANZ term deposit available now is 1.25 per cent pa on a long 5 year term. NAB and CBA are paying 1.50 per cent pa top TD rates. Westpac’s top term deposit rate now is 1.30 per cent pa.

“Savers need to be actively managing their accounts to ensure they are beating inflation,” said Vadim Taube, CEO of leading Australian financial comparison site InfoChoice.com.au.

“That means being prepared to move their cash to another institution if they want the best rates on offer at any one time.”

“Right now, the top rate from a big bank TD is ANZ’s special offer of 1.6 per cent on 7 month terms.”

“There are now no options from the big four banks for savers who want a rate significantly above the current CPI of 1.6 per cent.”

“Savers who don’t want their money to lose value need to compare their rate with savings rates from outside the big four banks,” said Mr Taube.

“For example, ME’s Online Savings Account is paying 2.20 per cent if you have a linked ME transaction and use it four times per month.

“So savers can get a reasonable rate above inflation by looking around and comparing.”

More savings rate cuts from big four banks

NAB and Westpac have today announced new cuts to savings rates.

Savers now need to move their money out of a big four bank to find an ongoing maximum rate significantly above inflation.

The highest ongoing savings rate offered by a big four bank is now Westpac’s Life account with a rate of 1.65 per cent pa. The current rate of inflation is 1.60 per cent. ANZ’s Online Saver has a maximum rate of 1.60 per cent pa for three months, reverting to a base rate of 0.10 per cent pa.

“There are now no options from the big four banks for savers who want a rate significantly above the current CPI of 1.6 per cent,” said Vadim Taube, CEO of InfoChoice.

NAB cuts iSaver rate

NAB is slicing its iSaver maximum bonus introductory rate from 1.86 per cent pa to 1.70 per cent pa effective from today 24 October 2019. The iSaver is the highest maximum bonus rate offered by a big four bank on a savings account, for an introductory period of four months.

NAB’s Reward Saver has a total maximum rate of 1.61 per cent pa, including a base rate of 0.11 per cent pa. The ongoing bonus is paid when the account holder makes no withdrawals and at least one deposit before the second last bank working day each month.

“Savers who don’t want their money to lose value need to compare their rate with other institutions,” said Vadim Taube, CEO of leading Australian financial comparison site InfoChoice.com.au.

“The online and neo banks make applying for a savings account easy and quick so it’s not hard to find a better savings rate.”

Westpac is cutting Community Solutions rates

The Westpac Community Solutions accounts are traditionally the most popular accounts in Australia for sporting clubs, community groups, associations and charities.

Westpac has cut rates on its Community Solutions Cash Reserve account by up to 0.20 per cent pa to a total maximum rate of 0.55 per cent pa.

Westpac’s Life Saver has a maximum ongoing bonus rate of 1.65 per cent pa including a base rate of 0.45 per cent pa. the bonus rate of 1.20 per cent is paid when you grow your balance each month.

Westpac cuts business bank account rates

Westpac has trimmed rates on its Business One Flexi account by up to 0.09% pa. The new top rate offered by Westpac’s key business bank account for balances under $250,000 is 0.01 per cent pa, down from 0.10 per cent pa.

Westpac has also trimmed the Business Cash Reserve account rate by 0.05 per cent pa to 0.10 per cent pa for balances over $10,000.

Westpac waiving business account fees

The Westpac Business One – Low Plan is currently waiving the $10 monthly account fee for new applicants who open an account before 30 November 2019.

The Business One – Low Plan is Westpac’s most popular business transaction banking account. The Business One – Low Plan comes with a free invoicing tool allowing invoices to be created and sent from the mobile bank app.

Westpac’s web and mobile banking platform for business – Westpac Live – was voted best digital platform for business at 2018’s DBM Australian Business Banking Awards.

Compare accounts for business at InfoChoice.

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