A quarter of Aussies in buy now, pay later debt

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ASIC sues ANZ over dodgy loans, and one in four Aussies are in debt with buy now, pay later programs.

Here are five things you might've missed this week.

ASIC takes ANZ to Federal Court over 'introducer program'

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ASIC is taking ANZ to Federal Court for breaching consumer protection laws by using its 'introducer' program to illicitly book more than 50,000 loans worth more than $18.5 billion.

The regulator alleges ANZ accepted customer information and documents from 'introducers' and other unlicensed individuals, between June 2016 and March 2018. ASIC also claims that some of the documents provided were fraudulent.

ASIC claims that as of September 2018, the introducer program represented about 10% of all the home loans sold by ANZ.

"ASIC is concerned that as a result of this conduct some loans may have been granted by ANZ based on false information and some consumers may have entered into home loans that were beyond their ability to pay," says ASIC deputy chair Sarah Court.

"If banks are going to accept referrals of consumers seeking a home loan from unlicensed individuals, who receive commission payments for the referrals, they need to make sure they have the right systems in place to properly process those referrals."

A quarter of Aussies in buy now, pay later debt

Ahead of Black Friday sales, a survey of 1000 people by Reviews.org has found that one in four Aussies have an outstanding balance on BNPL purchases, with the average outstanding balance sitting at $391.56.

Fifteen per cent of Aussies who use BNPL services use them very rarely (once or twice ever), 30% use them rarely (once or twice a year), 43% use them monthly, and 12% use them weekly.

The main reasons Aussies use these services are that they did not have enough money to cover the full amount upfront, it's easier to budget small payments, and they wanted to take advantage of a timely sale.

Meanwhile, a Federal Parliament banking enquiry has found that BNPL customers are increasingly falling behind on payments.

An analysis by CommBank provided to the enquiry found that almost twice the number of CBA BNPL customers overdrew their accounts (7.2%) compared to non-BNPL customers (3.9%) in 2020-21.

Woolloongabba: the best place to buy property

That's according to ME Bank's Best Places to Live report, which graded suburbs on factors including how new transport infrastructure would re-shape the investment landscape across the range of suburbs, average rental yields, recent population growth, median house prices; and average rental prices together with lifestyle appeal measurables such as the availability of coffee shops and cafes.

Woolloongabba, in Brisbane's inner east, topped the rankings, followed by Burleigh Heads, also in Queensland, and Five Dock in NSW.

  1. Woolloongabba, QLD
  2. Burleigh Heads, QLD
  3. Five Dock, NSW
  4. North Melbourne, VIC
  5. Rozelle, NSW
  6. Ellenbrook, WA
  7. Parramatta, NSW
  8. Crows Nest, NSW
  9. Preston, VIC
  10. South Melbourne, VIC
  1. Yanchep, WA
  2. Waterloo, NSW
  3. Coffs Harbour, NSW
  4. North Sydney, NSW
  5. Pyrmont, NSW
  6. Claremont, WA
  7. Mermaid Beach, QLD
  8. Miami, QLD
  9. Concord, NSW
  10. Fairfield, QLD

"A common theme that really stands out in ME's list is the huge impact that new transport infrastructure has on creating investment opportunities in a suburb," says ME's consulting demographer Chris McNeill, from Ethos Urban.

"Woolloongabba, for example, is already serviced by two train stations and the new Cross City Rail Project will provide a new line running directly under the suburb, increasing connectivity and changing the way people use the area. This will only be bolstered in the coming years as Brisbane prepares its infrastructure for the 2032 Olympics."

Aussies missing out on unpaid super

A quarter of Aussie workers missed out on a total of $5 billion in super last year, according to Industry Super Australia's (ISA) unpaid super report.

Based on data from 2018/19, the Sydney electorate was found to be worst off, where 30,000 workers were found to be underpaid a total of $55.1 million. This was followed by Lalor in Melbourne's western suburbs, where 27,000 workers have underpaid a total of $36 million.

"Millions of Australians remain unaware they're being ripped off on their super, just assuming that it's being paid because it appears on their payslip," says ISA CEO Bernie Dean.

"Until government fixes the problem by making employers pay super with wages, members need to be aware they could be underpaid and take steps to protect their retirement savings."

Aussies to spend a million a minute across Black Friday-Cyber Monday

National Australia Bank (NAB) predicts Australians will spend just shy of $1 million every minute between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The shopping frenzy is expected to bring in $5.5 billion across bricks and mortar retail and online. NSW is forecast to account for $1.74 billion of it, followed by Victoria ($1.45 billion) and Queensland ($1.12 billion).

"One in six of all November retail sales happened during this four-day period last year and we're anticipating similar trends this year as the economic bounce back continues," says NAB Group Executive Personal Banking, Rachel Slade.

"Our most recent estimates show e-commerce makes up about 15% of all retail sales during the year, but this surges to almost 30% during this discounted shopping period."

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David Thornton was a journalist at Money from September 2019 to November 2021. He previously worked at Your Money, covering market news as producer of Trading Day Live. Before that, he covered business and finance news at The Constant Investor. David holds a Masters of International Relations from the University of Melbourne.