Rate Chasers Round up – April 2012

This is a round-up of rates in April and some may have changed since the time of writing. To check on today’s rate, click on the highlighted product.

Home Loans: ANZ again raised its variable home loan rates by 6 basis points. The bank justified the move by pointing out that other lenders had raised their rates by more than its two increases since its first 6 basis point increase in February, while funding pressures continue to build. The only other Home loan lenders to increase their variable rates in April were Illawarra Home LoansQueensland Country Credit union and Beirut Hellenic Bank.

Fixed rates were relatively stable throughout the month with only minor variations in the average rates across the market, although ANZ saw fit to boost their 3 year rate by 14 basis points. UBank had the cheapest 1 year fixed rate home loan in March but this month their 1 year rate is only 4th best at 5.97%, while the cheapest is now offered by West Australian based UniCredit at 5.79%.

Personal Loans: Personal loan rates are edging their way up with the average variable rate on a secured loan up 0.02% over the month (to 10.71%), and the average fixed rate, again for a secured loan, up 0.09% (now 10.63%). ANZ lifted its unsecured variable rate 9 basis points to 14.99%, but that wasn’t sufficient to change the average, which remains 14.12%.

Credit Cards: Credit card rates are also increasing with ANZ leading the charge by increasing the purchase rate on all of its personal cards by 15 basis points.

The product launch of note during the month was NAB’s new platinum card with flybuys rewards. The NAB flybuys Rewards Card has a balance transfer rate of 4.99% for 6 months, an ongoing purchase rate of 19.99%, and a relatively low annual fee of $65, yet still offers the platinum card perks such as several types of insurance and access to a concierge service.

Term Deposits: On average the 6 month term deposit rate rose slightly during the month from 5.13% to 5.26%. However the best rates for the term have not changed: UBank has the best at 6.01% and ME Bank are offering 5.90%.

Rates for longer terms have been moving down, only slightly during the month but over the last year have been significantly reduced. While the RBA has cut rates by 50 basis points the average one year rate is down 65 basis points to 5.12%, and the three year average rate is down 72 basis points to 5.17%. This is likely to be a combination of the banks’ funding cost pressures being passed on to savers combined with the expectation that the cash rate will fall further this year.

Savings Accounts: The Commonwealth Bank made its main savings products more competitive by increasing rates. Its GoalSaver rate is up 15 basis points to 5.65% and the 3 month introductory rate on its NetBank Saver was increased by 10 basis points to 5.60%. HSBC also increased the 4 month introductory bonus rate on their Serious Saver by 10 basis pints to 6.05%, but the ongoing rate after that remains 4.75%.

While not a savings account, we were sad to see the demise of one of the Mozo team’s favourite bank accounts, NAB’s Gold Banking. The account was one of only two that did not charge for overseas transactions and the $10 monthly fee could be waived if you were able to make deposits totalling $5,000 or more each month. NAB’s Classic Banking account is still quite good with no monthly account fees but the bank does seem to be moving away from the products that made it stand out from the rest of the major banks.

As can be seen from this month’s Rate Chaser update the big banks are busy repositioning themselves by adjusting their rates and product ranges. ANZ in particular has been making a strong case through the media that it needs to recover increased funding costs, but how long will its customers tolerate higher rates on lending products?

The RBA meets again tomorrow and a cut is all but certain. Given the pattern of out of cycle increases we’ve been seeing lately it will be interesting to see how much of any cut actually ends up in the hands of consumers.

Rest assured the Mozo Rate Chasers will be keeping a close eye on things to check out our website for the latest Reserve Bank Interest Rate updates.

 

Rate Chasers Round up – April 2012 was last modified: June 30, 2015 by Peter Marshall

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  1. Very sad to see the end of the gold banking account with NAB. It seemed very popular, and the product they are offering as a replacement doesn’t come close.

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  2. Customers are VERY angry. They feel betrayed by NAB and the moves to introduce new fees for NAB Gold products.
    NAB are offering only very dismissive reponses through social media and now a concerted effort is underway to make the fight public and give a voice to NAB customers. See nabbreakup.com for more info.

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