Home loans, solar power, Xinja: This week’s best banking news

happy ING customer looking at her home loan on her laptop
  • ING proves most satisfactory for home loan customers 
  • Mortgage approvals at an all-time high 
  • Home prices continue to creep up with regional markets at the forefront 
  • Rooftop solar takes off in record numbers in ACT and Victoria 
  • Xinja says goodbye and returns fund to customers 
  • Credit card interest rate: 1 in 3 Aussies don’t know theirs 

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

Research finds ING is most satisfactory to customers when it come to home loans

Last week, Roy Morgan released its latest banking customer satisfaction data which revealed ING came out on top. 

The survey recorded the attitudes of home loan customers  from a wide range of Aussie banks between June and November of 2020. 

Figures showed that most banks increased their customer satisfaction levels compare to the same time in 2019, and online bank ING ranked the highest with a 94.4% rating (up by 2.1%). 

“The response of Australian banking and financial institutions to the COVID-19 pandemic has been rewarded with customer satisfaction ratings of home loan customers increasing for all ten leading banks compared to a year ago by an average of 4.8% points to 79%,” Roy Morgan CEO, Michele Levine said.

“Australia’s banks provided unprecedented support to home loan customers thrust into financial hardship during 2020 with a wide range of support measures. Roy Morgan research into the impact of COVID-19 on finances shows 10% of Australians who have had a negative employment impact from COVID-19 have had their mortgage payments put on hold for a period of time – and this translates into 21% of all Australians with mortgages.”

Read full article:
ING tops on home loan customer satisfaction, says Roy Morgan to find out which challenger banks beat out the big players. 

Home loan approvals jump up to record high 

In November, the total value of new mortgage approvals increased to a record high of $24 billion, an increase of 5.6%, said the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 

Numbers showed that loan commitments for existing dwellings in November rose by 5.9% to $12.44 billion. 

And as for the value of construction loan commitments, it crept up by 5.6% to $3.01 billion. Since July last year, when the Government’s HomeBuilder scheme was introduced, these sort of loan commitments have increased by a massive 75%. 

Read full article:
Home loan approvals at all-time high, says ABS and find out more about why first home buyers have flocked to the market. 

Property prices on the rise, with regional areas turning over more profit

couple buying home as property prices rise

Recent data from CoreLogic has shown that the rate of profit making sales in Australian capital cities and regional areas has increased over the September quarter. 

The firm revealed that the proportion of profitable sales throughout the country as whole was 88.1%, equating to an extra $24.8 billion. This is up from 87.2% ($19.8 billion), in the June quarter. 

For major cities, Hobart was the best performing, while Melbourne was the only city to report a decrease in the rate of profitable sales. 

CoreLogic Head of Research Australia, Eliza Owen drew attention to Australia’s regional areas. She said that locations like Geelong, the Illawarra and the Sunshine Coast outperformed capital cities. 

“The combined regional Australian market saw the rate of profit making sales increase 150 basis points, to 89.2% in the September quarter, while the rate of profitability across capital city markets expanded 30 basis points, to 87.2%,” she said.

Read full article:
Home prices continue to rise, regional markets more likely to return a profit and discover why property values continue to rise. 

ACT and Victoria see uptick in solar energy 

Both the ACT and Victoria have reported increases in solar energy usage for households. 

The ACT Government’s 2019/20 annual feed-in tariff report showed there are more than 28,000 solar generators in the Territory, up by 17% on the previous year. 

Rooftop solar in the ACT produced more than 135 megawatts over the 2019/20 financial year. Plus, over 47,000 MWh came from more than 10,000 solar PVs that were provided by the ACT Government’s Feed-In Tariff (FiT) scheme. 

And it’s a similar story in Victoria, where it was reported that over half a million households in the state are now producing their own power as a result of using solar.  This increase could be a result of its Solar Home rebate program which discounts solar systems, batteries and hot water systems. 

