$3000 rebate for new EVs in NSW: What you've missed this week

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Government rebates on the table for electric vehicle purchases, and industry superannuation funds set to dominate by 2025.

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

Global banks slapped with millions in fines

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Global banks have been hit with up to $82 billion in fines since the turn of the century, according to research by BrokerChooser.

The two biggest fines were handed out for misdeeds that contributed to the 2008 global financial crisis.

The Bank of America was fined $16.65 billion in 2014 for knowingly selling toxic mortgages to investors, while JPMorgan Chase being forced to pay $13 billion in 2013 for toxic securities abuses.

These two banks also topped the tables for the total amount of fines, Bank of America with $82.9 billion and JPMorgan Chase with $35.9 billion.

Crypto scams on the rise

Aussies have lost $70 million to investment scams, data from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has revealed, with crypto scams accounting for more than half of that.

Bitcoin scams led the way, exceeding $25 million in the first 6 months of the year, a 44% increase over Bitcoin scams for all of 2020.

"Investment scams are more prevalent than ever, and scammers are capitalising on interest in cryptocurrency in particular," says ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard.

"More than half of the $70 million in losses were to cryptocurrency, especially through Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency scams were also the most commonly reported type of investment scam, with 2240 reports."

This is especially concerning given the that 17% of Australians own cryptocurrency, with that figure jumping to 31% among Gen Z.

"Scammers tend to follow the trends of the market and in 2021 cryptocurrency has been one of the most talked-about investments," says Finder cryptocurrency expert James Edwards.

"Unfortunately this attracts bad-actors to the space, which makes it even harder for new investors to spot the difference between legitimate projects and those best left alone.

Crypto scams can be avoided by doing your due diligence.

"Before trading, it's important to make sure you're using a trusted and verified trading platform. Steer clear of any unlicensed crypto platforms that do not hold an AFS or AML licence."

Electric vehicle rebates on the table

New electric vehicle buyers could be eligible for thousands in backdated rebates and refunds, provided the NSW government's Electric Vehicle Strategy passes when parliament resumes.

If it passes, retrospectively from September 1, 2021, EV purchasers will be able to apply for a refund for stamp duty on eligible EVs (battery and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles) priced up to $78,000, and a rebate of $3000 for the first 25,000 eligible EVs under $68,750.

"Electric vehicles are the way of the future and that's why we need to reduce the barriers and create the right market conditions to ensure we are not left at the back of the starting grid," says transport minister Andrew Constance.

"This package not only reduces the costs of purchasing an electric vehicle, but also boosts competition and signals to the market NSW is ready for a greater number of new models."

Energy and environment minister Matt Kean says the NSW EV Strategy is central to NSW achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

"Our aim remains to increase EV sales to more than 50% of new cars sold in NSW by 2030 and for EVs to be the vast majority of new cars sold in the State by 2035," he says.

"For that reason, we have applied retrospectivity to our policy, to ensure the market is not held up due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

ING offers cashback on utility bills

ING Australia is set to be the first Aussie bank to offer customers cashback on utility bills.

The offer is available for eligible Orange Everyday customers, who will now receive 1% cashback on all gas, water and electricity bills.

According to ING research, Australian households are paying an average of $5,472 a year on utility bills.

"It's clear from the research and from what our customers are telling us that utility bills are a pain point but shopping around for a better deal requires time, something many of us just don't have," says George Thompson, head of daily banking at ING.

"We've launched this cashback offer as a way to help our customers effortlessly save on their everyday living costs so they can get on with the things that matter most to them."

Industry superannuation funds will dominate in 2025

Superannuation funds AustralianSuper, QSuper/Sunsuper, Aware Super, UniSuper and Hostplus will grow to be the largest players in 2025, according to Rainmaker's latest Benchmarking Report.

Between 2014 to 2021, the number of funds with less than $1 billion; $1-$5 billion; and $5-$10 billion have halved.

Boutique funds with $5-$10 billion funds under management shrank from 72 to 36, while mid-sized funds with $20-$30 billion have increased from 16 to 19.

"This super fund consolidation is leading to a massive increase in market concentration," says Rainmaker executive director of research Alex Dunnin.

"The amount of AUM in funds sized $50-$100 billion is up 100% in just five years and the amount of AUM in funds $100 billion or more is up 300%."

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David Thornton is a journalist at Money magazine and is one of the hosts of the Friends With Money podcast. 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.