This week in banking - Moula, UBank and more

Niko Iliakis

Friday 15 March 2019

There’s plenty that goes on in Australian banking each week, so we don't blame you if you've fallen behind. Here’s our latest banking recap to get you all up to speed.

UBank unveils new Green Term Deposit

With the Earth lurching irrevocably toward environmental ruin, it’s somewhat comforting to know the occasional company is taking steps to combat climate change. This week UBank launched its Green Term Deposit, which joins a host of other ethical banking products that should appeal to the socially-conscious consumer.

The bank promises to match each balance to a portfolio for investing in environmentally-friendly initiatives, like wind and solar energy. And proving that going green doesn’t have to mean compromising value, you can expect returns of 2.65% p.a. if you lock away your funds for 7 months — plus a bonus 0.10% p.a. if you decide to renew.

Moula adds an extra $250 million to help small businesses

In the world of business loans, it’s well known that online lenders score well on speed and ease of application, and now a recent move by Moula hopes to put them on par with banks when it comes to scale.

The online lender has announced it will be injecting an additional $250 million to fund Australian small businesses, with pricing for loans starting at a low 15.95% p.a. And in a bid to increase borrower flexibility, Moula is also increasing its maximum loan amount from $250,000 to $500,000, as well as extending loan terms from 24 months to 36 months.

Online lenders set off home loans rate cut frenzy

Talk of home loans has centred around Athena and these past few weeks, with the two making headlines with their extraordinarily low (and near identical) rates. Now it seems we’re seeing a race to the bottom as a number of lenders scramble to attract borrowers.

Kogan Money, State Custodians, and Bank of Sydney are just some of the names that have been making cuts. Even NAB has decreased its Base Variable Home Loan special by 0.20%, leaving us wondering whether or not the other big banks will follow suit.

Variable home loans

Not all lenders have gotten the memo, though. Take BankFirst, which hiked rates for its Complete Home Loan for both owner occupiers and investors by 0.08%. Owner occupiers looking to take out a loan with an LVR below 80% will now have to pay 4.07% p.a. (4.12% comparison rate*) in interest.

BankVic has adjusted rates across several offerings for investors. Most notably, its Standard Variable Home Loan jumped up 0.20%, now offering a rate of 5.39% p.a. (5.44% p.a. comparison rate*).

Fixed home loans

This week, Resimac dropped rates across a range of its Ultra Plus products by 0.11%. And Bankwest’s 5 year Complete Fixed Home Loan Package for owner occupiers saw cuts of 0.55%, leaving it at 3.99% p.a. (4.49% comparison rate*). 

Term deposits

The downward trend in term deposits continues well into March. Macquarie made a number of cuts across its term deposit rate sheet, ranging from between 0.05% to 0.15%. Its best offers are now the 6, 9 and 12 month terms, which offer 2.70% p.a.

UBank also decreased rates for its 3, 4, 6, 9 and 12 month terms by 0.10%. Its one month term saw cuts of 0.20%, leaving it at 1.90% p.a. And Westpac made cuts of between 0.05% and 0.15% for term deposits up to 1 year. Longer terms also saw major cuts, with the 5 year rate plummeting 0.40%.

But it’s not all bad news, BoQ Specialist has increased rates for its 2, 3 and 4 year term deposits by up to 0.20%. Its 2 year rate now sits at 2.65% p.a. So if you’re looking to to see what kind of rates are available right now, be sure to check out our term deposit comparison page.

And if you were on the market for a home loan and all the talk of low rates has you willing to take the plunge, take a look at what’s available below.

*WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

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