Aussies call on big banks to change: ‘Tough period’

Aussies are calling on their banks to help ease cost-of-living pressures, with many feeling like their lenders aren’t doing enough.

Half of Aussies (49 per cent) – equivalent to 9.9 million people – wanted their bank to offer higher interest rates on savings accounts, a Finder survey of 1,110 respondents revealed.

The research also found two in five (43 per cent) Australians were seeking lower fees, while 37 per cent wanted their bank to offer better savings products.

One in three (34 per cent) wished their bank would hold off on increasing rates on home loans, while 17 per cent wanted support on switching loans and refinancing.

One in seven Aussies wanted access to better financial-hardship terms, including repayment holidays.

Finder money expert Sarah Megginson said millions of Australians were feeling financially vulnerable.

“The rising cost of living has been felt by practically every Australian household and, for some, it’s more than they can handle,” Megginson said.

“As expenses burn a hole in people’s pockets, they’re looking to their lender to help them navigate this tough period.”

Banks under pressure

Megginson said banks were coming under increased pressure to cut interest rates or to offer other incentives to serve their existing customers.

“New customers tend to get the best of it – from big cashback offers or easier application criteria for refinancing. Now, existing customers are demanding the same treatment,” she said.

“With 12 rate hikes over the past 15 months, and potentially another one on the horizon, millions of mortgage holders are reaching their breaking point – grappling with the possibility of defaulting or even losing their homes.”

Megginson urged customers to challenge the status quo.

“Everyone should be talking to their lender about getting a better deal, regardless of their financial situation. If you don’t ask, you don’t get,” she said.

“It’s time to take action, whether you’re dealing with debt, trying to earn more interest or are ready to become a master investor.”

article from: au.finance.yahoo.com