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Power to the people: Investit's plan to shake up the deposits market

Power to the people: Investit's plan to shake up the deposits market
Putting consumers back in control is the driving force behind a new investment auction website that enables people to find, compare and invest in different term deposits from banks and non-bank institutions.

Putting consumers back in control is the driving force behind a new investment auction website that enables people to find, compare and invest in different term deposits from banks and non-bank institutions.

Investit chief operating officer Ben Milsom said investit.co.nz would to transform the deposit market by making it quicker and simpler to shop around for the best deal.
 
“It’s extremely hard to find the best rate available without having plenty of time on your hands. We’ve turned the market on its head by helping investors quickly find the best deposit rate – whether it’s a call account, a term deposit, a PIE or a corporate bond – and invest in their chosen product online.”

He said the launch of the site was set against a trend of growing consumer empowerment, thanks to technology that made "normally cumbersome and time-consuming processes much faster.''

“Consumers are getting the upper hand more and more thanks to daily deal sites like GrabOne and TreatMe, the best-priced flights from mixandmatch.co.nz and campaigns like Powerswitch. Now investors can benefit from this trend too.”

 The site works by allowing users to enter their investment amount and term. Participating institutions, which include including ASB, RaboBank, TSB and PSIS, then bid their best interest rates.

Milsom said once an investor had reviewed the offers and chosen a product, in most cases they could invest online directly from the Investit website.

He said financial advisors, corporations, trustees and local authorities would also benefit from Investit by helping them find the best rate for their customers’ money and investing funds online, saving valuable time and helping them act in their customers’ or stakeholders’ best interests.
 
“Our ultimate goal is to bring more competition to the deposit market. Advocates such as Consumer and Interest.co.nz support what we are doing and  already a number of leading banks and other institutions have signed up for Investit."

Investit is backed by the same group behind mortgage website fundit.co.nz – which allows borrowers to put their mortgage up for auction to lenders in order to get the best deal – including Fisher & Paykel deputy chair John Gilks, Sir Eion Edgar, Forsyth Barr chairman and former Russell McVeagh partner Alan A’Court. The websites share a similar layout and feel.

A'Court, the chairman of Investit, said the concept was born after shopping for the best deal on deposits led him to interest.co.nz. While the site provided helpful commentary and advice, he found it difficult to select and compare different products.

"And when I had sorted one I then had to go to the bank’s website, find the offering there (no easy task) and, finally, apply. And that’s if they even had online application.

"Then various people call and try and persuade you to take other products I don’t need and on and on it goes. What makes it all worse is you need to do that each time you switch deposits – if you can even remember when they all mature."