Read full article:
Rooftop solar welcomed in record numbers, thanks to rebates and interest-free loans for insights from Victoria’s Minister for Solar Homes, Lily D’Ambrosio.

Failed neobank Xinja returns deposits to its customers

Xinja customer checking fund return on mobile

At the end of last year, neobank Xinja discontinued its banking and savings accounts as it gave back its Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution (ADI) licence. 

This week, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) announced that over $252 million across 54,357 deposits were returned to Xinja’s 37,884 former customers. 

While customers were encouraged to withdraw their own funds from their Xinja account, for those who didn’t Xinja voluntarily transferred the remaining funds ($65,809) to new or existing NAB accounts. 

Both NAB and Xinja contacted customers to let them know the transfer had been done. 

Read full article:
Xinja finalises all deposit returns: Where is your cash now? to compare new savings accounts to stash your stash! 

Do you know your credit card interest rate? 1 in 3 Aussies don’t! 

New research from Defence Bank has revealed that one in three Australian credit card users don’t know the interest rate attached to their plastic. 

On top of that, four out of five didn’t release their interest rate above 10%. While 60% of respondents admitted that they don’t pay much attention to the rate on their card at all. 

“It’s time to break the cycle of paying unnecessarily high credit card interest rates. Australian consumers need to stop paying 20% for the convenience of a basic credit card, when genuine low-rate options exist for half the cost,” said Defence Bank chief executive officer, David Marshall. 

The data also found that one in four Aussies keep a credit card balance throughout the year, while one in two believe rewards programs aren’t valuable any more. 

“We see from these results that Australians are frustrated by the rates they’re paying and the bells and whistles they either can’t use or don’t need,” says Marshall.

Read full article:
1 in 3 Aussies don't know their credit card interest rate for some tips on clearing your Christmas credit card debt. 

Want to make the switch to a credit card with a lower interest rate? Check out these low rate card offers below!

Compare low rate credit cards - rates updated daily

Search promoted credit cards below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure.
  • Apply By 30 June 2021
    placeholder
    Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card

    0% p.a. balance transfer for 24 months (Reverts to 11.99% p.a). Low annual fee of $45 and no fees for additional cardholders.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    11.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 24 months and then 11.99% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)
    $45
    Go to site
    Details
  • Apply By 31 May 2021
    placeholder
    Citi Simplicity

    There is no annual fee ever, you'll get up to 55 days interest free, free wine when you dine with the Citi Dining Program and the convenience of worldwide acceptance with Visa and Visa payWave. Plus for the first 6 months you'll enjoy 0% on balance transfers.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    0% p.a. for 6 months then 21.49% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 6 months and then 22.24% p.a.
    $0
    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Defence Bank Foundation Credit Card

    Defence Bank Low Rate Credit Card offers a 3.99% p.a. 6 month introductory rate on balance transfers, purchases and cash advances. Up to 55 days interest free on purchases.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    3.99% p.a. for 6 months then 8.99% p.a.
    3.99% p.a. for 6 months and then 8.99% p.a.
    $45
    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    St.George Vertigo

    0% p.a. for 28 months on balance transfers requested at card application. 0% balance transfer fee applies. Rate then switches to applicable variable cash advance rate. New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends September 28th 2021.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    13.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 28 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $55
    Go to site
    Details
  • Apply By 7 September 2021
    placeholder
    Westpac Low Rate

    Enjoy a super low rate of 13.74% with 55 days interest free plus 0% balance transfer for up to 28 months at 1% BT fee. No annual card fee for the first year, $59 thereafter.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    13.74% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 28 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)
    $59 $0 in the first year
    Go to site
    Details
  • Apply By 30 June 2021
    placeholder
    Citi Rewards

    0% per annum for 30 months on balance transfers. $49 Annual Fee for the first year then $149 each year after. Complimentary International Travel Insurance.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    21.49% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 30 months and then 22.24% p.a.
    $149 $49 in the first year
    Go to site
    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Credit Cards Awards

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.