AMP's Downhill Slide

“Death by a thousand cuts”

Ill winds continue to batter the once highly respected AMP. Within the space of a few days, the company confirmed that it was looking to axe 20 percent of its staff then ASIC went to court alleging  the company had charged fees to dead customers despite knowing they had passed away!

Mathan Somasundaram, Founder and CEO of Deep Data Analytics described it as “death by a thousand cuts” while reminding us that the AMP share price had fallen from $12.53c per share in 2001 to a very sad $1.16c per share

 “Scary, but prudent”

The impact of climate change on Australia’s top 500-biggest listed companies is troubling APRA (Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority) which has called for tenders from interested parties to conduct climate risk modelling on behalf of the banks.

APRA wants to know what would happen to Australia’s economy if climate change created a “hot house world”, reports ABC News.

It is scary but prudent, said Daniel Gocher, director of climate and environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility.

“It will assist APRA and the banks, insurers and super funds to better understand the possible impacts from runaway climate change.

 “The proportion of homeowners reaching retirement age while still paying off their mortgages has doubled in 20 years”

Paying off a home loan is a lot harder now than it was 20 years ago, says Peter Martin, visiting Fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University.

Writing in The Conversation, he says buying a home today has become a bigger commitment.  In the 1990s. homes typically cost between two or three times annual after tax income. Now, it’s closer to five times.

Couple that with very low income growth and many first home buyers have a long struggle on their hands.

 “That is not a competitive outcome”

If you’ve recently used a mortgage broker to obtain a home loan from one of the big 4 banks you’ve likely been frustrated by the length of time it has taken.

Relax. It’s not about you.

The banks have been dragging their heels to approve broker originated loans compared with their own.  Go straight to the bank, take the loan it wants you to have, at its price, whether it is the best available or not, and your approval will go through in a couple of days.

Go with a broker who gives you service and choice and you could wait up to three weeks or longer.

In this article in The Adviser, the big four explain how they are going to do better. Forgive me for being cynical.

 “This is a slap in the face”

Decentralisation Minister, Andrew Gee, claims the banks are using the cover of Covid-19 to close branches in regional communities. The Australian reports that the minster thinks banks have betrayed rural customers and is calling for government intervention.

“We are the centre of Australia’s economy, growing our country’s food and produce, fighting droughts and bushfires, and yet the big banks are turning their backs and using the cover of Covid-19 as an opportunity to close branches,” Mr Gee said.

“Borrow with Bitcoin”

Have you got a stash of cryptocurrency locked away in the block chain? Urgently need funds for your business? Easy!

Now you can use your crypto stash as security for a loan, Mozo’s Catherine O’Chee reports on an innovation launched by a company called FiFit.

“Relegated to the history books”

The folks over at RateCity report that that the last fixed rate home loan under 2% has disappeared from the market.

At the start of the year there were 32 four-year fixed rates under 2 percent. Now there are none and hold on to your hat because fixed rates are on the rise across the board.