Millennials v baby boomers: a battle we could have done without

From The Conversation.

The generation of young people who came of age during the new millennium – “millennials”, as they’re commonly known – has divided opinion like no other. Some have deemed them a self-pitying and entitled bunch; lazy, deluded and narcissistic. Others take a more sympathetic view, raising concerns that millennials are at risk of becoming a “lost generation”. After all, they are making the transition into adulthood under much more precarious circumstances than their parents experienced as part of the “baby boomers” generation.

The challenges millennials face include the rising costs of education; an increased likelihood of unemployment and underemployment – even for a growing number of graduates – and falling incomes even when they are employed. For millennials, home ownership is an increasingly distant prospect, and private rents are soaring. To top it all off, young people have been hit particularly hard by benefit sanctions and cuts to public sector funding.

Since the global financial crisis, the supposed plight of the millennials has given rise to the argument that inequality is an age-related issue: young people are disadvantaged, while baby boomers collectively prosper at their expense. This idea is exemplified by the Guardian’s recent series on millennials, and perpetuated by other outlets. With austerity and weak economic growth ensuring that the opportunities for younger people are comparatively diminished, even academics are raising “the issue of youth-as-class”.

Facing the changes

We don’t deny that the experience of being young has changed significantly. But this notion of a single millennial experience deserves some serious questioning. While young people are encountering changes – and often challenges – in terms of employment, education and housing, they do not all experience this hostile landscape in the same way.

By talking about “the millennials” as a disadvantaged group, we’re in danger of obscuring other, more fundamental differences between young people. For example, class background is still a particularly important determinant of a young person’s life chances. Our ownresearch – as well as the work of many others – demonstrates the importance of parental support for young people transitioning into adulthood.

Where’s my parental support? from

Having a room in the family home or access to other family finances is key to undertaking unpaid internships or volunteer work. A monthly allowance from your folks while at university facilitates access to important CV building activities, which top graduate employers seek from applicants. It ensures that during your exams you don’t have to carry on looking for a job, and it helps you to avoid the choice between eating or heating.

Gifting or loaning deposits for a rented or purchased home is still a middle-class practice. There are many other ways that parents can, and do, use their resources to help their children onto the property ladder.

Class struggle

So, while middle-class young people are clearly facing difficulties during their transition to independence, they are also more likely to have access to resources that are unavailable to their less-advantaged peers, which help to reduce risks and protect them from uncertainties. These resources help young people to “weather the storm” and influence who survives and prospers in the current conditions.

Let us recall some other significant class-based advantages: higher education remains very stratified, and those attending elite research-intensive institutions are disproportionately middle class. Children of middle-class parents earn more than peers of working class origins, even when they obtain employment in top jobs. And while baby-boomers may be holding onto the housing stock for now, the children of the property-owning middle classes will one day inherit it.

What’s in an age? from

As well as class, research has long shown how gender, race, disability and a host of other factors work to shape a person’s future. More recent evidence suggests that the financial crisis and subsequent austerity have had a particularly disproportionate effect on women, certain black and minority ethnic groups and the disabled.

What’s more, proclaiming an inter-generational war unhelpfully clouds the fact that the prospects for certain groups of older people are just as bad – if not worse – than for many young people. Despite the dominant media image of the resource-rich retiree, many older people do not have comfortable pensions, homes or savings to fall back on. And as the state withdraws funding for public services such as social care, older women have been forced to step in and undertake unpaid labour by caring for elderly family members.

Declarations of inter-generational conflict between baby boomers and millennials might grab headlines. But the real story is the same as it ever was; that our society is plagued by long-standing, ongoing inequalities relating to class, race and gender. The portrayal of millennials as victims has allowed the experience of the squeezed middle class to take centre stage. Now, it’s up to us to question who’s really at a disadvantage in our society – and how we can make life fairer for all.

Authors: Steven Roberts, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Monash University; Kim Allen, University Academic Fellow – Sociology , University of Leeds

Life Insurance Remuneration Reform Regulations

The Government has released draft regulations that will support the Government’s life insurance reform package to better align the interests of financial firms with consumers.

Remuneration relating to life insurance advice provided outside of superannuation was excluded from the ban on conflicted remuneration (remuneration likely to influence advice) introduced under the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) laws.

