Mozo Banking Roundup Year in Review and December 2019

Peter Marshall

Monday 23 December 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, there’s no better time to look back at key rate movements, pricing changes and offers over the last 12 months.

Mozo Banking Roundup Year in Review and December 2019

Home loan interest rates have dropped over the past year in the wake of three RBA cuts, while on the personal loan rates front, it’s been a lot quieter. Credit cards took a hit as new payment methods like Buy Now, Pay Later exploded onto the scene. Meanwhile, to the dismay of long-term Aussie savers, savings rates and term deposit rates continued to fall, although the saving grace was the launch of neobanks which brought more competitive options into the market. 

Key Facts 

  • Variable Home Loan rates are down over the last year on the back of three cuts to the official cash rate, fixed rates are down even further, and it’s online lenders that are leading the way.
  • Interest free introductory rate periods on Credit Cards have grown longer over the last year as alternatives such as buy now, pay later grow in popularity.
  • Rates for Personal Loans remained relatively stable over the year, with the exception of some mutuals and online lenders. One trend that we have observed is an increase in the number of special purpose loans, particularly loans for ‘green’ products.
  • At Call Deposit rates followed the RBA rate movements this year, falling sharply. The launch of products from three neobanks was good news for savers as each is leading with a strong rate offer.
  • Falling Term Deposit rates have seen the price premium for longer term investments largely disappear. One provider is offering rates significantly above the rest of the market.

Home Loans

2019 Trends

  • For Home Loans, 2019 was a story of falling rates, driven by the three cuts to the cash rate, increased competitive pressures, and the expectation that the RBA will cut twice more in 2020.
  • Only a few lenders cut variable rates by the full 0.75% total of all three official rates cuts including Athena, Homestar, UBank, and Bank First. However, the story was different for fixed rates where falls of 100bp were not uncommon.
  • 2019 saw the launch of two new online lenders. 86 400 launched its Own Home Loan at a 3.09% variable rate for owner occupiers (3.36% comparison rate*) with a 100% offset and a yearly fee of $250, it’s currently only available through brokers.
  • Athena launched its range of refinancing home loans in February and expanded its offerings to new lending later in the year. With a competitive rate currently at 2.84% (2.80% comparison rate*), Athena home loans feature no fees and a potential 0.05% loyalty discount over the first five years.

Market Snapshot 

Variable home loans

Major BanksBasic Variable, Owner OccupierVariable Rate (Comp Rate*)Change Since January
ANZSimplicity PLUS3.24% (3.28%)⬇57 bp
CommBankExtra Home Loan3.22% (3.23%)⬇57 bp
NABBasic Variable Rate Home Loan3.09% (3.09%)⬇90 bp
WestpacFlexi First Option Home Loan3.18% (3.19%)⬇80 bp
Major BanksBest package variable rates, Owner OccupierVariable Rate (Comp Rate*)Change Since January
ANZOver $500,000 (LVR<80%)3.89% (4.30%)⬇57 bp
CommBankOver $750,000 (LVR<95%)4.10% (4.71%)⬇57 bp
NABOver $750,000 (LVR<95%)3.87% (4.28%)⬇59 bp
WestpacOver $150,000 (LVR<70%)3.44% (3.85%)⬇104 bp
Current Rate LeadersRate (Comp Rate*)Change Since JanuaryJanuary Rate Leaders
Reduce Home Loans Low Rider2.69% (2.71%)⬇75 bpFreedomlend 
Reduce Home Loans

Fixed home loans

Best package fixed rates, Owner Occupier (comparison rate*)

Major Banks1 year2 years3 years4 years5 years
ANZ3.28% (4.60%) 

⬇81 bp
2.98% (4.45%) 

⬇77 bp
2.98% (4.35%) 

⬇101 bp
3.53% (4.43%) 

⬇96 bp
3.53% (4.38%) 

⬇66 bp
CommBank3.29% (4.61%) 

⬇60 bp
2.99% (4.47%) 

⬇80 bp
2.99% (4.37%) 

⬇ 90 bp
3.49% (4.44%) 

⬇70 bp
3.49% (4.38%) 

⬇90 bp
NAB3.19% (4.48%) 

⬇70 bp
2.98% (4.36%) 

⬇81 bp
2.98% (4.26%) 

⬇101 bp
3.19% (4.24%)


⬇80 bp
3.19% (4.17%) 

⬇105 bp
Westpac3.19% (3.82%) 

⬇90 bp
2.88% (3.75%) 

