MY MONEY

How we chose the winners of the Consumer Finance Awards

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Next to our family and friends, another relationship that has the power to shape our future is the one we have with our banks, lending institutions and insurers.

From our savings accounts to our credit cards, business loans and home loans, our day-to-day lives are inextricably intertwined with the way we transact for
work and personal matters.

Even more so as we enter a global recession. Any benefits and concessions we can get from our bank - from fee savings to interest rate cuts - can bring back some of the extra money we lost from the pandemic. It can also help us stay afloat at a time when the economy is shaky.

consumer finance awards 2020

It is with this in mind that we bring you the 2020 Consumer Finance Awards, a shortlist of the leading financial institutions in Australia. For some categories, we've compared hundreds of products to get to the final three. Some winners are back for the second or third year running, others are in for the first time. In nine of the 14 categories, the top three are completely different from what they were back in 2018-19.

I would like to congratulate this year's award winners for making the cut. They've had to beat hundreds of offerings to make the mark and deserve the recognition. I would also like to thank our data partner Infochoice and Rainmaker executive director of research and compliance, Alex Dunnin, for completing the analysis that underpinned this year's finalists. (Rainmaker is the publisher of Money magazine.)

If you're already banking with any of our award winners, give yourself a pat on the back. You're in good hands. If this is your first time encountering these financial institutions, grab a cuppa and allow us to make the introductions.

How we chose the winners

Leading comparison website InfoChoice provided data on a full range of products and services, with analysis and supplementary data provided by Rainmaker Information, to help Money bring you these awards.

Bank of the Year

The winner had the highest overall score among banks that competed across six individual categories. Only full-service banks with a national presence were eligible for this award.
The weightings were:

  • Home lender 30%
  • Personal lender 20%
  • Credit card issuer 20%
  • Money minder 10%
  • Investment lender 10%
  • Business bank 10%

Winner: Suncorp

Customer-Owned Institution of the Year

The winner had the highest overall score among customer-owned institutions competing across six individual categories. To be eligible for this award institutions needed to be listed as a member of the Customer Owned Banking Association and have more than $5 billion in assets. The weightings were:

  • Home lender 30%
  • Personal lender 20%
  • Credit card issuer 20%
  • Money minder 10%
  • Investment lender 10%
  • Business bank 10%

Winner: Greater Bank

Credit Card Issuer of the Year

The winner was the credit card issuer that scored the highest average product rankings across the categories of low rate cards, premium cards, transactor cards, transfer balance cards and cards that offer rewards programs.

Winner: Bank First

Home Lender of the Year

The winner was the major bank that scored the highest average product rankings across the home lending categories of variable loans, fixed loans (over three and five years), basic home loans and home equity loans. Banks had to offer eligible products in at least three categories. Products were ranked according to annual average percentage rates (AAPRs), interest rates and charges available at March 31, 2020.

Winner: Macquarie Bank

Non-Bank Home Lender of the Year

This category used the same methodology as the Home Lender of the Year. The winner scored the highest average product rankings across variable loans, fixed loans (over three and five years), basic home loans and home equity loans. Non-banks had to offer eligible products in at least three categories. Products were ranked according to AAPRs, interest rates and charges available at March 31, 2020.

Winner: Freedom Lend

Business Bank of the Year

The winner was the bank that scored the highest average product rankings across the business banking categories of business loans, business transaction and savings accounts for multiple balance amounts and business credit cards. Eligible products were ranked according to interest rates and charges available
at March 31, 2020.

Winner: Suncorp

Investment Lender of the Year

The winner was the customer-owned institution scoring the highest average product rankings across the property investment lending categories of variable loans, fixed loans (three and five years) and home equity loans. Lenders had to offer eligible products in at least two of the four categories. Products were ranked according to AAPRs, interest rates and charges available at March 31, 2020.

Winner: Police Bank

Non-Bank Investment Lender of the Year

The winner was the non-bank lender scoring the highest average product rankings across the property investment lending categories of variable loans, fixed loans (three and five years) and home equity loans. Lenders had to offer eligible products in at least two of the four categories. Products were ranked according to AAPRs, interest rates and charges at March 31, 2020.

Winner: Tic:Toc

Non-Bank Lender of the Year

The winner was the non-bank lending institution judged by Rainmaker Information to score highest across seven core dimensions: product range, business strength, ability to raise lending capital, innovation, corporate transparency, loan quality and customer depth.

Winner: La Trobe Financial

Personal Lender of the Year

The winner was the bank that scored the highest average product rankings across the personal lending categories of unsecured personal loans fixed over three and five years, car loans and debt consolidation loans. Eligible products were ranked according to AAPRs at March 31, 2020.

Winner: Move Bank

Money Minder of the Year

The winner was the banking product provider that scored the highest average product rankings across the savings accounts attached to personal loans for low, medium and high balances; and term deposits over one, three and five years. Products were ranked according to interest rates and charges available
at March 31, 2020.

Winner: ME Bank

Mobile Banking App of the Year

The winner was the banking app provider judged by Rainmaker Information to score highest across six core dimensions: security, innovation, ease of access and navigation, quick direct access to account information, features and customer support.

Winner: ANZ

Insurer of the Year

This category took into consideration home and contents and car insurance and is based on the following weightings:

  • Home and contents 50%
  • Car insurance 50%

Winner: Budget Direct

Margin Lender of the Year

Lenders were awarded points for positive features, investment menu and gearing capacity (known as LVR) on that menu. The weightings are:

  • Share investor 50%
  • Managed fund investor 50%.

Winner: Leveraged

Pick up a copy of the July issue of Money for more about the winners of the 2020 Consumer Finance Awards

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Michelle Baltazar is editor-in-chief of Money magazine and an award-winning journalist, editor and publisher. She has worked at media companies including BRW, Shares Magazine (London) and industry newspaper Financial Standard, and has written about superannuation, wealth management, investment technology and financial advice.
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