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Reliance Bank steps in to make a difference.

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Reliance Bank has today announced a Drought Assistance Package to support their Members who are facing difficult times from the severe drought conditions across NSW and QLD. 

“We understand the hardship some of our Members are facing due to the prolonged drought conditions. As always, we will continue to provide support to our affected Members,” said Mark Genovese, Chief Executive Officer of Reliance Bank. 

“We always place the interests of our Members first. If they need assistance, we are ready to discuss their circumstances and determine the best way we can help them.”

Options that may be available to drought affected Members include: 

  • Waiving home loan and personal loan application fees;
  • Credit card and personal loan relief where appropriate;
  • Extension of loan terms, consideration of restructure of loan repayments to interest only;
  • Deferring of home and personal loan repayments; and
  • Waiving interest rate penalties for early withdrawal of Term Deposits.  

Should you require hardship assistance, please contact our Member Credit Management team.

E: membercreditmanagement@unitybank.com.au

P: 13 24 40

 
 

Protect Your Accounts

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We live in a rapidly changing digital world where our personal information is real value, just like money.

Here are a few tips that can make a difference to your digital privacy

 

1.     Personal Information

Make sure you know who is getting your personal or financial information. Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact or know who you’re dealing with.

If a company that claims to have an account with you sends an email asking for personal information, don’t click on links in the email. Instead, type the company name into your web browser, go to their site and contact them through customer service. Or, call the customer service number listed on your account statement.

We will never ask for your account information via an email!

 

2.      Keep your electronic software up to date.

Software updates may be pesky but they’re worth downloading. The latest versions often contain security updates to help defend your device against viruses, malware and other online threats that may pose a security threat to your personal finances.

 

3.      Log out every time

Closing a browser or typing over an address is not the same as logging out. Shut down apps when you’re not using them and make a habit of logging out of websites when you’re done. Most online banking applications automatically time out, but its cyber-smart to click ‘log out’ every time.

 

4.      Check the machine

One of the most common ways a scammer will try to get access to your bank account is at the ATM. This is usually done by installing a ‘skimmer’ over the card reader, which captures the data on your card when you place it into the machine. The scammers then use that data to create a dummy card, which can also be used to access your account.

Always check before using ATMS especially if they aren’t owned by a bank looking for signs of:

·         Any signs of tampering

·         Anything that looks out of place

·         Anything that seems to move when touched

 

And always cover your pin!

 

5.      Check your balance

Banks are usually quite effective at detecting suspicious activity on their customers’ accounts. But they're not perfect. So check your account balance regularly. When you do, go through your transactions and make sure they match up to what you’ve spent. If you have a joint account make sure your partner does the same.

 

If you notice any signs of fraudulent activity on your account contact: 13 24 40 

 

 

Tips To Make Your Tax Time Easier

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There’s probably no avoiding it – if you are an Australian resident or business owner for tax purposes, you have to lodge your tax return. Getting your paperwork organised can feel challenging, but approaching with the mindset of “what can I claim for?” may make preparing your tax return more bearable. While everyone will have different things to consider, here are some tips on how you can get more prepared: 

Know your income 

If you are an employee, your income tax may have been withheld from your salary as part of the Pay As You Go (PAYG) scheme by your employer. Therefore, you should receive a Payment Summary or Group Certificate from your employer, at the end of the financial year, which will outline how much income you received and tax you paid for the previous financial year.

Other incomes include;

  • Super pensions, annuities and government payments
  • Savings and Investment income (including interest, dividends, rent and capital gains)
  • Business, partnership and trust income
  • Foreign income
  • Income from crowdfunding (for example donations received for a venture in which you intend to make a profit)
  • Income from the sharing economy (for example Uber or AirBnB)
  • Other income - including compensation and insurance payments, discounted shares under employee share schemes, some prizes and awards

Visit the ATO's website for more information on income you must declare. 

How to retrieve your interest statement through Reliance Bank Internet Banking

  • Log into Internet Banking
  • Click on Accounts then Interest
  • The interest you’ve earned for the financial year will be displayed on the statement

If you have any issues accessing your interest statements, please contact our Member Service Centre on 13 24 40.

Deductions/Expenses 

If you’re employed, you may be able to claim some expenses relating to your work and income. In general, expenses are claimable when:

  • You spent the money and weren’t reimbursed by your employer
  • The money spent was a work-related expense
  • You have an official record of the expense – such as a receipt, bank statement or diary entry like a travel log book (In some cases you may not have to show evidence if your total claim for work-related expenses is $300 or less)
  • If the cost was for both work and personal use, for example, home internet, you can only claim a portion of the expense.

