02.CHOICE CEO Message - May
Sometimes, it seems like all we ever talk about is interest rates. But the fact is, for homeowners with mortgages, repayments are often the biggest monthly expense – and even the smallest shift in rates can have a huge impact on the household budget.
The more CHOICE reports on what’s happening in banking, the clearer it is to us that banks aren’t pulling their weight. This is particularly true of the big four, which took advantage of the uncertainty created by the GFC to gobble up smaller players and grab 85% of the household mortgage business.
It’s no accident those banks are now making record profits, which is why we argue they can now afford to provide interest rate cuts independently of any cut in official rates by the RBA. The main reason they’re not doing this is the lack of competition in the banking sector. When the big four have so much of our business, they have a shared interest in passing on only the most token of cuts.
Our solution to this is to drive more competition by encouraging consumers to shop around for a better deal – and our stories on mortgages can help you to do just that.
Another common thread in our work over many years is food labelling – because food, like housing, is one of those things you can’t go without. Unfortunately, Australia’s food labelling laws give manufacturers lots of wriggle room when marketing their products.
If you’re seeking to eat a balanced diet, “diet” foods can seem like a good choice. But our exposé shows just how bad some of them are, and why you should take a long, hard look at anything that claims to help you lose weight.
We also have some handy product reviews to help you with your needs through the cooler months. If your thoughts are turning to comfort food, our review of slow cookers will help you pick the best model. And if you’re thinking about a new heating solution, check out our testing of reverse-cycle air conditioners, with reviews of other heating products to follow in the next few months.
Alan Kirkland, CEO
Phone: 1800 266 786