Aussie digital home loan lender disappears


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The fear factor impacting three in five pre-retirees; and Nano bails out of home loans. Here are five things you may have missed this week.

The one thing pre-retirees fear most

The lead-up to retirement can bring new stresses to our lives. But research by Fidelity International found the overwhelming concern shared by three out of five (57%) pre-retirees, is the prospect of running out of money in retirement.

digital home loan lender disappears

Worries about prematurely running out of money often continue into retirement according to the study, which explains why retirees often stick to minimum drawdowns for super-based income streams.

The Federal Treasury's 2020 Retirement Income Review noted that super fund members often pass away leaving behind 90% of the super balance they started retirement with.

Despite worries around running out of funds, the majority (58%) of pre-retirees fail to make plans for

their transition to retirement, something Fidelity says can make the move into the next life stage more successful.

Seeking financial advice, either through your super fund or independently, can clarify what you can afford to live on in retirement and still have enough funds to last the distance.

Another digital home loan lender disappears

The big banks may make healthy profits, but the mortgage market is highly competitive and smaller lenders don't always pass the test of time.

That's been the experience for Australians who took out a home loan with digital lender Nano, which has just sold its $400 million home loan book to AMP.

It follows a raft of neobanks that for a variety of reasons have disappeared from the consumer banking scene including Xinja, Volt Bank and 86 400, which was acquired by NAB.

Former Nano customers will transition to AMP Bank in March 2023 on a comparable mortgage product and maintain their current home loan interest rate.

One challenger brand that isn't fading from the landscape is Alex Bank.

After initially focusing on personal loans, Alex Bank was recently granted a licence to operate as an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution, meaning it can now accept deposits.

Rates on Alex Bank savings accounts are currently 3.4%, or 4.1% on a 12-month term deposit. Both accounts have limited customer release.

$10,000 new perk for regional NSW teachers

Stamp duty is shaping up as a hot issue for the upcoming NSW state election.

The Perrottet Government has announced new financial incentives for teachers to consider working in country schools.

The measures include allowing teachers to claim back up to $10,000 in stamp duty when they buy a home close to where they work.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean, says "This is another incentive for teachers to take up a position in the bush on top of other first home buyer assistance."

The State Government says NSW has the most comprehensive rural and remote incentives scheme in Australia, which can see teachers who head to the regions access up to $40,000 on top of their base salary annually, plus an additional $20,000 recruitment bonus.

Missing some money?

CommBank claims its 'Benefits finder' - a feature of the CommBank app and NetBank, has connected the banks' personal and business customers to $1 billion in grants, rebates and concessions since the feature was launched in 2019.

The top benefits claimed by personal customers include:

  • ASIC Unclaimed Money (more than 295,000 claims started)
  • Revenue NSW Unclaimed Money (more than 261,000 claims started)
  • COVID-19 Disaster & Pandemic Leave Payments (combined across states, more than 231,000 claims started)
  • Victoria Unclaimed Money Register (more than 175,000 claims started)

Commonwealth Bank chief data and analytics officer, Dr Andrew McMullan, says, "As well as providing customers with details on each benefit or rebate, including how much they may be able to claim and instructions on how to claim, we regularly update the tool so it includes the latest benefits available."

You don't have to be a CommBank customer to find lost money.

The MoneySmart website features an unclaimed money search that can help you reconnect with the $1.5 billion pool of lost money from bank accounts, shares, investments and life insurance policies.

Other places to look include your state/territory government's website for lost money from deceased estates, share dividends, salaries and wages, cheques and over-payments.

Or head to the Australian Tax Office website to see if you have any forgotten superannuation accounts.

RBA governor warms things could be worse

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) governor Philip Lowe says people have forgotten how corrosive inflation is.

The governor explained the RBA has one priority and that is to bring inflation down.

"Inflation at the moment is 7.8% and way too high, it needs to come down," he says.

Lowe added it's been 30 years since high inflation "eroded savings", worsened inequality and "hurt the poor."

"Our job as the country's central bank is to make sure that doesn't happen again," he says.

Correction: An earlier version of this story referenced a variable rate car loan from This product is no longer available and was included in error.

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A former Chartered Accountant, Nicola Field has been a regular contributor to Money for 20 years, and writes on personal finance issues for some of Australia's largest financial institutions. She is the author of Investing in Your Child's Future and Baby or Bust, and has collaborated with Paul Clitheroe on a variety of projects including radio scripts, newspaper columns, and several books.