⬇101 bp
2.88% (3.71%) 

⬇101 bp
3.39% (3.83%) 

⬇90 bp
3.39% (3.83%) 

⬇70 bp
Current Rate LeadersRate (Comp Rate*)Change Since JanuaryJanuary Rate Leaders
1 Year FixedUBank2.74% (3.38%)⬇75 bpGreater Bank Suncorp
2 Years FixedWell Home Loans2.63% (2.84%)⬇95 bpBankVic
3 Years FixedUBank2.69% (3.19%)⬇100 bpCommunity First
Easy Street
4 Years FixedSt.George Bank of Melbourne2.84% (3.68%)⬇90 bpGreater Bank
5 Years FixedSt.George Bank of Melbourne2.84% (3.64%)⬇90 bpGreater Bank

*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.

Key Changes - December 

  • Citi adjusted its tiered discounts on Basic and Standard Variable (Mortgage Plus) loans with LVRs between 80% and 90%, increasing these rates by up to 23bp and fixed rates by up to 25bp. 
  • NAB announced that it has doubled its cashback offer for refinanced mortgages, available for loans drawn down between 1st January and 30 June 2020. NAB also cut its Base Variable Rate Home Loans 11bp this month.
  • Suncorp boosted the discount on its Standard Variable Rate Specials by up to 15bp. 
  • Cuts continued to be made to fixed home loan rates during December, notably Teachers Mutual Bank reduced fixed home loans across its brands by up to 102bp.

Credit Cards 

2019 Trends 

  • There have been falls in the number of Credit Cards on the market this year, as well as the amount of outstanding balances as Credit Cards have come under pressure from an increasing range of Buy Now, Pay Later services.
  • Over the last year the average length of a 0% balance transfer offer has been declining, while the length of 0% introductory purchase rate periods has increased. This suggests that one of the ways that providers are tackling the BNPL threat is with more appealing introductory offers.

Market Snapshot 

Summary of card offers

Major BankCard Offer
ANZ0% for 18 months BT (+2% fee) on First & Platinum. 

0% for 15 months BT on Low Rate. 

25k to 150k bonus points on Frequent Flyer and Rewards.
CommBank5.99% for 5 months BT on all cards. 

0% for 15 months purchase rate on Low Fee Gold and Low Rate Gold cards.

$0 first year annual fee on Low Fee, Low Fee Gold cards and if spend $1,000 p.a ($10,000 p.a. for Gold). 

5% cashback up to $100 per month for first 3 months on Low Rate. 

30k to 120k bonus points on Awards cards.
NAB0% for 6 months BT (+2% fee) on all cards. 

0% for 6 months intro purchase rate on Low Rate, 15 months on Platinum. 

Between 30k and 120k bonus points on Qantas and Rewards cards.
Westpac0% for 9 months purchase rate on Low Fee. 

$0 first year annual fee, 0% for 16 months BT on Low Rate. 

$0 first year annual fee on Low Fee and Low Fee Platinum in first year and if spend $5,000 p.a. ($10,000 p.a. for Platinum). 

$49 reduction in first year annual fee for Altitude Platinum with Amex. 

$100 reduction in first year annual fee for Altitude Black with Amex. 

60/80k bonus points on Altitude Platinum, 80/100k on Altitude Black. 

90/125k bonus points on Altitude Platinum with American Express, 100/140k on Altitude Black with American Express

Top Offers

Type of OfferProductProduct Offer
0% Balance TransferCiti Platinum26 months (1.5% fee)
0% Introductory Purchase RateBendigo Bank Low Rate 

CommBank Low Fee Gold

CommBank Low Fee Platinum

NAB Low Rate Platinum 
St. George Vertigo Platinum
15 months
Lowest purchaseG&C Mutual Bank Low Rate Visa7.49%
Bonus pointsSt. George Group Amplify Signature

ANZ Rewards Black

Qantas Money Premier Titanium
200,000 Amplify


150,000 ANZ

150,000 Qantas

Key Changes - December

  • American Express doubled the bonus points available on its Velocity Platinum Card to 100,000 Velocity Points. 
  • ANZ also increased the bonus points on offer for the Rewards and Frequent Flyer range of Credit Cards, the highest currently the Rewards Black Card with a potential earning of 150,000 ANZ Rewards Points in the first three months. 
  • Bankwest made significant changes to its two Breeze Mastercards, increasing the purchase rate by 309bp from 9.90% to 12.99% and the 0% interest free period on balance transfers from 6 to 26 months (with a 2% fee).

