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Banks rebuked over home loan rate cuts

SOME of Australia’s biggest banks are under attack for failing to pass on in full to home loan customers the Reserve Bank’s interest rate cut.strong

Only one of the nations big four banks, ANZ, has followed the RBAs lead and cut standard variable home loan rates by 25 basis points.

ANZs rivals, the Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank, held back and trimmed their rates by just 20 basis points.

Full details on our latest interest rate changes here: this site #ausbiz

Westpac late Wednesday announced a cut to its variable rate by 0.22 per cent to 5.48 per cent after the RBA sliced its cash rate by 0.25 per cent to a record low of two per cent on Tuesday.

Here is my statement on today's interest rate cut this site

Treasurer Joe Hockey earlier said he will be very angry if the nations banks dont pass on the RBAs rate cut in full.

The banks are making very good profit and we need our banks to be profitable, he told reporters on Wednesday.

But when the Reserve Bank acts, we expect the banks to also act in full as well.

ANZ lowered its standard variable rate to 5.38 per cent shortly after the RBA cut.

ANZ reduces rates for retail home loans by 0.25%pa to 5.38%pa, effective this Friday 8 May

But CBA and NAB failed to follow suit, with their standard variable rates falling to 5.45 per cent and 5.43 per cent, respectively.

We’re cutting our standard variable rate to 5.43%p.a. – the lowest it’s been since 1978. More: this site

Introducing our lowest ever SVR home loan rate. Our new SVR will be reduced by 0.2% p.a. to 5.45% p.a., effective May 13.

CBA also lifted interest rates for two key savings accounts in an attempt to help young people and retirees who have seen the money they make from term deposits fall in line with RBA rate cuts in recent years.

But the bank came under fire from consumer watchdog Choice, which branded as cynical its decision not to pass on the full RBA rate cut.

While we welcome the banks decision to raise some deposit interest rates, CBA is hardly on struggle street, and its mortgage customers deserve better, Choice campaigns and communications director Matt Levey said.

CBA has plenty of capacity to compete for deposit customers, especially young savers, without engaging in spin and playing them off against mortgage holders.

Retirees relying on fixed income investments, such as bank term deposits, have come under pressure since the RBA began its latest rate cutting cycle in late 2011.

Since October 2011, the RBAs cash rate has fallen from 4.75 per cent.

Brexit commonwealth bank suspends foreign exchange of british pounds

AUSTRALIANS overseas were stranded without cash for up to six hours after Commonwealth Bank and NAB suspended foreign exchange of the British pound following the Brexit referendum.

The bank initially announced the temporary suspension would continue until Monday morning, however a spokeswoman told The Courier-Mail the freeze was lifted just before midnight on Friday.

The temporary suspension to retail foreign exchange transactions this evening was lifted as of midnight Sydney time on Friday.

All retail foreign exchange channels including international money transfers, travel money card and foreign currency accounts are operating as normal, said the Commonwealth Bank spokeswoman.

The bank thanked customers for their patience, after many were frustrated at being unable to exchange British pounds.

The freeze was attributed to the volatile currency situation in the UK following the exit referendum result.


AUSTRALIANS overseas have been stranded without cash after Commonwealth Bank suspended foreign exchange of the British pound following the Brexit referendum.

Commonwealth Bank confirmed on Twitter that they had temporarily suspended the exchange of British pounds and any other exchanges not involving Australian dollars until Monday.

@Mitchy_Minx Due to recent results from the British exit referendum we are temporarily suspending all retail customer foreign exchange (1/2)

@Mitchy_Minx transactions of GBP pounds and transactions that do not include AUD until the morning of Monday, 27 June.(2/2) ^Mike

We are sorry but due to recent results from the British exit referendum we are temporarily suspending all foreign exchange of GBP pounds and transactions that do not include AUD until the morning of Monday, 27 June, tweeted Commbank.

NAB customers were also prevented from exchanging British Pounds in the wake of the plummeting rate of the currency post Brexit result.

There were also reports NAB customers have been unable to exchange US dollars.

The bank has since confirmed they will be maintaining foreign exchange of all currencies.

Hundreds of customers took to social media to express their frustrations at being unable to access money while overseas due to the freeze.

It would be nice if someone told us what is happening with travel money cards. Some of us rely on this to draw our weekly income overseas, wrote Josh Dzarir on Facebook.

Surely you have some duty of care to customers who have informed you they are overseas, this is very stressful for us, wrote another Commbank customer.

The Commbank freeze on exchanging currencies has not been applied to trades for commercial and business purposes.