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What is the Australian bank’s pledge this International Women’s Day?

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This International Women’s Day, the Australian Banking Association has reaffirmed the sector’s unwavering commitment to protecting women’s financial safety and security.

The Australian Banking Association has made a resolute commitment to prioritise women’s financial safety and security.

Alarming statistics reveal that one in six women in Australia will experience financial abuse in their lifetime, prompting the banking sector to address this issue as part of the 2024 IWD theme, “Count Her In.”

Financial abuse

The types of financial abuse that women can face include

  • controlling someone’s spending
  • stealing, taking, or ‘borrowing’ a person’s money, debit or credit cards, possessions or property without their knowledge or consent
  • limiting or denying a person access to their money or bank statements
  • forging someone’s signature, forcing them to sign a document or misleading them about the contents of the documents they are signing
  • pressuring another person to act as a co-borrower or guarantor for a loan/joint loan when they do not wish to do so.
  • making a person pay for another person’s expenses (e.g., where they share a home with another person and do not contribute to bills, maintenance, and other expenses despite being asked to do so).

Bank’s action

“The banking industry recognises that financial abuse is a form of coercive control and can keep women locked-in violent and dangerous relationships,” said ABA CEO Anna Bligh.”

“Banks have taken action to stamp-out financial abuse, including training staff to spot red flags and referring customers to specialised support.

“Banks are also making it abundantly clear in their products that financial abuse won’t be tolerated and could lead to account suspensions or closures.”

Thirteen Australian banks have now adopted new terms and conditions, explicitly stating that financial abuse is unacceptable customer behavior.

This initiative is designed to combat disrespectful and controlling behaviour.

More information on financial abuse prevention can be found here.

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Money

Workers rush back to their desks over job fears

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Workers across Australia are rushing back to their desks, driving office utilisation rates to their highest levels since February 2020.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays emerge as the busiest in-office days, contrasting with the continued reluctance to return on Fridays.

This insight, drawn from XY Sense data based on 18 enterprise customers in Australia employing approximately 68,000 individuals across 127 buildings, reflects a significant shift in workplace dynamics.

The surge in office attendance coincides with a resurgence in workplace attendance mandates and policies linking physical presence to bonuses and performance reviews.

However, co-founder of XY Sense, Alex Birch, suggests that rising job insecurity, rather than these policies, primarily drives this behavioral shift.

“The pendulum has moved towards the employer, and therefore people feel more obliged to go back into work,” commented Mr. Birch.

Job market

Danielle Wood, chairwoman of the Productivity Commission, anticipates this trend to persist as the job market softens.

She notes a disparity between employer and worker perceptions regarding the productivity benefits of hybrid work arrangements, hinting at potential shifts in the employment landscape.

Meanwhile, economists at the e61 Institute observe a partial reversal of the pandemic-induced “escape to the country” trend.

Rent differentials between regional and capital city dwellings, which narrowed during the pandemic, are now widening again.

This trend suggests a diminishing appeal of remote work options and a return to urban commuting.

Aaron Wong, senior research economist at e61, said the emergence of a “new normal,” characterised by a hybrid lifestyle that blends access to office spaces with proximity to lifestyle amenities such as natural landscapes.

While regional rents decline, rents for homes on the urban fringe surge, reflecting evolving preferences shaped by remote work opportunities.

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Money

Why resilient economy is fuelling demand for Australian property

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Despite inflationary pressures, Australian house prices have surged to a record high for the fifth month in a row, as indicated by CoreLogic data.

Australian house prices have not only weathered inflation but have also soared to unprecedented levels, marking the fifth consecutive month of record highs, according to data from CoreLogic.

This resilience reflects the enduring demand for property in the country, showcasing the sustained interest of buyers despite challenging economic conditions.

VentureCrowd’s Head of Property, David Whitting, talks how investors can access alternative ways of property investing.

Presented by VentureCrowd #funding futures #housing #economy

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Money

Three reasons why you don’t need to panic about inflation

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Inflation in the US has exceeded expectations for the third consecutive month, driven by increases in essential commodities such as oil, electricity, takeaway food, and medical costs.

  1. Despite a 3.8% year-on-year rise in CPI, it’s notable that this figure has decreased from its previous 9% high.
  2. The robust CPI and economic growth numbers suggest a positive outlook for US corporate earnings.
  3. The S&P500 has seen five 1% drops this year, all of which were met with investors buying the dip.

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