THE NEWS WRAP: Report shows jump in bank penalty fees

Small businesses’ love-hate relationship with the major banks is set to continue with the revelation that banks increased penalty fees on loans by 9% last year.


The Reserve Bank says that the measure netted the big banks $536m in 2009.


However, the banks haven’t got it all their own way, with ANZ the first target of what’s expected to be a raft of legal challenges over the wrongful charging of penalty fees.


The class action relates to $50m in penalty fees. The bank says it will “vigorously” defend itself from the claim


Minister to hold meeting over tax rules


Assistant treasurer Bill Shorten is to meet independent contractors and unions to discuss tax rules for the self-employed.


Unions are pushing for changes to rules which stop people who are effectively employees claiming tax breaks for being independent contractors.


It’s the Pitts for start-ups


Starting up a new business and need a premises in central Sydney? If so, you should avoid Pitt Street, unless you have investors with extremely deep pockets. The street has been named the ninth most expensive retail location in the world, with space going for $6000 per square metre.


Within Australian, Queen Street Mall in Brisbane is the next most expensive, at $5000 per square metre, with Melbourne’s Bourke Street coming in at $4500.




The Australian dollar remained strong, moving from US94.70cents to US95.60cents. There was also a significant hike in gold prices


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