Fixed mortgage rate hikes, RBA, low rate business loans: This week’s best banking news

family playing on sofa in new home bought with loan
  • Are home loan fixed rates on their way back up? 
  • Economy continues to claw back as RBA’s official cash rate remains the same in April 
  • The big four banks offer up low rate business loans under the SME Recovery Scheme 
  • ‘Green Central Banking’ report: RBA and APRA score low 
  • Victorian Treasurer calls for credit card rates to be slashed
  • Looking for a top credit card bonus points offer? Here’s where to looking 

All in this week’s best banking news recap: editor’s pick. 

Home loan fixed rates start creeping back up

Low fixed mortgage rates have caused many home buyers to jump into the property market, hiking up the cost of homes. 

But some banks have started increasing their home loan fixed rates, including CommBank, Bank of Queensland and Teachers Mutual Bank. These changes indicate that the market may be set to slow down in the near future. 

Plus, in the second half of this year the RBA’s term funding facility will end, which may cause more long-term fixed rates to increase.  

Read full article:
Home loan check-in: Are fixed rates on their way back up? To find out where to get some of the lowest fixed rates right now. 

RBA leaves cash rate unchanged as economy recovers

In its April meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept the official cash rate at 0.1% as Australia’s economy continues to recover.

RBA governor Philip Lower explained that the current policy is helping boost employment and demand, however there are still some uncertainties. 

“GDP increased by a strong 3.1% in the December quarter, boosted by a further lift in household consumption as the health situation improved. The recovery is expected to continue, with above-trend growth this year and next,” he said.

“Nevertheless, wage and price pressures are subdued and are expected to remain so for some years. The economy is operating with considerable spare capacity and unemployment is still too high.”

On top of that, the yield on the 3-year Australian Government bonds, and the parameters of the Board’s QE program and term funding facility also haven’t changed this month.

Read full article:
RBA leaves cash rate unchanged in April as economy continues to claw back for more from the RBA’s April meeting. 

SME Recovery Scheme: Australia’s big four banks offer up low rate business loans

man from small business discussing loan with female big four rep

As of April 1, all of Australia’s big four banks introduced low rate business loans of up to $5 million to customers. 

This is part of the SME Recovery Scheme which was introduced in March last year and has been expanded and extended since then. 

Currently, the scheme is available to businesses who received the JobKeeper government supplement bet 4 January and 28 March 2021 (and have a turnover of less than $250 million), as well as those affected by the recent Queensland and NSW floods. 

CommBank, Westpac, ANZ and NAb are all participating in the scheme. 

Read full article:
CommBank, Westpac, ANZ, NAB release low rate business loans under SME Recovery Scheme: are you eligible? for a breakdown of what’s on offer from each of the big four. 

RBA and APRA don’t score well in ‘Green Central Banking’ report 

Australia isn't performing well when it comes to its central bank environmental policies, according to the new ‘Green Central Banking’ report from Positive Money.

In fact, the RBA and Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) have scored a combined low grade of D minus. 

The report looks over the central bank policies from the G20 countries.

With the environment in mind, Positive Money considers the following categories: Research and Advocacy, Monetary Policy, Financial Police and Leading by Example. They award points based on what relevant policies exist, whether they are impactful and if they are implemented (or have just simply been discussed). 

This is what the RBA and APRA scored: 

  • Research and Advocacy: 10/10 
  • Monetary Policy: 0/50
  • Financial Policy: 4/50
  • Leading by Example: 1/20 

Read full article: RBA and APRA score low in new ‘Green Central Banking’ report for a deeper look into the results. 

Drop credit card rates, says Victorian Treasurer

man comparing interest rates on credit cards with calculator

Last week, Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas called for credit card interest rates to be dropped. 

Directed at Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Pallas pointed out that while the cost of borrowing has decreased significantly in recent years, credit card rates have remained essentially unchanged. 

“That is unfair, it is unreasonable, and it’s unconscionable, and it has to stop,” he said.“The Commonwealth needs to step up.”

Mozo research from last year shows that credit card providers are benefiting from keeping rates high, despite the RBA official cash rate being slashed to 0.1%. 

Numbers revealed that by not passing the 4.40% in RBA rate cuts over the last eight years, providers have profited a massive $6.4 billion. 

Read full article:
Let's give credit card rates the chop, says VIC Treasurer for ways to switch and cut down the cost of your credit card. 

Love rewards points? Check out these credit card bonus offers!

This week, rewards credit card giant American Express launched two bonus points offers. 

Now on it's Explorer Credit Card, new customers can earn 90,000 bonus Qantas Points and $300 cashback. This is as long as they spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months from approval and apply online by 31 May 2021. 

The second offer is attached to Amex’s Qantas Ultimate Card. New customers can earn 55,000 bonus points when they apply, are approved and spend $3,00 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. 

Keep in mind both cards come with an interest rate of 20.74%. The Explorer Card comes with an annual fee of $395, while the Qantas Ultimate Card has a $450 annual fee. 

There are plenty of other bonus points offers out there too. In fact over 60 providers on the Mozo database currently offer bonus points, up to 200,000 points. 

Read full article:
Where to find a top credit card bonus points offer to find out what other options are out there. 

Want to compare rewards credit cards right now? Check out these top cards below!

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