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Bank Update

Posted by Tamara McDowell on April 7, 2010

It is interesting to note the speed at which lenders are able to make the decision to increase rates after a move by the central bank when compared to the consideration that was taken when the cash rate was on its way down

The first to move were the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac – they have raised their variable mortgage rates by 25 basis points, relieving some mortgage holders by only matching the Reserve Bank’s hike.

Followed closely by ANZ and NAB – they have fallen in line with Westpac and CBA and lifted the rates on their mortgages by 25 basis points.

NAB continues to have the lowest standard variable rate mortgage at 6.99% and is the only Big 4 bank to have one less than 7%. CBA is next in line with standard variable rate mortgages at 7.11%, followed by ANZ at 7.16% and Westpac with 7.26%.

The move by the Reserve Bank to increase rates 25 basis points is being heralded as a smart decision by economists who believe that getting the cash rate to a neutral setting will save much higher interest rates in the long term.

“This will help to contain growth and moderate inflation risks in an otherwise strong economic environment,” ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said in an investor note. “Importantly, an early return to neutral monetary policy settings, that is, a level of interest rates neither stimulatory nor restrictive to overall economic activity, will reduce the risk of inflation and a larger increase in rates later.”

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