Westpac abandons financial advice

Westpac has announced it will be leaving its financial advice business, with the chief executive saying it reflects a trend by advisers to operate independently. In an announcement to the ASX, Westpac said it will exit face-to-face financial advice in BT Financial Group, moving the businesses into the consumer and business divisions. Part of the exit from advice will see Viridian Advisory offer employment to around 175 BT Financial Advice (BTFA) salaried advisers and other management and support staff. Viridian Advisory will also commence supporting many ongoing advice customers who consent to transition from the anticipated completion date of 30 June 2019. In addition, BT licensees currentl

RBA announces March cash rate

The RBA has determined the official cash rate for March, following its monthly monetary policy board meeting. Cash rate inertia has continued with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) holding the official cash rate at a record-low of 1.5 per cent. It has been two and a half years (August 2016) since the RBA last made a monetary policy adjustment. All analysts on rate comparison website’s panel predicted a hold verdict. Chief economist at AMP Capital and Finder panellist Shane Oliver observed: “Things aren’t yet weak enough to push the RBA to cut but they aren’t strong enough to push it to hike either. Managing director of mortgage aggregator Finsure John Kolenda expects the cash

Two RBA rate cuts expected for 2019

Analysts are increasingly expecting the central bank to drop the official cash rate in the coming year, amid continued weaning in the credit and housing markets. All industry pundits surveyed on rate comparison website’s panel have stated that they expect the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to hold the cash rate at 1.5 per cent when it meets this afternoon (5 March). However, of the 17 panellists asked to predict future rate moves, 53 per cent said they expect the official cash rate to fall to 1 per cent by the end of the year, following two rate cuts from the RBA. Graham Cooke, insights manager at Finder, said August and November were the most popular months for a forecasted c


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