Savings.com.au Editorial Guidelines
Who is Savings.com.au?
Savings.com.au is a digital publisher whose primary purpose is to help everyday Australians save money. Whether it be to help people get those savings ‘up-front’ when they buy something, or the cumulative savings made over time which help people to build their future position, Savings.com.au was born out of the growing need for practical and common sense ways to save.
Savings.com.au is part of the Firstmac Group. Firstmac is a challenger in the market with more than $12 billion in loans under management. Over the last 40 years, Firstmac has provided over 100,000 home loans to everyday Australians. International ratings agency Standard & Poor’s awards Firstmac its highest possible ranking for loan servicing.
Being part of the Firstmac Group means that Savings.com.au has a number of ‘sister’ brands including the online lender, ‘Loans.com.au’. The separation of editorial and commercial interests in the context of the broader group is paramount for Savings.com.au. This means that it takes proactive steps to manage group commercial influence over the Savings.com.au operation. This can be read about further in our published Conflicts of Interest declaration on the Savings.com.au website.
In essence, Savings.com.au sister brands will be treated in the same manner as any other product provider looking to connect with the Savings.com.au audience. If the Savings editorial team judge that products from a sister brand do not meet the purpose test of ‘helping consumers save money’, then they will not be included in editorial content.
To ensure that it can help everyday Australians save money, Savings.com.au must always be able to demonstrate that it is worthy of their trust. Having the right values and consistently displaying them through content and organisational behaviour is what Savings.com.au believes is the bedrock of this trust. To this end, Savings.com.au aims to be original, accurate and accountable, and has a set of editorial standards to ensure this. The simple objective for Savings.com.au is to be both credible and practical in the eyes of its audience.
The following standards apply to Savings.com.au’s published news content:
All factual material on Savings.com.au must be accurate, based on credible sources, and not misleading. News material should also be distinguishable from opinion material. In articles where the author is expressing their personal opinion, this is signalled with a clear label on the piece such as ‘OPINION’ or ‘COMMENT.’
Savings.com.au will immediately rectify any inaccuracies or instances of misleading content that are discovered in published articles, and where necessary, provide a correction note.
Impartiality and fairness
Savings.com.au’s news content must avoid undue bias and should provide a reasonable level of balance when reporting debatable issues. Selective reporting, omission of facts and use of loaded language are not acceptable. To provide readers with the full context, all key facts relevant to the story should be reported, not just those that suit a particular angle or narrative.
In news stories that potentially reflect negatively on people or organisations, Savings.com.au journalists should give fair right of reply to those involved. If no reply is received, Savings.com.au journalists are encouraged to make it clear in the article that contact was made e.g. by saying ‘x was approached for comment’.
Privacy and harm avoidance
Savings.com.au must respect individual rights to privacy, and seek permission from individuals where necessary. This is particularly applicable to personal stories shared with Savings.com.au by readers. Where the individual wishes to share their story while remaining anonymous, identities are to be withheld.
Savings.com.au must take great care to ensure its content does not cause substantial harm, particularly when reporting about topics relating to financial stress or mental illness. In such articles, Savings.com.au reporters are obliged to inform readers of organisations they can contact for help.
Integrity and transparency
Savings.com.au journalists must ensure they get their information via reputable sources, and do not use deceptive means to source material. When interviewing talent for a story, Savings.com.au journalists are encouraged to be upfront and honest about what is on or off the record and to seek permission prior to using recording equipment.
Savings.com.au should also be transparent about potential conflicts of interest (detailed here), and be sure to highlight this in disclaimers within articles that mention its parent company, related brands or paid partners.
Any articles that have been sponsored must be labelled as such.
Complaints about news content
If you feel there has been a circumstance where these editorial standards have not been met, you may send feedback or a complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or by calling Savings.com.au on 07 3017 8813.
Our policy is to immediately acknowledge receipt of a complaint, after which we will investigate the complaint and decide what action (if any) to take. Depending on the seriousness of the breach in our standards, this action may include:
- Amendment of the published content: The content in question is updated in accordance with the complaint. Articles that have been updated because of a complaint are to disclose the amendment via a discernible note at the end of the piece providing the relevant dates and context of the update.
- Unpublishing the content: Content may be unpublished from Savings.com.au and its associated platforms (e.g. social media) for more serious breaches of standards.
- Publishing an apology: In some serious circumstances that warrant one, it may be deemed appropriate for Savings.com.au to publish a formal apology to the complainant on the website.
Our decision will be communicated to you within 21 days.
Separating the editorial and commercial elements
Savings.com.au content will always be researched, written and appropriately approved according to regulatory requirements, journalistic methods and in an objective manner in order to identify the money saving opportunities and products that it judges are worthy of consideration for its audience, consistent with its purpose of “helping people save money”.
Content is curated on which people in the community are searching for answers. If this content generates opportunities for the Savings.com.au team to connect the ensuing audience to products that it believes align with the contextual purpose of the content, then it will publish those products and consider a commercial relationship. Importantly, Savings.com.au often publishes products which have no commercial relationship in place with a product provider.
Additionally, products provided by the Firstmac Group shall be assessed using the same journalistic methods as those of any other product provider and, like any other third party, shall only be included within Savings.com.au editorial content where those products are judged by the non-commercial teams as good savings options for the audience.
Savings.com.au’s regulatory responsibilities and obligations
Savings.com.au operates as an Australian Financial Services Licensee and an Australian Credit Licensee, Number 515843, of Level 40, 123 Eagle Street, Brisbane Qld 4000. These licensing regimes require material effort to ensure that Savings.com.au remains within their strict compliance frameworks – a responsibility which Savings.com.au takes very seriously.
Any information provided by Savings.com.au is intended to be general in nature. It is not intended to be specific to any individual’s personal circumstances. And whilst we will create and provide access to handy tools such as calculators, infographs and succinct tables to help the audience make better decisions to help them save money, Savings.com.au will never recommend a single product as being appropriate for an individual’s specific and personal needs and circumstances.
Members of the Savings.com.au audience are encouraged to speak with a financial adviser should they wish to discuss their own personal circumstances and needs.