BOQ's 'lottery' savings account comes under scrutiny

Bank of Queensland's (BOQ) new "lottery-style" savings account has come under scrutiny from financial regulators following concerns it could mislead customers.

The account, which was launched last week, allows users to enter a lottery for the chance to win $20,000 a month instead of receiving interest payments. The product has prompted criticisms that the bank is encouraging gambling.

Such concerns have led the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to investigate the matter and hold discussions with BOQ over the savings account.

''We are concerned that it's the sort of product that could mislead and we want to be sure … that if the institution is going to release it, it will comply with the law,'' ASIC chairman Tony D'Aloisio told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra yesterday (October 21st).

''We are looking at it and will look at it closely.''

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, one of the big four banks is thought to be considering the launch of a similar deposit account that offers the incentive of a cash prize. Such moves by the banks could prompt more Aussies to compare savings accounts in search of the best offers.

The news comes after research by Loan Market last week revealed that a significant proportion of Australians have never heard of the federal government's First Home Saver Accounts scheme.

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