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Big four in holding pattern on rate hikes

Big four in holding pattern on rate hikes

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While the ‘big four’ banks have held off raising interest rates, federal treasurer Wayne Swan has warned against lifting rate’s by more than the Reserve Bank of Australia’s 0.25 percentage point rise.

"I've made it very clear [that] the government expects the banks to behave in the way in which they should behave and the way in which they've traditionally behaved – that is, that they will pass on the official cash rate increase and no more," Mr Swan told reporters in Brisbane yesterday.

Analysts predict all lenders will move fast once one of the major banks break rank and push up mortgage rates.

“No one wants to be the first to move, and regional players certainly won’t because they aren’t price leaders,” Southern Cross Equities analyst T.S Lim told today’s The Australian financial Review.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and the National Australia Bank (NAB) both have a standard variable rate of 5.74 per cent, the lowest of the big four banks.

Australian and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and number two home loan lender Westpac’s rates are at 5.81 per cent.

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Big four in holding pattern on rate hikes
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