Treasurer Wayne Swan, who has been calling on the big banks to passthe rate cut on in full, said the ANZ decision put pressure on theother banks to follow suit. "ANZ passing on the full rate cut great news for ANZ customers– lots of pressure on other banks to give their customers a#FairGo too," Mr Swan tweeted. ANZ has taken a hit in recent months in consumer satisfactionsurveys for its stance on rates, falling to third place among thebig banks in a Roy Morgan Research survey after leading therankings for years. It is the first time since the ANZ began its monthly rateannouncement policy in January that it has passed on cuts in full.Last month it cut its lending rates by just 37 basis points, whilethe RBA shaved half a percentage point off the cash rate. Twice this year, in February and April, it lifted its rate - bothtimes by 6 basis points - even though the RBA kept the officialrate steady. |
The 0.25 percentage point decrease will save customers about $13.50a week for the average home loan of $280,000, while smallbusinesses will save $6.25 a week for the average business loan of$130,000. ANZ CEO Australia Philip Chronican said: "Funding costs remainelevated as a result of the deteriorating economic situation inEurope and strong competition for deposits.' Mr Chronican cited the gross domestic product figures from thisweek which showed strong growth in Western Australia compared withthe eastern states. "Although there was strong economic growth data this week, we knowthat several major states and many of our customers are notdirectly benefiting from the strength of the resources sector." The bank's three main rivals - Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac -are yet to reveal their rates, three days after the RBA cut itscash rate to 3.5 per cent. The Bank of Queensland took only minutes to decide on Tuesday topass on 20 of the 25 basis-point reduction to its customers. INGDirect matched the BoQ's move yesterday.
Since the RBA began cutting interest rates by 125 basis points fromlast November, the major lenders have typically withheld part ofeach reduction - or, in one month, lifted their own ratesunilaterally. The banks have batted back criticism by politicians such as theTreasurer and the public, saying they have a duty to shareholdersto adjust rates based on their own higher funding costs. In May, the big four banks passed on an average of 37 of the RBA'ssuper-sized 50 basis-point cut. The May reductions included 37 basis points by both ANZ andWestpac, while the CBA cut the most - 40 basis points. NAB narrowlyheld on to its claim of offering the lowest standard variableinterest rate on mortgages of 6.99 per cent when it lowered itslending rate by just 32 basis points.
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