How Small Businesses Could Turn Missed RBA Hikes Into Potential Savings Gains

13 RBA rate hikes have translated into higher average rates for personal savers, but business savers who switch could earn hundreds more in annual interest.

18 June 2024

woman surrounded by $ balloons and red arrow to show how much money she made by switching business savings accounts

Today, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has held the cash rate at 4.35%, extending its pause after a whopping 13 hikes to the cash rate since May 2022. The RBA’s aggressive tightening cycle has lifted savings rates from historical lows of less than 1% in 2022 and when looking at average rates on the Mozo database, it is the personal savings rates that have reaped the rewards.

However, the latest analysis from leading financial comparison site Mozo reveals that despite faster increases in personal savings rates compared to business savings rates, businesses stand to gain the most by switching to leading rates.

“The past few years have presented significant challenges for small businesses, making higher savings rates crucial for bolstering cash flow,” says Rachel Wastell, Mozo’s personal finance expert.

“Rate hikes and high inflation have led to the tightening of household budgets, and Aussies are increasingly having to battle the rising cost of essential expenses, which is having a huge impact on our small businesses.”

“Despite these business struggles, when you compare the average savings rate of personal savings accounts to business savings accounts, it’s clear that many banks are leaving their business customers behind.”

Business savings accounts miss out on rate hikes

In May 2022, before the rate hikes began, the average business at call savings rate was 0.12%p.a. and the average personal savings rate was 0.42%p.a. 

Since the first RBA rate hike, the average business savings rate has risen by 187 basis points, increasing by 91 basis points in 2022, 84 basis points in 2023, 12 basis points in 2024, taking the average rate to a dismal 1.99%p.a. 

In contrast, personal savings rates are up 306 basis points. Rising by 163 basis points in 2022, 111 basis points in 2023, 13 basis points in 2024, the average personal savings account now boasts a rate of 3.48% p.a.

“Mozo analysis shows that while the majority of the RBA’s 13 rate hikes have been passed onto personal savings rates, business savings rates are suffering,” explains Wastell.

“Business savers have missed out on 72 basis points of the rate hikes that personal savers received in 2022, 27 basis points in 2023, and 1 basis point in 2024, leaving business savers at a disadvantage when it comes to opting for the average savings account rate.”

Based on the average savings rates in the Mozo database, business savings account holders with a $20,000 balance could be earning $305 less in interest per year than a personal savings account holder. However, when looking at the difference between the average business savings rates and the leading business savings rates, business savers have the potential to earn more interest by switching.

“If you take the time to look at the market and find the rate leaders who value business customers, there’s an opportunity to earn more in interest by switching to a rate leader, than personal savings account holders.”

Lower average rates, but greater potential gains

Mozo analysis shows that despite lower rates on average, businesses could have the upper hand by switching to a rate leader. Business savers could gain up to $179 more in annual interest on a $20,000 balance by switching to a rate leader, than a personal savings account holder with the same amount.

“Despite average personal savings rates reaping the rewards of 13 rate hikes, business savers who switch to a rate leader have more to gain,” says Wastell.

“Though business savings rates are lower on average, there is an opportunity for switchers to earn more interest by opting to stash their cash with a rate leader, when compared to the yields on offer for personal savings account switchers.”

“Essentially, small businesses who want to get savvy with their spending in time for the start of the new financial year could offset a lower interest rate average, by opting for a bank who values business savers.”

Mozo analysis shows the leading business saving account interest rates in June 2024 are 5.05% (intro rate) 5.00%p.a. (ongoing bonus) 4.65% (unconditional) 2.66% or more above the average rate. Comparatively, the leading personal savings account interest rates in June 2024 are 5.75%p.a. (intro), 5.55%p.a. (bonus) and 5.25%p.a. (unconditional), 1.77% or more above the average rate. 

Potential Savings Gains

Interest Rate (p.a.)
Annual Interest Earned $10k balance
Annual Interest Earned $20k balance
Business Savings Rate Leader (unconditional)
Average Business Savings Accounts (ongoing)
Business Savers
Potential Gains  
Personal Savings Account Rate Leader (unconditional)
Personal Savings Account Average (ongoing)
Personal Savers
Potential Gains
Source: Based on savings rates in the Mozo database as at 18 June 2024. Ongoing average rates include bonus rates and unconditional rates, excluding intro rates on a $10,000 balance.

Top Business Savings Accounts

Special Rate (p.a.)
Base Rate (p.a.)
Queensland Country Bank
Business Online Saver
5.05% (Intro)
5 month introductory bonus rate, available on balances between $5,000 and 250,000.
Southern Cross Credit Union
Business Star Saver
5.00% (Bonus)
Bonus rate applicable if balance grows by $200 or more during the month.
AMP Bank
Business Saver Account
4.80% (Intro)
6 month introductory bonus rate for new eligible customers, available on balances up to 5,000,000.
Business Savings Account
Available on balances up to $1,000,000.
First Option Bank
Business Bonus Saver
4.65% (Bonus)
Minimum $1,000 monthly deposit and no withdrawals to earn bonus interest each month.
Source: Based on bonus, intro and unconditional savings rates available in the Mozo database as at 18 June 2024 on a $10,000 balance.