Volt Bank asks customers to withdraw savings by next week


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Personal wealth nudges $575,000, only one in two plan to claim tax breaks, and the door shuts on Volt. Here are five things you may have missed this week.

Volt Bank asks customers to withdraw savings

The arrivals of neobanks attracted considerable fanfare. But plenty have fallen by the wayside.

volt bank closing withdraw savings neobanks digital banks

Volt Bank, which launched in 2019, is closing its deposit-taking business and handing in its banking licence.

Volt customers have been asked to withdraw money from their Volt accounts before July 5, 2022.

Explaining the bank's closure, Volt says the pandemic and challenging global economic climate has left it unable to secure the funding it needed to continue.

Volt joins other high-profile neobanks that have faded from the scene including Xinja (closed in 2021) and 86 400 (now owned by NAB).

It highlights just how hard it can be to take on Australia's big banks, let alone beat them.

Wealth per capita hits record high of $574,807

You may not be feeling especially rich right now, but the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) says household wealth increased 1.2% in the March quarter 2022, reaching a record $14.9 trillion.

It takes average wealth per person to $574,807.

The past few years have delivered the hardships of COVID-19, but the pandemic has delivered a boom for household wealth.

Since the March quarter 2020, household wealth has jumped a massive 35.3%.

Residential property accounted for most of the growth, with values rising 39.9% since the start of the pandemic according to the ABS.

Those who don't own property haven't missed out.

Superannuation balances increased 22.5% as sharemarkets were supported by accommodative monetary policy.

Households have also accumulated $305 billion in deposits since early 2020 as many of us squirrelled money away to tide us through a tough time.

Only one in two plan to claim tax deductions this year

Research by Finder shows just one in two (53%) Australians plan to claim expenses on tax this year.

It means nearly half of us could potentially get back less than we should as a tax refund.

While it's important to get tax deductions right, it makes sense to claim any expenses you're entitled to.

Finder says the average tax refund is likely to be worth around $2500, so it's definitely worth dusting off receipts to see what can be claimed.

If you're not sure if an expense qualifies as a legitimate tax deduction, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website lists work-related tax breaks for a whole variety of jobs and industries. Or speak with a registered tax agent.

Tax returns can be lodged from July 1 though most people will need to wait a couple of weeks for an income statement from their employer.

If you're lodging your own tax return, it needs to be with the ATO by October 31.

Pay-as-you-go health cover: Is it a good idea?

Can't afford health cover but concerned about the cost of an injury?

Flip claims to offer Australia's first 'on-demand' insurance policy.

A subsidiary of HCF life, Flip offers accidental injury insurance, with the freedom to pay for cover when you think you're most likely to need it - for example, if you plan to go horse riding or abseiling in the next 24 hours.

Flip has two main cover options. A Day Pass, which costs $6 per day for the days it is needed, or Flip's Always On subscription, which costs $9 per week, but provides full-time cover up to $20,000.

Flip is only designed to cover accidental injuries - and not all activities are covered. Motorcycling including dirt biking is a noteworthy exclusion.

Compare the Market's health insurance expert Anthony Fleming, says, "This type of cover could be great for certain people who want cheap cover for short spurts, but it's not going to be suitable if you want assurance about care access every day."

Romance fizzles, not sizzles, for those running a small business

Love isnʼt in the air for those in charge of small businesses.

Close to 2.5 million small businesses operate across Australia, and while running your own show can be financially rewarding, it can also place big demands on your time, often filtering through to personal lives.

Xeroʼs latest Emotional Tax Return survey shows one in three business owners can't remember their last date night (up from one in four in 2021). One in eight surveyed haven't been on a date for at least 12 months.

Meanwhile, a quarter of business owners say the demands of their business leave them with fewer opportunities for intimacy, even leading to overlooked anniversaries and birthdays.

To make up for these missed occasions, Australians who run a small business spend an average of $119 on gifts a year for their partner.

Even their pets are being asked to show some sympathy with small business leaders spending close to $50 on pet gifts annually to buy their furry forgiveness.

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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.