Trending Financial News 4 March 2020

RBA cuts rates to all-time new low

The Reserve Bank yesterday cut the official interest rate in Australia by 0.25 percentage points to 0.50%. The market had been expecting a rate cut following big falls on sharemarkets around the world over the last fortnight.

Compare home loan rates at InfoChoice.

Keep up to date with the latest outlook on interest rates at InfoChoice.

Why did the RBA cut rates in March?

This rate cut is all about responding to the global coronavirus outbreak, said Dr Philip Lowe, the governor of the RBA, in his statement today.

“The coronavirus has clouded the near-term outlook for the global economy.”

“Global growth in the first half of 2020 will be lower than earlier expected.”

Coronavirus is already impacting on the Australian education and travel industries said Dr Lowe.

Keep up to date with the latest outlook on RBA rate movements at InfoChoice.

Which banks have passed on the RBA rate cut?

The following banks and non-bank lenders have already announced they are passing on the RBA rate cut in full:

Commonwealth Bank

Westpac

NAB

ANZ

Athena

Suncorp Bank

Macquarie Bank

Auswide Bank

FirstMac

Keep up to date with the latest financial news on rate cuts at InfoChoice.

98 new banks want to open in Australia!

How many fintechs (startup financial technology companies) want a banking license in Australia? More than you might suspect.

98 inquiries were made to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority about new banking licenses between July 2018 and December 2019.

APRA is currently dealing with “around 40“ fintechs interested in a banking authority, with 14 now seriously “in the process,” APRA told the Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology.

A further 24 are deemed “Pre-applications received.”

Given the workload at APRA and the intensity of the assessment process, only a small number of fintechs could expect to stand a chance at securing approval for a banking licence in 2020 reported BankingDay.com.

Top credit card deals for Qantas points in March

The best Qantas Frequent Flyer linked credit cards in Australia now are ‘giving away’ thousands of points to new approved applicants. To find the best credit card linked to the QFF program, work out which card rules, rates, fees and charges best suit your way of managing money. The best credit card may have low rates or low fees, or a higher earn rate for points. Or you might want thousands of bonus Qantas points upfront.

Check out five top Qantas credit cards at InfoChoice

NAB Rewards Classis has 30,000 bonus points upfront

The NAB Rewards Classic Visa credit card is promoting  30,000 Bonus Points when you spend $500 on everyday purchases within 60 days of account opening. This card has a purchase interest rate of 19.99% pa, up to 44 days interest-free and an annual fee of $95.

Go direct to NAB credit card interest rates and fees information at InfoChoice.

The cheapest credit card in Australia

The cheapest credit card in Australia listed on InfoChoice (as calculated by our researchers) is the Community First Credit Union McGrath Pink Visa credit card.

This credit card has low rates, low fees and a long interest free period.

The McGrath Pink Visa annual fee is $40, the purchase and cash advance interest rate is 8.99 per cent pa, with up to 55 days interest free.

Read more about the cheapest credit cards in Australia, now listed on InfoChoice.

How to check the interest rate on your savings account

InfoChoice lists savings accounts and term deposit rates from Australia’s major banks, credit unions, and neobanks.

Go directly to your bank’s interest rate and fees information, as listed on InfoChoice.

ANZ has $9 billion for small business borrowers

ANZ announced a simpler process for small business customers to get increased credit limits of up to $500,000. ANZ’s Quick Assist application process will save about 40,000 existing small business customers time in applying for loans.

ANZ says it has $9 billion in additional credit limits now available.

ANZ Group senior executive Mark Hand said:

“We already have a history with these customers so we should be able to make quicker decisions than we have been, and with these improvements now we can.”

ANZ established Quick Assist about 12 months ago with credit limits of $150,000.

Compare small business loans at InfoChoice.