This week in banking news - RBA, IMT, and the circular economy

Niko Iliakis

Friday 06 September 2019

In this week’s banking recap, we look at Tuesday’s RBA decision, the circular economy, and the ways that loyalty to the big banks is costing Australians.

RBA leaves the cash rate unchanged

Following its meeting earlier this week, the Reserve Bank announced it will be keeping official interest rates at 1.00% for another month. But with the economy currently stalling, more rate cuts in the near future are pretty much a certainty at this point.

“The persistent downside risks to the global economy combined with subdued inflation have led a number of central banks to reduce interest rates this year and further monetary easing is widely expected,” said RBA Governor, Philip Lowe.

Are you paying a convenience tax on your home loan?

When you’ve held your savings with the one bank all your life, it might be convenient to turn to them when it comes time to take out a home loan, but is it really the best call? A recent report by ASIC found that while 60% of Aussie home buyers stick with their existing bank when signing up for a mortgage, their loyalty isn’t always rewarded with lower rates.

Big banks overcharging on IMT

We aren’t just relying on our banks when it comes to home loans. They’re also first on the call sheet for Aussies looking to send money abroad or transfer between currencies. This comes via a new report from the ACCC, which found that opting for the big banks over alternative IMT providers is costing Australians hundreds of millions of dollars each year. With better deals available elsewhere, Aussies are being urged to shop around.

The circular economy: a way to save?

One of the big things holding people back from embracing sustainable living is that it’s not always cheap. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to be kind to the planet and your wallet at the same time. This week, we took a look at the circular economy, and how borrowing, swapping, and buying pre-owned items make for a cost-effective way to help the environment.

Average household sitting on $5,300 in unwanted goods

On that note, if you’re looking to clear out your house of any unused goods, you might find you’re sitting on much more money than expected. According to Gumtree’s Second Hand Economy Report, the average Aussie household has around $5,300 worth of unused or unwanted items, adding up to a whopping $43 billion. 

Earn Velocity Points with the new Virgin Money home loan offer

Rewards points aficionados will appreciate the latest deal from Virgin Money. It’s currently offering customers who apply for its Reward Me Home Loan the chance to earn hundreds of thousands of bonus Velocity Points, just as long as they apply before November 29 this year. Borrow between $300,000 and $999,999 and you could be looking at 100,000 bonus Velocity Points. Take out a loan of more than $1 million and that number bumps up to 200,000.

If you’d like to see how that stacks up to other home loans on the market, be sure to visit our home loans comparison page, or check out the selection of quality offers 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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