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Bank account news and advice

All the latest bank account news and top tips to help you manage your bank account.

  • New reforms make it easier for people to switch bank accounts

    Monday 18 June 2012

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    New government reforms that are due to take effect from July 1st are expected to make it easier for people to switch bank accounts. At the moment, a lot of Aussies are put off from changing their provider because there is too much red tape involved. However, the updated legislation will ensure that disillusioned customers can move to another bank without informing their current account supplier. From next month, you can simply tell a new lender which direct debits you want to move across and they will do the work for you. Australian Bankers' Association chief executive Steven Munchenberg told National Features the alterations will create a much more competitive financial marketplace and give more power to the Aussie on the street. "When banks know customers can walk without telling them first, then that is going to put them under more pressure to make sure they have got them a good deal," he was reported as saying.

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  • Shrewd Aussies are settling health insurance bills early

    Thursday 14 June 2012

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    A growing number of Aussies are settling their health insurance bills in advance in order to receive a significant rebate. The government will change the way it calculates who is eligible to benefit from the concessions from July 1st and many Aussies are set to fall on the wrong side of the threshold. Single people earning more than $84,000 a year will lose out on the 30 per cent discount, as will households that accrue in excess of $168,000. However, some of the nation's leading health insurers have reported that thousands of people have prepaid their premiums already so they are guaranteed to receive the reduction, the Daily Telegraph reports. It is hardly surprising that Aussies are looking to ease the strain on their bank accounts at a time when the cost of living down under is spiralling upwards. Despite the loophole, the government does not think it will harm its financial plans. "Pre-payment of fees will not affect the forecast budget savings," a spokesperson recently said. Have a question about bank accounts? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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  • Health insurance changes will blight Aussies

    Wednesday 13 June 2012

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    Changes to the way health insurance rebates are calculated will leave lots of Aussies out of pocket.

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  • Sydney is Australia's most expensive city

    Tuesday 12 June 2012

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    Sydney has been confirmed as the most expensive Australian city for expatriates to live in. The latest Mercer Cost of Living Survey has shown the metropolis is the 11th most costly place on the planet. Melbourne is also becoming increasing unaffordable, as it moved up to 15th in the rankings. Perth, Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide all featured in the top 30, which shows just how expensive the country has become. Mercer principal Nathalie Constantin-Metral believes people's bank accounts are being drained because of a lack of affordable accommodation across the nation. "Demand for rental properties has increased significantly in all the Australian cities we rank. Coupled with very limited availability, the result has been very tight markets and increased prices," she remarked. However, the cost of living down under is nothing when compared with Tokyo, which topped the poll. Luanda in Angola was rated as the world's second least affordable place to live, while Osaka came in third. Have a question about bank accounts? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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  • Switch your bank account provider if you are unhappy

    Wednesday 06 June 2012

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    Australians should not be afraid of switching their bank accounts if they are not happy with the service they are receiving. A lot of people are angry that interest rates are not passed on to loan customers by the major lenders. In light of the Reserve Bank of Australia's decision to lower rates even further, the people's watchdog Choice has urged Aussies not to feel trapped by their bank. Recent figures released by Roy Morgan Research showed that banking customers are becoming increasingly disillusioned with their account provider and many will be looking to switch to a better deal. The fact that the country's major banks have reported sizeable profits once again this year has also caused a lot of resentment, especially at a time when the cost of living down under is spiralling upwards. "If your bank is not passing on the cut then consider ditching and switching," commented Choice spokesperson Ingrid Just. Have a question about bank accounts? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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  • Aussies less satisfied with their bank accounts

