Trending Financial News 7 February 2020

BP dumps Velocity for Qantas Frequent Flyer

People who use BP service stations for fuel and in-store purchases to earn Velocity Frequent Flyer points may need to look at their credit card and compare it with others because BP has switched from Virgin Velocity to QFF.

The partnership had allowed VFF members to earn two VFF points per one litre of fuel plus two VFF points per $1 spent in-store or cardholders could use VFF points to pay for purchases.

Virgin Velocity confirmed the end of the arrangement with a one-line media statement on Friday 31 January:

“The partnership with BP has now ended and members can no longer earn or redeem at BP.”

You can read more about the top velocity linked credit cards at InfoChoice, or compare Velocity linked rewards credit cards.

InfoChoice now covers you for insurance

InfoChoice.com.au, Australia’s leading finance and banking comparison service since 1993, now compares insurance.

From today, you can compare

comprehensive car insurance,

third party car insurance,

third party fire and theft car insurance

and home insurance at InfoChoice.

Judo Bank hits $1B in deposits

Judo Bank is committed to retaining the market leadership position it has taken in the term deposit market.

“We’re a growing player in term deposits,” said Judo’s co-CEO David Hornery.

‘We sit it at the top end on long-dated deposits.

“That’s a place we will be in the long run, and consistently,” Mr Hornery told BankingDay.com

“Since becoming a fully licensed bank in April last year, we’ve taken in more than $1 billion in deposits.”

Check out Judo Bank’s market leading term deposits.

Comprehensive car insurance exclusions explained

Your comprehensive car insurance may not be as comprehensive as you think. Not all policies are the same.

Consumers need to compare comprehensive car insurance policy inclusions and exclusions as well as the premiums to ensure they are getting a good deal.

Read more about comprehensive car insurance exclusions at InfoChoice.

Stellar Lumens is the booming cryptocurrency in February

Stellar is a framework for foreign exchange transactions and Lumens are the coin token for this crypto system. The Stellar Lumens (XLM) price has risen by almost 50% in the last month (chart from coinbase.com).

You can find out more about Stellar Lumens and other cryptocurrency news at InfoChoice.

Good News: Bankruptcies hit new record low

Australians are apparently handling their debts and personal budgets better than ever before. Personal insolvencies have fallen to their lowest level in Australia since 1996, around the time Part IX Debt Agreements were introduced. Part IX agreements led to a boom in insolvency activity.

A total of 5198 people entered bankruptcy or a Part IX Debt Agreement or a Part X agreement in the three months to 31 December 2019 according to the latest Australian Financial Security Authority data.

In Tasmania, personal insolvencies were down by 31 per cent. Numbers were down 28.5 per cent in Queensland, down 24.6 per cent in South Australia, down 22.1 per cent in New South Wales and down 18.8 per cent in Victoria.

Insolvency and bankruptcy laws are changing

In Australia in the last three months of 2019, there were 3385 bankruptcies, with 24.9 per cent (862) of them business related. This number is trending down according to data from the Australian Financial Security Authority.

AFSA announced that from the March 2020 quarter there will be a new definition for a business-related personal insolvency. A personal insolvency will now be classified as business related if the debtor has operated a business in the last five years, or last two years for a debt agreement.

New rules for mortgage brokers

From July, mortgage brokers will have to comply with responsible lending obligations and a new best interests duty.

The latest financial sector reform bill passed parliament yesterday placing new restrictions and obligations on mortgage brokers.

Brokers must act in the best interests of the borrower not only in relation to the mortgage but also in relation to any other credit contracts which they sell or provide assistance in relation to, including credit cards and personal loans.

What does “Responsible Lending” and “Best Interests” mean?

Mortgage brokers will be required (from 1 July 2020) to comply with responsible lending rules and act in the best interests of their customers under new laws passed by parliament yesterday.

“There are circumstances where the mortgage broker may not have acted in a consumer’s best interests even if the responsible lending obligations were complied with,” say notes accompanying the new law.

“Even if a home loan is ‘not unsuitable’, recommending it to the consumer might not be in the consumer’s best interests.”

The new law states where a conflict of interest arises, a mortgage broker must act in the consumer’s best interest, must not accept conflicted remuneration is expected to only recommend products and loans that are in the best interests of the borrower.


UBank goes green with high term deposit rates

UBank’s Personal Term Deposits and Green Term Deposits have very competitive market leading rates in February 2020.

UBank term deposits offer a 0.10% pa loyalty bonus for customers who roll their cash over into a second UBank term deposit.

UBank is currently offering term deposit rates of up to 1.70 per cent pa (for three and four month terms). See InfoChoice for UBank term deposit rates.

Read more about top term deposit rates in February.

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