Personal loans 

2019 Trends 

  • Rates for Personal Loans remained relatively stable, with the usual limited time offers coming and going throughout the year. 
  • The rate cuts we did see were mostly made by smaller lenders, and although the Commonwealth Bank rates in our table show they’ve dropped, that’s only due to a limited time discount currently available. 
  • A trend that we have observed was the launch of several special purpose loans, particularly green loans. These included Australian Military Bank’s Unsecured Green Loan, Hunter United’s Green Saver Personal Loan and Police Bank’s Debt Consolidation Personal Loan. 
  • We’ve also seen ‘payday’ lenders such as Nimble start to launch more traditional personal loan products.

Market Snapshot

Major BanksProductHeadline Rate (Comp Rate*)Change Since January
ANZUnsecured Loan12.45% (13.32%)▬ unchanged
CommBankCar Loan

Unsecured Loan
6.99% (8.05%)

11.70% (14.85%)
⬇150 bp 

⬇100 bp
NABUnsecured Loan12.69% (13.56%)▬ unchanged
WestpacCar Loan

Unsecured Loan
8.49% (9.67%)

11.99% (13.15%)
▬ unchanged
Personal Loan TypeCurrent Rate LeadersHeadline Rate (Comp Rate*)Change Since JanuaryJanuary Rate Leaders
UnsecuredSymple Loans5.75% (6.89%⬇24 bpG&C Mutual Bank
Securedloans.com.au
(Clean Green Car Loan)
4.19% (4.73%)⬇55 bploans.com.au

*WARNING: The Comparison Rate combines the lender's interest rate, fees and charges into a single rate to show the true cost of a personal loan. The comparison rates displayed are calculated based on a loan of $30,000 for a term of 5 years, based on monthly principal and interest repayments, on a secured basis for secured loans and an unsecured basis for unsecured loans. 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.

Key Changes - December

  • St. George Group reduced its Unsecured Personal Loan fixed rate by 150bp from 12.99% (14.06% comparison rate*) to 11.49% (12.57% comparison rate*). 
  • Westpac updated its Unsecured Personal Loan, changing the special offer rate of 11.99% (13.15% comparison rate*) to become the standard rate.

At Call Deposits

2019 Trends

The reduction in the cash rate has been reflected in steep falls for At Call Deposit rates. Ongoing bonus rates have fallen sharply, the average rate down from 2.26% to 1.54%, while the average introductory bonus rate dropped from 2.60% to 1.93%. The average base rate went from 0.83% to 0.45%. 

A bright spot for savers has been the launch of new savings accounts from several neobanks including Volt (unconditional rate of 2.15%), 86 400 and Up (both offering ongoing bonus rate of 2.25%).

Market Snapshot

Major BanksProductsCurrent RateChange Since January
ANZProgress Saver

Online Saver
1.60% ongoing bonus

1.60% intro for 3 months
⬇80 bp 

⬇70 bp
CommBankGoalSaver

NetBank Saver
0.90% ongoing bonus

1.65% intro for 5 months
⬇75 bp 

⬇90 bp
NABReward Saver 

iSaver
1.61% ongoing bonus

1.70% intro for 4 months
⬇79 bp 

⬇85 bp
WestpacLife

eSaver
1.65% ongoing bonus

1.66% intro for 5 months
⬇65 bp 

⬇85 bp
All Call Deposit TypeCurrent Rate LeadersRateChange Since JanuaryJanuary Rate Leaders
Ongoing Bonus86 400 Save
Up Saver 
2.25%⬇65 bpMove Bank Bonus Saver
IntroHeritage Online
Rabobank HISA
2.50% (for 4 months)⬇60 bpHSBC Serious Saver
Base RateVolt Bank (announced, not yet available)2.15%⬇5 bpMove Bank Express Saver

Key Changes - December

  • Newcomer Volt Bank announced an ongoing savings account rate of 2.15% on amounts up to $245,000 to be rolled out to customers currently on the waitlist. 
  • P&N Bank bumped up the interest rates on its savings accounts; adding 10bp to the Hi Saver Account base rate, now with a 2.20% introductory rate, and 10bp to the SwiftSaver Account ongoing bonus rate, now 1.45% conditional on no withdrawals in the month.

