Which banks passed on the full rate cut?

By Ericka Pingol | 03 Jul 2019

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) latest official cut reached a new record low at 1%, with some banks choosing not to pass the rate cut in full.

Commonwealth Bank (CommBank), National Australia Bank (NAB), and Westpac have only passed on the rate cut in part to their home loan customers, while the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) is the only bank to confirm it would pass on the rate cut in full.

CommBank declared it would cut interest rates on home loans, but not all customers would see the cut passed on in full. Owner-occupiers and investors paying principal and interest standard variable rate home loans would benefit from a 0.19% rate cut, while those with interest-only loans would receive the full 0.25% cut. The rate changes are set to take effect on 23 July.

“With official interest rate settings already at record lows, we are focused on balancing the benefits and the costs of further interest rate reductions between our 1.6m home loan and over six million savings customers,” said CommBank group executive of retail banking services Angus Sullivan.

NAB also announced reduction of variable home loan interests by 0.19%. Costs and competitive pressures in making the changes justified the bank’s decision to not pass on the full rate cut, according to NAB chief customer officer for consumer banking Mike Baird.

“The difference between what we charge and how much it costs us to fund a mortgage remains under pressure and while the circumstances of each RBA cash rate decision will vary and has some influence on the cost of borrowing money, it is not the only funding cost driver for NAB,” said Baird.

Westpac announced it would lower variable interest rates by 0.20% for owner-occupiers and 0.30% for investors with interest-only repayments, starting 16 July. The decision reflected the “pressure of the declining cash rate”, Westpac chief executive of consumer division David Lindberg said in a statement.

While the other big banks only slashed rates in parts, ANZ said it would pass on the rate cut in full, after coming under fire for only passing on 0.18% of RBA’s June cut.  The bank would lower variable rates for owner-occupiers and investor loans in full, starting 12 July.

“We looked at a number of factors before reaching this decision, including business performance, market conditions, and the impact on our customers. On balance, we believe this is the right decision for our home loan customers and for our business,” said ANZ retail executive Mark Hand.

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