Morning Briefing: Most Aussies would turn their backs on big banks in a crisis, survey shows

Almost three in four people believe a major bank would not provide the best service for customers facing a crisis, research shows... New Zealand central bank sees rates staying at record low as OCR held...

Morning Briefing: Most Aussies would turn their backs on big banks in a crisis, survey shows
Most Aussies would turn their backs on big banks in a crisis, survey shows
A nationwide survey for non-bank lender State Custodians Home Loans, conducted by Galaxy Research, has revealed the majority of Australians (72%) believe a big bank is not their best option for service in a crisis.
Thirty-seven per cent believe they’d receive the best level of specialised attention from a smaller lending institution such as a credit union or building society, while 28% nominated a big bank; 25% said a mortgage broker and 22% would turn to an accountant, lawyer or financial planner. Just 10% chose a non-bank lender.

“Australians are currently facing increasing uncertainty on numerous fronts including a stagnant economy, job insecurity, high levels of relationship breakdowns and unhealthy lifestyles leading to chronic illness,” says State Custodians general manager Joanna Pretty

“When you’re in crisis mode it can be very stressful and confusing trying to make any major decision. I think trust is very important in dire situations and sometimes with larger institutions people can feel like they’re ‘just a number’. So any organisation or people who can give you the right information and reassure that they’ll look after you is important. 

However, Pretty says it’s important for people to know that smaller institutions are renowned for their more personal tailored service, which can be helpful when going through a personal crisis. 

“Smaller institutions tend to specialise with different products and services, and are very good at helping people who fall outside traditional parameters,” says Pretty. “They can also have more of an open mind as to what kind of deal they’d be prepared to do with a customer, as they’re used to evaluating extenuating circumstances.”

New Zealand central bank sees rates staying at record low as OCR held 
(Bloomberg) -- New Zealand’s central bank kept interest rates at a record low and forecast they will remain there for some time, saying inflation will return only “gradually” to target. The local dollar fell.

“Monetary policy will remain accommodative for a considerable period,” Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler said in Wellington Thursday after holding the official cash rate at 1.75 percent. “Numerous uncertainties remain, particularly in respect of the international outlook, and policy may need to adjust accordingly.”

The New Zealand dollar dropped about half a U.S. cent after the statement. It bought 72.58 cents at 9:52 a.m. in Wellington from 73.05 cents immediately before the release.

New Zealand’s economy is growing at an annual pace of more than 3 percent, fueling price pressures. But Wheeler may be reluctant to hint at a future increase in borrowing costs for fear of boosting the kiwi dollar, which has gained more than 10 percent in the past year. The currency’s strength has so far thwarted his attempts to return inflation to the 2 percent midpoint of the bank’s target band.

The currency “remains higher than is sustainable for balanced growth,” Wheeler said. “A decline in the exchange rate is needed.”

All 18 economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected today’s decision. Sixteen forecast the benchmark rate will remain at 1.75 percent throughout 2017 and two are tipping a quarter point cut. By contrast, traders predict a rate rise by the end of the year.
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