Thursday, September 29, 2011

Broking Body warns against 'laughable' One Big Switch

Here is a good article from Broker News.
Choice and One Big Switch have offered great deals based on Collective Bargaining.
Equitimax does not think this will be any better than what we can currently do and Australian Finance Group (AFG) general manager of sales and operations Mark Hewitt agrees.

AFG warns against 'laughable' One Big Switch
By Ben Abbott | 30/09/2011 8:00:00 AM           

Mortgage industry aggregator Australian Finance Group (AFG) has come out in support of the broker proposition, by issuing a warning to consumers over the loan offer being provided by One Big Switch.

Following widespread criticism from the broking industry over the group buying exercise masterminded by consumer group Choice, AFG's general manager of sales and operations Mark Hewitt said the problem is One Big Switch had failed to attract major lenders to its panel.
"The proposition would be laughable if they weren’t putting people’s property on the line," Hewitt said.

Hewitt also questioned 'sweeping pronouncements' being made by representatives of the organisation - as reported in the Australian Financial Review - about financial advice in Australia being 'crap', when they are not prepared to provide financial advice themselves.
"The disclaimers on the emails that they’re sending out makes it clear that their so-called ‘members’ are on their own when it comes to deciding whether or not a mortgage deal is right for them," Hewitt said.

"Providing the best deals in the market is what aggregators and brokers do every day"

Hewitt said in the media announcement. "In the past twelve months AFG has refinanced $9.3bn of mortgages – and we are only one of several major broker groups," he said.

Earlier this week, non-banks Resimac, Firstmac, Mortgage Ezy and Mortgage Port were revealed to be the first lenders cooperating with One Big Switch on its consumer buying campaign.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Westpac - Next move from the RBA will be down

Except from Westpac Consumer Sentiment Survey

The September Westpac–Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Survey was a mixed bag. Headline sentiment posted a solid rise, mainly driven, we suspect, by a more relaxed outlook for interest rates. Responses to the various ‘time to buy’ questions were also perkier, particularly for housing.

However sentiment remains in firmly pessimistic territory overall and aversion to risk is still intense.

Meanwhile a sharp deterioration in unemployment expectations lends more weight to the view that consumer demand is entering a cyclical weakening. Indeed, the worsening picture on job security effectively negates the good news from improved sentiment.

Not only does it suggest actual labour market conditions are deteriorating, it also points to a material downturn in discretionary spending and is an additional negative for already soft housing markets where job loss concerns inhibit demand.

For now we have made only minor changes to our consumer forecasts, mainly to incorporate stronger than expected Jun quarter spending estimates from the national accounts and partial data for Jul. These give a firmer near term picture for consumer demand but the broad forecast of a material weakening in remains intact.

Looking ahead, steady rates and a reduced threat of rate rises should continue to allay consumer fears of rate hikes. But with rising uncertainty around the global economy and growing signs of weakness in local labour markets, we suspect that steady rates on their own will not be enough to restore consumer confidence.  

We continue to expect that the next move from the RBA will be rate cuts starting with 25bps in Dec and culminating in a total reduction of 100bps by Sep 2012.

Australian consumers are likely to remain badly out of sorts at least until an easing bias is apparent and most probably until actual rate moves are enacted.

Westpac Institutional Bank is a division of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141. Information current as at date above. This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs. Westpac’s financial services guide can be obtained by calling 132 032, visiting or visiting any Westpac Branch. The information may contain material provided directly by third parties, and while such material is published with permission, Westpac accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any such material. Except where contrary to law, Westpac intends by this notice to exclude liability for the information. The information is subject to change without notice and Westpac is under no obligation to update the information or correct any inaccuracy which may become apparent at a later date. Westpac Banking Corporation is regulated for the conduct of investment business in the United Kingdom by the Financial Services Authority. If you wish to be removed from our e-mail, fax or mailing list please send an e-mail to or fax us on +61 2 8254 6934  or write to Westpac Economics at Level 2, 275 Kent Street, Sydney NSW 2000. Please state your full name, telephone/fax number and company details on all correspondence. © 2011 Westpac Banking Corporation