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Bank Satisfaction and Interest Rates are on the RISE.

I came across a few articles recently which I think are very relevant at present so wanted to spell out a few truths...

Bank Satisfaction....

We stick with our banks for a long time, but that's not always because we are getting outstanding service.  Consumer NZ latest satisfaction survey shows three out of four consumers have been with the same bank for the better part of a decade.  But there are good reasons to think about switching - not least that you could save yourself money. A major finding of this years consumer survey is that local banks continue to do a more superior job of keeping their customers happy than their big Aussie rivals.

Local players Kiwi-bank, The Cooperative Bank and TSB all rated above average, 87% of TSB customers, 77% of The Cooperative Bank customers and 71% of Kiwi-bank customers were very satisfied with the service they were getting.

The Aussie owned contenders ANZ, ASB, BNZ and Westpac couldn't match these ratings, the lowest rankings of the big 4 were ANZ and Westpac at just 52% of their customers were very satisfied.

So the question that must be asked is why do customers of local banks rate the so highly? For starters their customers place a high value on banking with a New Zealand owned company, customers reckon there are tangible benefits doing business with local banks, most notably lower fees.  Local bank customers were less likely to be paying monthly account fees which as a result lead customers to get a better deal and saving on average $25 per month.

If you've been on the end of receiving bank fees and shoddy service its all the more reason to think about whether you want to be with your bank for another decade!

That's where I come in, as a Registered Financial Adviser I can assist you for free, all you need to do is contact me and then leave the rest up to me....

Interest Rates are on the RISE....

Mortgage interest rates bottomed out about six months ago and have been gradually increasing since then. Mortgage interest rates are on the rise, with all major banks lifting their rates over the past few weeks.

Rates have gradually been increasing for the past six months, with all banks now charging at least 5.6 per cent on standard floating mortgages. BNZ and ANZ lifted mortgage rates recently then followed by ASB and Kiwi-bank.

The level of increase is not significant in itself, but because interest rates have been so low lately, the change may catch you off guard. We just need to remember in the last two to three years interest rates have been artificially low. It's not normal, rates had bottomed out about six months ago and so you could expect a gradual increase this year of about half a per cent or even more.

Ten years ago the average two-year fixed rate was 9.34 per cent. Last year it reached 4.58 per cent.

Now the curve was starting to go back up.

If your interest rates were up for review any time in the next 60 days, now would be the time to re-fix but not without contacting me first.

If they were not up for review, it might be worth asking your bank what the break fee was and whether it would be worth paying it for a lower interest rate.

That's where I come in, as a Registered Financial Adviser I can assist you for free, all you need to do is contact me and then leave the rest up to me....



Martin Eagle