Big banks announce cuts following RBA decision, but it’s smaller lenders you should be watching

Niko Iliakis

Wednesday 05 June 2019

In the 24 hours since the RBA cut the cash rate, we’ve seen a flurry of activity on the home loan front as banks and lenders scramble to revise their interest rates.

Some were ready from the get-go, announcing their plans within minutes of the cut. Others were less proactive. As decisions continue to trickle through, let’s take a look at the lenders that have already made moves.

Big banks delay cuts by up to three weeks

We received word of all four major banks’ plans within a few hours of the RBA announcement. ANZ was the first to budge, announcing it would be passing on just 0.18% of the cut to its home loan customers, in a move condemned by Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe.

The other big banks were more generous. Both Commonwealth Bank and NAB announced they would be cutting the full 0.25% off their range of variable rate home loans — impressive considering the two didn’t cut more than 0.13% following 2016’s rate cut.

Meanwhile Westpac announced it would be cutting a modest 0.20% for owner occupiers, and 0.35% for investors making interest only repayments.

While this can only mean good news for anyone with a mortgage in the long run, it’s worth paying attention to how long the banks will wait before actually implementing the cuts for their customers.

Cuts made by the Big 4

CutEffective DateDelay
ANZ-0.18%14 June10 days
CommBank-0.25%25 June21 days
NAB-0.25%14 June10 days
Westpac-0.20%18 June14 days

The last time the RBA reduced the cash rate, the major banks refrained from passing on the cut immediately, allowing them to pocket an extra $7.1 million per day. This time it looks like they’ll be delaying the cut by an average of almost 14 days.

Smaller lenders act quickly to attract borrowers

Smaller lenders, on the other hand, are being far less stingy. Athena, Homestar, and Reduce Home Loans all passed on the full rate cut, effective immediately.

So while some of the big banks wait up to three weeks to offer borrowers relief, others have been springing to action in a bid to attract more customers.

Currently, smaller lenders occupy all of the top spots in our database, with Athena offering 3.34% (3.30% comparison rate*), Homestar offering 3.24% (3.25% comparison rate*) and Reduce Home Loans offering 3.19% (3.23% comparison rate*).

So whether you’re on the market for a home loan or looking to refinance, smaller banks and lenders are shaping up to be a pretty attractive option. Check out some quality options below, or head over to our variable rate home loan comparison page for a more comprehensive overview.

*WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

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