This week in banking - Long weekend heralds several key changes

We know you’re looking forward to the Easter long weekend, but before you dash off to the holiday destination of your choice (or settle in for a quiet stay at home), be sure to read up on the latest news in the banking world in this week’s recap. 

Judo Capital Enters the digital banking fray

After one year of helping Aussie businesses source finances, Judo Capital has announced plans to throw its hat in the digital banking ring.

The fintech lender will soon be expanding its range of offerings to include not just business loans, lines of credit and finance leases, but retail deposit products.

This comes from co-CEO Joseph Healy, who made the announcement at the AltFi Summit on Monday. The company is expected to receive its banking license soon.

Are you still paying fees on your bank account?

If bank account fees give you a headache, you’re not alone. Our survey of 2,000 Australians found that 20% consider account-keeping fees their least favourite type of fee. And given that they can run up to $120 a year, it’s no wonder.

Thankfully, there’s no shortage of fee-free bank accounts out there. In fact, it’s sort of bewildering that so many people are still choosing otherwise. If you’re in the mood to switch, be sure to check out our bank account comparison page for a cheaper alternative.

Amex cuts points earn rate

For anyone who lives by their rewards credit card, we’ve got some bad news. American Express recently cut its points earn rate for a number of its offerings by a quarter of a point. That means you’ll have to break out your card much more frequently to get the usual batch of freebies.

The silver lining is that Amex will be increasing its card acceptance rate going forward, meaning that you’ll be able to flash your plastic at an even greater number of merchants. And even with the changes, AMEX still offers greater value overall than the big banks.

Westpac commits to 100% renewable energy by 2025

On Wednesday, Westpac announced it will be sourcing 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025, making it one of a handful of Australian companies to make such a commitment.

The decision sees Westpac joining the RE100, a global initiative which brings together the world’s biggest businesses as they take steps towards achieving a low carbon economy. 

Currently, 171 companies worldwide have made the pledge, with Bank Australia and Commonwealth Bank rounding out the other two Aussie banks on the list.

Save money on your business loan with a challenger bank 

Thinking about taking out a business loan with one of the Big 4 banks? You might want to reconsider. A recent Mozo analysis shows you’d be better off opting for a smaller lender instead.

Rates from challenger banks are on average 88 basis points lower than those offered by the Big 4 banks, making them a much more attractive alternative. In real terms, that means Aussie business owners could save more than $6,007 over 5 years on a $250,000 loan.

So if you’re on the market for a business loan, don’t make any big moves until you’ve had a look at our business loan comparison page first.

And finally if you’ve got plans to travel this Easter, we hope you’ve got insurance in place. If not, here’s your reminder to head over to our travel insurance comparison page to find the deal that best suits you.