THE NEWS WRAP: Big banks accused of milking business fees

The major Australian banks have been accused of rapidly escalating fees for their business customers, after new figures showed businesses paid $7.3 billion in fees and charges last year, up 5.5%.


The Reserve Bank of Australia report showed that, in contrast, consumers paid $4 billion in charges, down 7% on the previous year


Billabong launches fund raising push


Troubled surf wear brand Billabong has launched a capital raising round in a further attempt to turn its ailing fortunes around.


The business cut its earnings forecast for 2012 to between $130 million and $135 million, down from an earlier forecast of $157 million, blaming continued weak sales in its key international markets. Billabong hopes to raise $225 million from investors, which will ease some of its debt.


OBS tops best Australian workplace list


Melbourne-based IT consultancy OBS has been named the best place in Australia to work, followed by NetApp and Google.


BRW’s annual list of Australia’s best workplaces placed OBS top due to its flexible working hours, massages and gym memberships for staff, days off for birthdays and strong communication between managers and employees.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 214.41 points, or 1.67%, to 12,609.98. The Australian dollar was down to US100.32 cents.


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