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Fees for no service problem has not gone away: here’s how to protect yourself

Concerns about consumers paying fees for financial planning advice or other services but not getting the service they were promised, a central issue for the Hayne Royal Commission, have not gone away. Despite all the promises from financial institutions that…

Negative equity incidence ‘low’ and not a risk

The Reserve Bank has rejected suggestions coming from some quarters that around 10 per cent of mortgage borrowers are in negative equity. A review of house price falls and negative equity in RBA’s latest Financial Stability Review says the incidence…

Clearing the legislative logjam: what it means for investors

Consumers will soon start to feel the impact of a changed regulatory landscape. The government got a fair number of bills passed last week that will have an impact on the financial services industry, going some way to implementing its…

Unconscionable borrowing

There has been plenty of focus on banks’ treatment of their customers recently but a court case has focused on the obligation borrowers have to act fairly in dealing with their bank. In this case borrowers took advantage of an…

Getting the bank of mum and dad right

The fall in housing prices has led parents to rethink whether they should open up the Bank of Mum and Dad (BoMAD) for their first home buyer offspring. Housing prices in Sydney have dropped 10.94 per cent and in Melbourne…

Life insurance slackers revealed

For the first time, life insurance policyholders can compare the performance of their insurer in handling claims and disputes. Policyholders can review their insurer’s performance and compare it with the performance of other providers. Two industry regulators, the Australian Prudential…

Australians not ready for private health insurance changes

Australians are missing out on crucial information on the changes to their private health insurance policies because their insurers are not updating them on their changing cover. As a result, 75 per cent of policy holders say they have not…

Just who is Westpac’s financial advice partner, Viridian?

Westpac’s big announcement last week that it is getting out of personal financial advice brought its referral partner Viridian Financial Group, a name that not many investors had heard of, into the limelight for the first time. The bank is…

Tax man warns: Get your rental property claims right

Claims for rental property tax deductions contain errors in 90 per cent of cases, the Australian Taxation Office reports. It is planning a blitz on what it calls ‘its next big area of focus’. The ATO says it recently completed…

Debt fund manager targets 10 per cent yield

Commercial lender Metrics Credit Partners has launched a new credit fund, which will hold a portfolio of sub-investment grade debt and target a return of 8 to 10 per cent. Metrics has launched a product disclosure statement for the MCP…