Bank of Melbourne – *Is* better banking closer?

Big news out of bankland this morning is the Westpac announcement that they will be resurrecting the Bank of Melbourne to replace St George’s presence in Melbourne. The Bank of Melbourne brand has been absent from Victoria since 2004, following acquisition by Westpac in 1997. By relaunching this brand the Sydney based Westpac is making a strong statement of commitment into traditionally ANZ and NAB held retail and business heartland, investing... Read More

The changing face of financial planning

It used to be a pretty good racket. You’d hold a corporate super book for a couple of big organisations, and for the annual price of a PowerPoint presso and a bottle of Grange to the MD you’d receive a juicy 0.66% of each employee’s Super balance. Every now and again your accountant mates would send across someone looking for a bit of help getting across the line to retirement and you’d whack them into a TTR and make sure they got a Christmas... Read More

Product Testing Westpac’s Bluechip 20

General Advice Warning: The information contained on this web site is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial advisor. With 2010 coming to a close – failing a Christmas miracle Santa rally over the next few days – it’s safe to suggest it has been a hard 12 months... Read More

Banking reforms and the fifth pillar – what it really means?

  Following tireless lobbying by the Australian people (via the news.com.au reader comments section), the government has finally acted on the unscrupulous fat cats in bank land, with Wayne Swan yesterday announcing sweeping, industry transforming reforms aimed at increasing bank competition and establishing a “fifth pillar” of financial service.    Oh wait. No he didn’t. No, instead of any real, decisive change, the Treasurer has introduced... Read More

Is Facebook going to be your next bank?

As Facebook continues its roll towards 1 billion served, attentions are focused on its next move. Already close to surpassing Google in both volume of hits and time spent online, and holding arguably the best customer insights of any online provider, it’s safe to say social networking is not the be all and end all of Facebook’s offerings. So what do you do when you’ve got the world’s biggest, most interconnected platform? You start making... Read More

Are Aussie Banks “Getting” social?

Where we at? Up until recently most Australian banks have appeared purposefully unaware of the impact Social Media was creating as a customer service channel. Australia’s bank oligopoly ensures that innovation need only move at a snail’s pace, and disruptive change allowed to be monitored, understood, and then acted on in due course. In comparasion, organisations in other industries have needed to be considerably more agile if they hoped to... Read More

Why you probably shouldn’t buy your first home just yet

Home ownership. The great Aussie dream; but for the generation who have watched the value of their parents home move from dizzying high to dizzying height, a dream that is slipping further and further out of reach. My parents picked up their first home when my mum was 25. Despite two kids to feed and a single income to support the family, they managed to buy what would be our place of residence for the next 18 years. So what has happened in... Read More

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Disclaimer

Long Straws is the personal blog of Stephen Colman.

The views represented here are mine and should not be considered representative of my employers.

Any posts containing statements around the suitability of financial service products should be considered "general advice" which does not take into consideration your financial background or circumstances. Please contact a licenced financial planner should you require advice in this regard.