A series of reports, including a review the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the industry-commissioned Trowbridge Report and the Financial System Inquiry (FSI), identified the need to better align the interests of providers of financial advice in the life insurance sector with consumer outcomes. As part of its response to the FSI, the Government announced that it would support a reform package put forward by industry.

The reform package introduced by the Life Act removes the exemption from the ban on conflicted remuneration, and introduces caps under which commissions will be permitted to be paid, as well as arrangements to ‘clawback’ commissions where policies lapse in the first two years. The reforms will commence on 1 July 2016.

The Regulation supports the reform package introduced by the Life Act by:

  1. allowing the temporary inclusion of stamp duty relating to death benefits to be included in commission calculations while industry update its information technology systems;
  2. prescribing circumstances where ‘clawback’ does not apply, such as in situations where a policy is cancelled automatically due to the age of the insured or where a premium rebate is offered to encourage customers to take up a policy; and
  3. ensuring that existing life insurance remuneration arrangements are grandfathered in a manner broadly consistent with FOFA by ensuring that remuneration arrangements not effectively grandfathered by the Life Act
    (i.e. employee-employer remuneration arrangements) are explicitly grandfathered in the Regulation. Grandfathering means that the existing rules continue to apply to existing arrangements, while new rules apply to new arrangements.

Closing date for submissions: Thursday, 28 April 2016

Bank Of Queensland 1H Results Show Revenue Under Pressure

BOQ today announced interim cash earnings after tax of $179 million for the six months to 29 February 2016. This was below consensus of $186m thanks to lower revenue grow, despite good cost control, and lower provisioning. However, the announcement today of lifts in home loan pricing will assist going forwards. We will see if other lenders follow, as we think they might.

Statutory profit after tax rose 11 per cent to $171 million on the prior comparative half.

On a cash basis, BOQ’s basic earnings per share were up 5 per cent on the prior half to 47.8 cents. Return on average tangible equity increased 20 basis points to 14 per cent, and return on average equity was up 20 basis points to 10.5 per cent.
Managing Director and CEO Jon Sutton said the result was driven by above system housing lending growth and strong asset quality levels. The Bank also maintained its Net Interest Margin and kept costs under control.

BOQ-Apr-16-1BOQ-Apr-2016-2The BOQ Board has determined to pay an interim dividend of 38 cents per share fully franked, an increase of 2 cents on 1H15.

Loan Growth – BOQ achieved above System loan growth of $2 billion (1.2x System) for the half predominantly as a result of its decision to diversify distribution channels. Housing mortgage growth for the half was $1.7 billion (1.6x System), driven by strong growth through BOQ Specialist and the broker network.The third party strategy has allowed for home loan growth beyond QLD.

BOQ-Apr-2016-4 BOQ-Apr-2016-3 Growth in these channels also improved the Bank’s mortgage portfolio diversification outside of Queensland and increased its lower LVR lending relative to the portfolio. They did not disclose the mix between investment and owner occupied loans. According to recent APRA data BOQ has one of the highest proportions of investment loans among the banks.

Loan-Mix-Feb-2016Commercial lending growth was 6 per cent (0.5x System) for the half as it maintained a focus on credit quality and appropriate pricing for risk within its targeted niche segments. BOQ Specialist’s commercial loan book grew 14 per cent to $2.4 billion year on year while the BOQ Finance portfolio grew 1 per cent (0.6x System).

Net interest margin – BOQ maintained its 1H16 net interest margin at 1.97%. Benefits from repricing initiatives during the half were partially offset by front book and retention pricing. The targeted loan growth in new channels has resulted in a better quality loan portfolio that will support longer term balance sheet durability. BOQ has increased its variable home loan interest rates by 12 basis points for owner occupied loans and 25 basis points for investor loans, effective from 15 April 2016.

BOQ-Apr-2016-6The underlying credit quality of BOQ’s portfolio remained strong in 1H16. This reflects the Bank’s continued focus on prudent lending and risk management practices, as well as the low interest rate environment. Total loan impairment expense was flat on the prior comparative period at $36 million (1H15:$36 million). Total impaired assets across retail, commercial and BOQ Finance fell 7 per cent to $240 million (1H15: $259 million). Home lending arrears rose a little. Whether this is just a seasonal uptick, or something more systemic, we will see.