    Thursday 24 May 2012

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    A growing number of Aussies are becoming disillusioned with their banks, new figures have shown. According to Roy Morgan Research, satisfaction levels with the nation's major financial institutions dipped by 0.4 per cent to 76.5 per cent in April. This follows on from a 0.4 per cent decline in March, which suggests that more people are looking to compare bank accounts in order to get a more suitable package. A lot of people were angry that the vast majority of the country's lenders increased the rates attached to their mortgages and personal loans during the month. Norman Morris – industry communications director at Roy Morgan Research – said that smaller, less established banks can often provide excellent deals that sometimes fly under the radar. It will be interesting to see the results for May, as most banks have introduced interest rate cuts. However, very few have actually passed on the Reserve Bank of Australia's 0.5 per cent rate cut in its entirety, which could affect the satisfaction index. Have a question about bank accounts? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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  • Australia is the happiest of the OECD nations

    Tuesday 22 May 2012

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    Many may find it hard to believe, but Aussies are the happiest people in the world – or at least among nations surveyed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Although a lot of Aussies are struggling to keep their bank accounts topped up because of the high cost of living, things could be a lot worse. The OECD study took numerous factors into account when assessing which country has the happiest people, the Wall Street Journal reports. It considered job security, general health and average income, before coming to the conclusion that Australia is the best developed country on the planet – narrowly edging out Norway and the US. One of the biggest positives of living down under is the nation's relatively strong gross domestic product. The fact that it has managed to avoid the huge economic problems that have beset parts of Europe is also an obvious bonus. Although it has dipped slightly in recent weeks, the Aussie dollar has generally remained strong, which also helped the country's score in the OECD survey. Have a question about bank accounts? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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  • Energy prices set to rise again

    Thursday 17 May 2012

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    Treasurer Christian Porter has revealed that energy and water prices will rise across Australia. He said in his budget announcement that the cost of electricity is set to go up by 3.5 per cent, while water rates have been hiked by six per cent. Many economists had predicted power rates to increase by five per cent, so Aussies will be glad that the actual rise is lower. However, it is still slightly higher than the rate of inflation and comes at a time when a lot of Aussies are worried about the state of their bank accounts. The latest Westpac/Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index showed that a growing number of people are less confident about their financial situation than they were last month. Christian Porter said the new pricing structure is aimed at providing fair rates, while also taking the true cost of production into account. Despite this, he warned that this may not be the end of the price hikes. "Unfortunately, outside of this budget looms the reality that the carbon tax will increase electricity prices by a larger amount," he remarked. Have a question about bank accounts? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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  • Wages are on the rise down under

    Wednesday 16 May 2012

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    Aussies' wages continue to increase, but at a slower rate than in previous years. A lot of people have been forced to take tighter control of their bank accounts in recent times, as the cost of living has accelerated. New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics have shown that rates of pay in Australia grew by 0.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 when compared with the fourth quarter of 2011. Unsurprisingly, the booming mining sector led the way, with salaries going up by 2.2 per cent. Overall, employees received 3.6 per cent more in their pay packets in the first three months of the year than they did in the corresponding period in 2011. Although this appears to be good news on the face of it, increases in the hourly rate of pay were slower than they were in the previous 12 months. However, the latest figures may be enough to convince the Reserve Bank of Australia that further interest rate cuts are not required just yet. Have a question about bank accounts? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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  • Aussie gamblers are 'tightening their belts'

    Monday 14 May 2012

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    Levels of disposable income have tightened up all across the country and people have had to reassess their budgets. The global economic downturn appears to have had an impact on the betting industry, as gamblers down under have been forced to save their cash, rather than fritter it away. Aussies love a flutter and a new study conducted by Roy Morgan Research has shown that 31 per cent of people living in rural areas used a poker machine in the past 12 months. This compared to just 22 per cent of residents in capital cities. Overall, just over one-quarter of over-18s used money from their bank accounts in order to place bets on card games. However, director of tourism, travel and leisure at Roy Morgan Research Jane Ianniello said that this was down on previous years. "This trend away from the pokies has accelerated over the past year, with expenditure on pokies falling sharply. Australians are tightening their belts and spending less in general," she remarked. Have a question about bank accounts? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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