Term Deposits

2019 Trends

  • Term Deposit rates have fallen farther than rates for at call deposits over the year, and longer term rates recorded the largest falls. 
  • New entrant Judo Bank launched with a strong set of rates then surprised everyone by pushing them even higher, so the Market Snapshot table below of top rates with changes does not tell the full story as it’s Judo leading the way for every term. For the 1 year term Judo Bank is paying 25bp more than the next best in our database, for 2 years it offers 55bp more than the next best, and for 5 years its rate is a massive 80bp ahead of the next best. 
  • Looking now at how far rates have fallen overall, for 1 to 5 months the average rate for each term is down between 68 and 72 bp, for terms of 6 months to 1 year average rates are down 75 to 107bp. 
  • The premium that was previously applied to entice those who might be prepared to lock their money away for longer terms is no longer available from most institutions. The term with the highest average rate is 3 months at 1.51%, followed by 6 months at 1.49%, then 1 year at 1.46% and 5 years at 1.42%.

Market Snapshot

Major Banks6 Months12 Months24 Months
ANZ1.35% (⬇75 bp)1.40% (⬇90 bp)1.30% (⬇130 bp)
CommBank1.25% (⬇80 bp)1.30% (⬇90 bp)1.15% (⬇115 bp)
NAB1.10% (⬇100 bp)1.20% (⬇120 bp)1.15% (⬇145 bp)
Westpac1.55% (⬇50 bp)1.20% (⬇110 bp)1.20% (⬇120 bp)
Term LengthCurrent Rate LeadersRateChangeJanuary Rate Leaders
6 MonthsJudo Bank2.00%(⬇85 bp)Arab Bank Australia
1 YearJudo Bank2.00%(⬇90 bp)Arab Bank Australia
2 YearsJudo Bank2.20%(⬇80 bp)Defence Bank
ING 
Police Bank
Teachers MB
3 YearsJudo Bank2.30%(⬇70 bp)Australian Unity
Heritage Bank 
ME
Qudos Bank
RACQ Bank
Teachers MB
4 YearsJudo Bank2.40%(⬇80 bp)Rabobank
5 YearsJudo Bank2.50%(⬇90 bp)Rabobank

*rate tables based on a deposit of $25,000

Key Changes - December

  • Rates for term deposits continued to fall in December, but there were also a handful of increases. Bendigo Bank lifted its 7 month rate by 45bp to 1.55%, Rabobank's 3 month rate is up 10bp to 1.70% and its 6 month rate is up 15bp to 1.80%, while MyState’s 4 month rate is up 25bp to 1.90%, the highest for that term. 
  • Cuts were applied by a total of 23 providers, including Commonwealth Bank which trimmed rates for terms of up to 1 year by 5 to 10bp, except for its 8 month rate which is up 10bp to 1.60%.

Mozo Experts Choice Awards & Australia’s Best

Finally, it’s time to look back at some of the winners in the Mozo Experts Choice Awards in 2019, recognising the best products and providers in banking, insurance, energy, online shopping and more. 

Our approach in banking is to measure the real monetary value on offer to customers - in other words, for a given set of product features, which ones are the best priced? This ethos means award winners are genuinely worthy of being on a customer’s shortlist. 

Our research team takes the time and effort to scour the market for a wide range of available products. The Mozo Experts Choice Awards are not restricted to institutions that we’ve had commercial dealings with, nor do we depend on industry submissions. We make our own judgment, and we publish our methodology in detail. 

We’re proud of the work we do to make these awards trustworthy and trusted. We love seeing more and more institutions taking full advantage of their award wins, marking their products in the eyes of consumers as being a genuine price leader and a cut above the rest. 

We look forward to continuing this work in 2020. 

As well as individual product awards, we also confer awards on those institutions who have bagged a number of individual awards in a given year.

Product CategoryMozo Experts Choice AwardWinner
Home LoansHome Lender Bank of the Year 

Online Home Lender of the Year
Greater Bank

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Credit CardsCredit Card Provider of the YearAmerican Express
Personal LoansPersonal Loan Provider of the YearMove Bank
At Call DepositsSavings Bank of the YearUBank

After tallying up all the award wins, including the relative competitiveness and breadth of products that featured in our winners lists in FY19, we announced Australia’s Best banking institutions.

Mozo Expert Choice AwardWinner
Australia's Best BankING
Australia’s Best Customer Owned BankBank Australia
Australia’s Best Small BankPolice Bank
Australia’s Best Credit UnionCUA
Australia’s Best Major BankANZ

The content of this report is produced using Mozo's extensive database of banking products, which is updated every day. 

If you'd like access to more detailed information, please contact us at data.services@mozo.com.au.

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