BOQ-Apr-2016-7Costs – BOQ’s cost to income ratio for the half was 46.4 per cent including one-off restructuring costs of $7 million pre-tax. Excluding one-off costs, the cost to income ratio was 45.1 per cent with underlying cost growth of 3.8 per cent from the prior comparative half, in line with market guidance provided at the end of the 2015 financial year. The Bank continues to focus on its goal to reduce its cost to income ratio to the low 40s in the years ahead.

BOQ-Apr-2016-9Capital and Funding – Customer deposit growth of $1.3 billion helped BOQ maintain a stable deposit to loan ratio of 66%, with a slight fall in the proportion of long-term funding via securitisation. The ratio of long-term to short-term funding improved a little.

BOQ’s Common Equity Tier 1 ratio decreased 11 basis points to 8.80 per cent during the half, driven by strong loan growth in the second quarter without a full period earnings benefit.

BOQ-Apr-2016-8BOQ said this ratio remains solid compared to peers and positions BOQ well for any regulatory changes to capital or risk weighting requirements. BOQ does not use IRB capital methods, so is not necessarily under the same pressure to lift capital ratios.

BOQ positioned well for the future –  Mr Sutton said BOQ’s progress against its strategic objectives positioned it well to deliver its goal of EPS outperformance over the longer term. Australia’s transition away from a resources led economy is ongoing. This presents good opportunities for expansion in the niche segments BOQ is targeting. Mr Sutton said he was also optimistic that the future regulatory environment would provide additional opportunities for standardised banks like BOQ.

BOQ lifts variable home loan interest rates

BOQ today announced it will increase interest rates on its variable home loan products by 0.12 per cent per annum for owner-occupiers and 0.25 per cent per annum for investors.

The increase will see the Bank’s Clear Path variable rate home loan lift to 4.72% per annum for owner-occupiers and 5.14% per annum for investors. The standard variable rate home loan will move to 5.86% per annum for owner-occupiers and 6.28% per annum for investors.   CEO Jon Sutton said the changes were driven by the need to balance growth, risk and margins over the longer term. “This is not a decision that was made lightly and we were very mindful of the impact on our customers even in an environment where interest rates remain at very low levels,” he said.  “However, given the fiercely competitive market and increased funding spreads and hedging costs, these increases are necessary to help us achieve the appropriate balance between growth, asset quality and profitability,” he said “We still retain very competitive products and pricing, particularly with our lead mortgage product Clear Path, which will enable us to continue to compete strongly in the segments we want to target. “Clear Path is a full-featured, low-fee product which, after these changes, still offers one of the best comparison rates in the market to our customers.”

The new rates will be effective from 15 April 2016.

Rents continue to rise despite national building boom

From Australian Broker.

Rents in most capital cities continue to rise due to an ongoing shortage of rental properties, according to the March Rental Report.

Unit rents increased in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart and Canberra over the March quarter, the report revealed. senior economist Dr. Andrew Wilson says rents remain at record levels despite the recent national apartment building boom intending to provide more available rental stock to capital city markets.

“Despite the recent influx of home building, we can expect to see upward pressure on both house and unit rents in most capital cities continuing in the foreseeable future.

“However, the clear exceptions to tight capital city rental markets are Perth and Darwin. Rents in these cities continue to fall reflecting the impact of the downturn in the resource economy and the end of the significant rental demand driven by a fly-in fly-out workforce.”

In Sydney, median unit rents increased sharply over the March quarter. The median unit rent was recorded at $520 per week, whilst for houses it was $530. Sydney unit rents have now increased by 4% over the past year.

Weekly median prices for houses remained unchanged over the March quarter, however, have increased by 1.9% over the year.

“Despite the significant numbers of new apartments entering the market, Sydney unit rents bounced back this quarter with a sharp 4% increase in the median weekly rental. This increase offers no relief for tenants with house rents remaining at record highs and already low vacancy rates continuing to tighten,” Dr Wilson said.

In Melbourne, median weekly unit rentals increased to $380 over the March quarter, reflecting a 4.1% annual increase – the highest unit rental growth rate of all capitals.

Melbourne house rents consolidated at the record $400 per week, an increase of 2.6% over the year.

“It has been a positive quarter for investors in Melbourne with unit rents now rising to record levels and vacancy rates falling, despite an unprecedented new apartment boom. Melbourne house rents remain at peak values as well, with low vacancy rates indicating no relief in sight for tenants,” Dr Wilson said.

House and unit rents in Brisbane increased by 2.5% and 2.7% respectively over the past year. In Adelaide, unit rents remained unchanged while house rents climbed by 2.9%.

