ANZ has rebutted claims by the Reserve Bank that the lender had already recouped its funding costs prior to hiking its rates out of cycle this month.
ANZ Australia chief executive Phil Chronican said in the six-month period from October 1 2011 to March 31 2012, the average cost of ANZ's wholesale funding increased every month, except in December, when credit markets froze because of the European sovereign debt crisis and wholesale markets were closed globally.
“Our funding costs are up 18 basis points over the past six months while ANZ's variable interest rates have risen by 12 basis points,” he said.
Mr Chronican said while ANZ had twice increased its rates out of cycle with the Reserve Bank, the lender’s interest rate increases were gradual and largely in line with the other lenders.
“ANZ's earlier decision in February to increase interest rates by six basis points, while other Australian banks increased their interest rates by between nine and 15 basis points.
“ANZ's cumulative increase of 12 basis points has meant that although it has increased rates more slowly, its mortgage and small business lending rates remain in line with our competitors.”