On Tuesday (3 March), the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) lowered the official cash rate by 25 bps from 0.75 per cent to 0.5 per cent – marking the fourth cut since June 2019 when the easing cycle commenced.
This followed a sharp turnaround in sentiment ahead of the RBA’s monetary policy board meeting, with analysts initially expecting the central bank to keep rates on hold.
Developments in the domestic and global economy are likely to have altered the RBA’s tone, with weak local market indicators and the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak rattling market confidence.
Lenders, including all four major banks, have already begun repricing their offerings in response to the cut.
ING, Macquarie, Suncorp, and BOQ are the latest among several lenders to reprices their offerings.
ING has passed the full 25 bps reduction to its home loan customers, with changes applying from 18 March for all new and existing variable rate customers.
The non-major’s variable rates will start from 2.74 per cent.
Macquarie has lowered its variable mortgage rates by 25 bps, with changes effective 19 March.
Macquarie’s variable rates will start from 2.84 per cent.
Suncorp has cut home loan rates by the full 25 bps, effective from 20 March.
The lender’s rates will start from 2.78 per cent.
BOQ and its subsidiary Virgin Money have opted not to pass on the RBA’s cut in full to owner-occupiers, who will only receive a 17 bps reduction to their home loan.
However, BOQ and Virgin have reduced investor home loan rates by the full 25 bps.
The changes are effective 3 April.
ME has passed on the full 25 bps to both its owner-occupier and investor customers.
The lender’s changes take effect on 26 March.
Citibank has responded in kind, cutting variable rates for all new and existing mortgage customers by 25 bps, with the exception of lines of credit.
Citi’s changes will take effect on 24 March.
In line with its parent company, the Commonwealth Bank, Bankwest has reduced variable home loan rates by 25 bps, effective 18 March.
Bankwest’s variable rates will start from 3.32 per cent.
Auswide has reduced rates on its RBA Rate Tracker home loan by 25 bps, effective immediately.
The bank’s variable mortgage rates now start from 2.99 per cent.
Like its parent company NAB, UBank has reduced rates by the full 25 bps, effective 3 April.
Its rates will start from 2.59 per cent.
Mutuals and non-banks
Newcastle Permanent, The Mutual, Defence Bank, Greater Bank, and Baxter Credit Union have also reduced their rates by the full 25 bps.
RACQ Bank joins BOQ and its subsidiary Virgin Money in falling short of a wholesale 25 bps reduction, reducing rates by 17 bps.
Non-banks Firstmac, Liberty, and Freedom Lend have passed on the full 25 bps cut.