House rents rose by a massive 6.1% in Hobart while unit rents rose by 1.8% over the year.  In Canberra, house rents increased by 4.4% over the past year with unit rents up by 1.3%.

Rents in Perth and Darwin, however, declined over the year. The median weekly house rent fell by 11.1% in Perth and unit rents fell by 9.1%. Darwin house and unit rents also fell steeply over the past year, down 15.4% and 13.5% respectively.

Banks get a bollocking from Turnbull on ethics

From The Conversation.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has given Australia’s banks a bollocking for unethical behaviour, suggesting they have not repaid the support they received during the global financial crisis.

Speaking at Westpac’s 199th birthday lunch – a day after the Australian Securities and Investment Commission launched legal action against the bank for allegedly manipulating the bank bill swap rate (BBSW) – Turnbull said many Australians were asking whether banks had lived up “to the standards we expect”.

He said he made no comments about any specific cases or institutions. “But we have to acknowledge that there have been too many troubling incidents over recent times for them simply to be dismissed.”

Banks did not just operate under a banking licence – “they operate under a social licence and that is underwritten by public confidence and trust”.

“We expect our bankers to have higher standards, we expect them always, rigorously, to put their customers’ interests first – to deal with their depositors and their borrowers, with those they advise and those with whom they transact in precisely the same way they would have them deal with themselves.”

He said he knew this was what the leaders of Westpac expected.

Turnbull said that during the global financial crisis – “or what probably should be better called the global banking crisis” – the Australian public, through the government, had provided the banks with vital support.

“Australians understood that we needed to ensure our banks kept trading, that a strong well-regulated financial sector in Australia was a great blessing, a great national asset,” he said.

He said today, many Australians were asking: “have our bankers done enough in return for this support?

“Have they lived up to the standards we expect, not just the laws we enact?”

Wise bankers recognised these were legitimate questions, Turnbull said. “Dismissing them as bank bashing misses the point.”

“The truth is that despite the public support offered at their time of need, our bankers have not always treated their customers as they should.

“Some, regrettably as we know, have taken advantage of fellow Australians and the savings they have spent a lifetime accumulating, seeking only dignity and independence in their retirement.”

Turnbull said that redressing wrongs was important, especially when “done promptly and generously”.

“Wise bankers understand that banks need to very publicly demonstrate that their values of trust, integrity, placing the customer first in every way – these must be lived and not just spoken.

“They recognise that remuneration and promotion cannot any longer be based solely on direct financial contribution to the bottom line. Employees who live those values, impart them to others and call out those who do not should be rewarded and recognised and promoted in a healthy banking culture.

“The singular pursuit of an extra dollar of profit at the expense of those values is not simply wrong but it places at risk the whole social licence, the good name and reputation upon which great institutions depend.

“Now all business is about more than just a profit or a new product – it’s about building opportunities for Australians, customers and staff and making a greater contribution to our nation.”

Nationals senator John Williams renewed his call for a royal commission into the financial sector. “First cab off the rank was Storm Financial. Then we went through the liquidators industry, where there’s some very bad eggs.

“Then of course we had the financial planning scandal. Now we’ve just had the managed investment schemes where billions of dollars were lost. Now the life insurance industry – and of course these latest allegations of bank bill swap rates.

“As time goes by the case builds stronger and stronger, in my opinion, for a royal commission into the finance sector. My concern is the culture is simply profit, profit, profit and to hell with the customers.”

Speaking to journalists after his address, Turnbull dodged a question on whether he would support a Royal Commission.

Author: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Building a digital-banking business

From Mckinsey.

Banks have been using digital technologies to help transform various areas of their business. There’s an even bigger opportunity—go all digital.

The digital revolution in banking has only just begun. Today we are in phase one, where most traditional banks offer their customers high-quality web and mobile sites/apps. An alternate approach is one where digital becomes not merely an additional feature but a fully integrated mobile experience in which customers use their smartphones or tablets to do everything from opening a new account and making payments to resolving credit-card billing disputes, all without ever setting foot in a physical branch.

More and more consumers around the globe are demanding this. Among the people we surveyed in developed Asian markets, more than 80 percent said they would be willing to shift some of their holdings to a bank that offered a compelling digital-only proposition. For consumers in emerging Asian markets, the number was more than 50 percent. Many types of accounts are in play, with respondents indicating potential shifts of 35 to 45 percent of savings-account deposits, 40 to 50 percent of credit-card balances, and 40 to 45 percent of investment balances, such as those held in mutual funds.1 In the most progressive geographies and customer segments, such as the United Kingdom and Western Europe, there is a potential for 40 percent or more of new deposits to come from digital sales by 2018.