Deductions/expenses you may be able to claim, if you meet the ATO’s criteria: 

  • Vehicle and travel expenses
  • Clothing, laundry and dry-cleaning expenses
  • Gifts and donations
  • Home office expenses
  • Interest, dividend and other investment income deductions
  • Self-education expenses
  • Tools and other work-related equipment
  • Other deductions like union fees, income protection insurance, overtime meals, etc 

Visit the ATO's website for more information on deductions you can claim. 

Deductions/expenses you cannot claim

  • Travel between work and home
  • Most Car expenses
  • Private travel
  • Meal expenses unless you were required to work away from home overnight
  • Everyday clothing
  • Self-education expenses
  • Higher Education Loan Program
  • Phones or internet which relate to private use
  • Tools and equipment that cost more than $300 

How to lodge your Tax Return

What you will need: 

  • Your Tax File Number (TFN)
  • Payment Summary/Group Certificate
  • Interest earned on your savings
  • Information on your investments
  • Medical expense receipts
  • Any Donations or contributions to charities
  • Work expenses receipts

Lodging your tax return yourself or use a tax agent? 

You can lodge your tax return yourself or get a registered tax agent to do it for you.

If you’re unsure of the Australian tax laws, have a complex tax situation or find paperwork overwhelming, an agent’s expertise may be invaluable. They may be able to get you a larger refund.

If you choose to do your tax return yourself, you can lodge it online using the MyTax platform. You will need a MyGov account first in order to lodge it online. 

Source: MoneySmartAU

These tips are general advice only. For advice tailored to your specific situation please contact the Australian Tax Office or talk to your tax agent.

   

Shopping Smart online

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Shopping online is always a more convenient way of purchasing items from the comfort of your own home. Whether you are doing the weekly grocery shop, treating yourself to a special gift or booking your next holiday, shopping online has become the new normal in today’s society. With this growth in online shopping, the risk of internet scams on shopper’s credit cards and bank details is on the rise.  Here are some tips to help you stay safe when shopping online. 

Before making a purchase 

We recommend researching the business or website about their products or services before handing over your payment details. There are fake online shopping sites that scam shoppers into purchasing items that never get delivered. If the website looks suspicious or you’re not confident about sharing personal payment details, don’t make the purchase.   

Making the payment 

When you’re ready to make your purchase payment, only pay for goods within the websites official payment system. Only scammers will ask you to pay up-front by sending your bank or credit card details through a different website, so always check the websites URL. 

What to do when things go wrong 

When making any purchase whether it be online or in store, you should be aware of the terms and conditions of your purchase before you buy. 

Always check for:

  • The total cost of your online purchase including currency conversion fees, shipping and handling and taxes.
  • The expected dispatch and delivery times.
  • Warranty, refund and cancellation policies.
  • Any hidden or extra costs that may only appear when you checkout your order. 

It is good practice to keep copies of any receipts, payment confirmation, emails, documents containing payment information and order confirmations. This will assist you if ever something goes wrong with your online purchase.

If you think you have been scammed, there are steps you can take to limit the damage and protect yourself from further harm. You can contact your financial institution; they can assist you with making changes or closing your account if the scammer has your account details. Reporting the scam to the police can help protect other people from experiencing the same scam as you.

For more information on shopping smart online, please visit www.staysmartonline.gov.au    

 

COBA releases new campaign encouraging Australians to ‘Own Your Banking’

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A new campaign is encouraging Australians to ’Own Your Banking’ and to look at the benefits of customer owned banking.

The Customer Owned Banking Association launched the campaign this week following increased interest and demand from customers for banking they can trust.

“Own Your Banking is a direct response to our members telling us they’ve seen an uptick in customer interest and enquiries because people are shocked by stories they’ve been hearing in the Royal Commission,” COBA CEO Michael Lawrence said.

Our model is the only alternative that can claim it is solely customer focused because 100% of profits are used to benefit customers. This is what we’re communicating through the ‘Own your Banking’ campaign. We hope ‘Own Your Banking’ will let consumers know there are plenty of alternatives in the Australian banking market that can be trusted to put them first.

Reliance Bank is proud to be a Member Owned Bank that offers a wide range of financial products and services to our Members and their families Australia wide. We offer a banking alternative to the big 4 that is solely Member focused because 100% of our profits are used to benefits Members.

Become a Member of Reliance Bank and start to Own Your Banking. 

 

BECOME A MEMBER