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July 20, 2010

Is Abbott or Gillard brave enough to stop the profiteering?


There is a way that interest rate movements by the banks could be more fairly controlled, but will the next-elected Federal Government be brave enough to do it?

By STUART WEMYSS

Since the beginning of 2008, Australia’s top five banks have increased their mortgage rates by 0.92 per cent to 1.19 per cent more than the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), citing higher funding costs as the reason behind the increases.

Despite this message, in the past 12 months we have seen the banks report record profits, such as the Commonwealth Bank’s half-year profit of $2.9 billion – up 13 per cent.

More now than ever, Australians are highly skeptical of the banks and their profiteering behaviour, as competition in the banking sector evaporated when many second-tier lenders were acquired by the Big Four during the global financial crisis.

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July 1, 2010

Maximising bank valuations


Maximising bank valuations is a critical step for most property investors – and here’s how you can do it.

BY STUART WEMYSS

Getting the highest property valuations will assist an investor’s borrowing capacity and help them build a property portfolio. To some degree, a property’s theoretical market value is somewhat irrelevant. What really matters is what the bank will value it at as that determines how much equity you can borrow against.

Three steps to getting the best property valuation

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May 22, 2010

More needed to improve banking competition


Here’s an idea to reignite competition in the mortgage market and get credit flowing again, but will the Federal Government consider it?

BY STUART WEMYSS

The Federal Government touted its Budget announcement in relation to the proposed 50 per cent discount on interest income of up to $1000 (to save personal income tax for investors) as a mechanism to assist the banks with funding mortgages. It will revive competition, it said. The thinking is that people will be encouraged to save more money if they won’t get taxed as much. The benefit to the banks is that an increase in bank deposits will ease the funding pressures as they won’t have to borrow as much from expensive overseas money markets. Banking deposits is one of the cheapest forms of funding at the moment.

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