Many financial-technology players are already taking advantage of these opportunities, offering simplified banking services at lower costs or with less hassle or paperwork. Some upstarts are providing entirely new services, such as the US start-up Digit, which allows customers to find small amounts of money they can safely set aside as savings.

A new model: Digital-only banking businesses

While it’s important for banks to digitize their existing businesses, creating a new digital-only banking business can meet an evolving set of customer expectations quickly and effectively. This is especially true in fast-growing emerging markets where customer needs often go unmet by current offerings. The functionality of digital offerings is limited, and consumers frequently highlight low customer service at branches as a key pain point.

So how should banks think about a digital-only offer?

Because banking is a highly regulated industry and a stronghold of conservative corporate culture, there are tremendous internal complexities that need to be addressed. These include the cannibalization risk to existing businesses and the need to foster a different, more agile culture to enable the incubation and growth of an in-house “start-up.” The good news is that our work shows it is feasible to build a new digital bank at substantially lower capex and lower opex per customer than for traditional banks. This is due not only to the absence of physical branches but also to simplified up-front product offerings and more streamlined processes, such as the use of vendor-hosted solutions and selective IT investment, that reduce the need for expensive legacy systems.

Payments and Financial Inclusion

In recent years, a number of reports have been prepared by organisations on financial inclusion, a topic whose importance is increasingly being recognised. However, few of these reports have addressed what may be called the “payment aspects” of financial inclusion. In cases where the topics of payment systems and payment services have been raised in the context of financial inclusion, discussion has focused only on specific aspects of payments, such as mobile payments, rather than on the payment system in its entirety. Understanding payments in a holistic sense, including how individual elements relate to one other, is crucial to an understanding of financial inclusion and to promoting broader access to and usage of financial services.

The report, published today, provides an analysis of the payment aspects of financial inclusion, on the basis of which it sets out guiding principles designed to assist countries that seek to advance financial inclusion in their markets through payments. The report was first issued in September 2015 as a consultation document. As a result of the comments, we have made changes to the report to strengthen the analysis and sharpen the message. The report has been prepared for the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the World Bank Group by a task force consisting of representatives from CPMI central banks, non-CPMI central banks active in the area of financial inclusion and international financial institutions.

This report is premised on two key points: (i) efficient, accessible and safe retail payment systems and services are critical for greater financial inclusion; and (ii) a transaction account is an essential financial service in its own right and can also serve as a gateway to other financial services. For the purposes of this report, transaction accounts are defined as accounts (including e-money/prepaid accounts) held with banks or other authorised and/or regulated payment service providers (PSPs), which can be used to make and receive payments and to store value.

The report is structured into five chapters. The first chapter provides an introduction and general overview, including a description of the PAFI Task Force and its mandate, a brief discussion of transaction accounts, and the barriers to the access and usage of such accounts. The second chapter gives an overview of the retail payments landscape from a financial inclusion perspective. The third chapter forms the core analytical portion of the report and outlines a framework for enabling access and usage of payment services by the financially excluded. Each component of this framework is discussed in detail in the report. The fourth chapter of the report describes the key policy objectives when looking at financial inclusion from a payments perspective, and formulates a number of suggestions in the form of guiding principles and key actions for consideration.

In this context, financial inclusion efforts undertaken from a payments angle should be aimed at achieving a number of objectives. Ideally, all individuals and businesses – in particular, micro-sized and small businesses – which are more likely to lack some of the basic financial services or be financially excluded than larger businesses – should be able to have access to and use at least one transaction account operated by a regulated payment service provider:

(i) to perform most, if not all, of their payment needs;
(ii) to safely store some value; and
(iii) to serve as a gateway to other financial services.

