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Don’t ask, don’t get: Australians’ banking wish list

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Australians are calling on lenders to help ease cost-of-living pressures, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,110 respondents revealed half of Aussies (49%) – equivalent to 9.9 million people – would like to see their bank offer higher interest rates on savings accounts.

This is despite some of the best high-interest savings accounts offering an ongoing rate of more than 5.50% p.a.

The research also found that 2 in 5 (43%) Australians are seeking lower fees, while 37% want their bank to offer better savings products.

Some of the best term deposit offers are also above 5% p.a. but many of the best aren't from the largest banks.

One in three (34%) wish their lender would hold off on increasing rates on home loans, while 17% just want support on switching loans and refinancing.

One in seven (14%) Aussies want access to better financial hardship terms including repayment holidays.

Sarah Megginson, money expert at Finder, said millions of Australians are feeling financially vulnerable.

"The rising cost of living has been felt by practically every Australian household – and for some, it's more than they can handle.

"As expenses burn a hole in people's pockets, they're looking to their lender to help them navigate this tough period."

Megginson said banks are coming under increased pressure to cut interest rates or to offer other incentives to serve their existing customers.

"New customers tend to get the best of it, from big cashback offers to easier application criteria for refinancing. Now, existing customers are demanding the same treatment.

"With 12 rate hikes over the past 15 months, and potentially another one on the horizon, millions of mortgage holders are reaching their breaking point and grappling with the possibility of defaulting or even losing their homes."

Megginson urged customers to challenge the status quo.

"Everyone should be talking to their lender about getting a better deal regardless of their financial situation. If you don't ask, you don't get.

"It's time to take action, whether you're dealing with debt, trying to earn more interest or are ready to become a master investor."

What would you like to see from your bank as a result of cost of living pressures?
Higher interest rates on savings accounts49%
Lower fees43%
Offer better savings products37%
Hold off on increasing rates on home loans34%
Better support on switching loans/refinancing17%
Better repayment holiday/financial hardship terms14%
Offer financial literacy courses8%
Source: Finder survey of 1,110 respondents, May 2023

Here are 5 savings accounts with some of the highest interest rates.

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