This week in banking - Savings rates take a hit

Niko Iliakis

Friday 12 July 2019

In this week’s banking recap, we review what’s been happening on the home loan and savings front since the RBA cut official interest rates, plus take a look at some helpful tax and energy tips.

Variable rate cuts continue

In the wake of last week’s RBA rate cut, we sat back and watched as banks and lenders scrambled to revise their home loan interest rates. Among the latest to make moves were UBank and Bendigo Bank, with the former passing on the full 0.25% cut for the second time in a row. Bendigo Bank, on the other hand, was less willing to wield the axe, reducing rates by 0.20%.

Which lenders passed on the cut twice?

July marks the second month in a row that the RBA has cut the cash rate, and while plenty of lenders opted to pass on the full cut in June, we didn’t see anywhere near as many do the same in July. In fact, only six home loan lenders dropped variable home loan rates by 0.25% on both occasions. Can you guess which ones?

Savings cuts ramp up

Unfortunately, it’s customary for savings account rates to drop too as banks look to make up for lost revenue. Take ING, which cut rates on its popular Savings Maximiser, Savings Accelerator and Business Optimiser accounts this week, much to the dismay of its devoted base of customers. 

Thankfully, there’s a silver lining. Rates for both business and personal term deposits have jumped up as of late, with the ING term deposit now offering 2.30% p.a. for 11 month terms, an increase of 0.80%.

Key changes for small business owners this financial year

The new financial year is here, and it brings with it a number of important tax changes small business owners will need to know about. Number one on the list is the mandatory rollover to Single Touch Payroll (STP) - which will now apply to all businesses, not just those with 20 or more employees - but there’s plenty more.

“Being aware of these regulatory changes and how they can affect you and your business, may assist in the smooth operation of your business and help you maximise your return,” said Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Senior Tax Advocate, Susan Franks. 

Keep your energy bill low this winter

Talk of energy bills might leave many downright despondent, and it’s no wonder - for so long, sneaky penalties and exorbitant costs were the name of the game. But the good news is that there are a handful of discounts and rebates available to pensioners, low-income households, and those experiencing financial hardship to help ease the burden. 

Is now a good time to fix?

With the interest rate environment having reached record lows, several fixed rates are now sitting at or below the 3.00% mark. And while the next few weeks are likely to bring more news of cuts to variable rates, you might be eyeing some of the fixed options out there and wondering if now is a good time to lock one in instead. 

"Whether you choose to fix now, or just opt for a really competitive variable rate and see what happens later in the year, this is the perfect time to be refinancing or getting into the home loan market," said Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont.

So if you're looking to finally take your first steps up the property ladder, be sure to visit our home loan comparison page for a look at some quality deals, or check out some of the options 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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