Commonwealth Bank is first major bank to lift interest rates, two days after RBA rates decision

Commonwealth Bank is first major bank to lift interest rates, two days after RBA rates decision

After two days of silence, Commonwealth Bank has finally confirmed it will lift interest rates on its variable mortgages by 0.5 percentage points.

This makes CBA the first of the “big four” banks to pass on the Reserve Bank’s latest rate hike.

The RBA lifted its cash rate target by 0.5 percentage points on Tuesday, taking the new rate to a six-year high of 1.85 per cent.

It was no surprise that the commercial banks would pass on the RBA’s rate increase to their borrowers.

However, the surprising aspect is how uncharacteristically slow the banks have been in making such announcements in the past couple of days.

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CBA’s main rivals — Westpac, NAB and ANZ — still haven’t provided any update on their new borrowing rates.

Australia’s fifth-largest lender, Macquarie Bank, was the first bank to lift its rates — within hours of the RBA’s decision on Tuesday.

This was followed on Wednesday by ubank — an NAB subsidiary — announcing it would lift its savings rates by 0.5 percentage points in September.

Delay in being the first mover

“This kind of waiting game is unusual, but not unprecedented,” said Sally Tindall, the research director of RateCity.

“Back in 2010, three of the big four banks took between eight and 10 days to make announcements following the 0.25 percentage point RBA hike on 2 November.”

“The delay could be a worrying sign for savers. It’s possible the banks are still mulling over whether they will pass on the full hike to all their savings customers.”

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