The guiding principles for achieving these objectives of improved access to and usage of transaction
accounts are the following:

  1. Commitment from public and private sector organisations to broaden financial inclusion is explicit, strong and sustained over time.
  2. The legal and regulatory framework underpins financial inclusion by effectively addressing all relevant risks and by protecting consumers, while at the same time fostering innovation and competition.
  3. Robust, safe, efficient and widely reachable financial and ICT infrastructures are effective for the provision of transaction accounts services, and also support the provision of broader financial services.
  4.  The transaction account and payment product offerings effectively meet a broad range of transaction needs of the target population, at little or no cost.
  5. The usefulness of transaction accounts is augmented with a broad network of access points that also achieves wide geographical coverage, and by offering a variety of interoperable access channels.
  6. Individuals gain knowledge, through awareness and financial literacy efforts, of the benefits of adopting transaction accounts, how to use those accounts effectively for payment and store-of-value purposes, and how to access other financial services.
  7. Large-volume and recurrent payment streams, including remittances, are leveraged to advance financial inclusion objectives, namely by increasing the number of transaction accounts and stimulating the frequent usage of these accounts.

Finally, the fifth chapter of the report addresses a number of issues in connection with measuring the effectiveness of financial inclusion efforts in the context of payments and payment services, with a particular emphasis on transaction account adoption and usage.

Revisions to the Basel III leverage ratio framework

The Basel III framework introduced a simple, transparent, non-risk based leverage ratio to act as a credible supplementary measure to the risk-based capital requirements. The Basel Committee is of the view that a simple leverage ratio framework is critical and complementary to the risk-based capital framework and that a credible leverage ratio is one that ensures broad and adequate capture of both the on- and off-balance sheet sources of banks’ leverage.

The latest document sets out the Committee’s proposed revisions to the design and calibration of the Basel III leverage ratio framework. The proposed changes have been informed by the monitoring process in the parallel run period since 2013, by feedback from market participants and stakeholders and by the frequently asked questions process since the January 2014 release of the standard Basel III leverage ratio framework and disclosure requirements.

Among the areas subject to proposed revision in this consultative document are:

  • measurement of derivative exposures;
  • treatment of regular-way purchases and sales of financial assets;
  • treatment of provisions;
  • credit conversion factors for off-balance sheet items; and
  • additional requirements for global systemically important banks.

The final design and calibration of the proposals will be informed by a comprehensive quantitative impact study.

The Committee welcomes comments on all aspects of this consultative document and the proposed standards text. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 6 July 2016.

Drinking At The Internet Data Well Rises Again

The latest internet activity data from the ABS, to December 2015, shows that both internet speeds and data usage continue to rise. There were approximately 12.9 million internet subscribers in Australia at the end of December 2015. This is an increase of 2% from the end of December 2014. As at 31 December 2015, almost all (99.3%) internet connections were broadband. Fibre continues to be the fastest growing type of internet connection in both percentage terms and subscriber numbers. The number of fibre connections doubled between December 2014 and December 2015 to 645,000 subscribers.

Around half of all internet connections are via a mobile device. DSL has more than 40%, and fibre to the premises is now beginning to register strongly (thanks to NBN roll out).

Internet-Dec-2015The year on year changes show that fibre 6 month by 6 month growth is above 50%, making an annual rise of more than 100%. Most other channels were relatively static.

Internet-Delta-Dec-2015A large number of users now have advertised download speeds of more than 8Mbps – 80% of users in Dec 2015. Close to 20% are between 1.5Mbps and 8Mbps. The ABS does not break out the figures by geographic regions. We think they should.  Also, of course, advertised speed and actual speeds delivered are two different things. Data from our digital channels survey indicates that more than half of households experience data rates well below advertised speeds. Those in regional and rural areas had the worst experiences, but we also see a rise in below par speeds in urban areas as service demand rises faster than capacity investment. Slow real speeds have been discussed recently on QandA. Buffering… Buffering….!

For perspective, read this earlier post. We continue to slip down the global rankings. In the report published by Akamai Technologies, Australia fell to 48th place in a global average broadband connection speeds. The report says the average broadband speed for Australia in the fourth quarter of 2015 was 8.2Mbps, down from 46th place when compared to the rest of the world. In terms of average peak internet speeds, at 39.3Mbps, Australia fared badly, dropping to 60th position (down from 46th) in the quarter. This despite Australia’s average and peak internet speeds having increased by 11 per cent and 6.4 per cent year-on-year, respectively.

Internet-Speeds-Dec-2015National data consumption has continue to climb, especially via fixed line broadband. To December 2015, this rose to more than 1,600,000 TBs. The average wireless mobile user consumed around  7gb whilst the average fixed line user consumed close to 250gb. Streaming media services account for a significant proportion of the rise from around 200gb in June 2015.