In potentially devastating news for savers, market leaders Bank of Queensland (BOQ) and its subsidiary ME Bank have cut the interest rates on certain savings accounts from recent highs of 5.50% per annum (p.a.) and 5.65% p.a respectively.
The new maximum rate for deposits of up to $50,000 held in a BOQ Future Saver Account is 5.40% p.a. while the top rate offered for deposits of between $50,000 and $250,000 at the bank remains at 3%.
Customers with a Smart Saver Account housing up to $250,000 will now receive a maximum interest rate of 5.00% p.a., down from 5.10%.
Both rates are ‘bonus rates’ – they’re conditional on account holders depositing $1,000 into a linked transaction account every month, and make 5 settled card transactions on the linked transaction account.
The higher-rate Future Saver has a maximum age of 35 years while the Smart Saver is for those aged 36 and older.
The base rate on each of the BOQ accounts is 0.05% p.a.
“When we review the interest rates on accounts, we balance the needs of our customers as well as the changing market conditions,” BOQ told customers in an email on Tuesday.
“That’s why, after careful consideration, we have made the decision to change the interest rate on several types of savings accounts.”
The account is exclusively available through ME Bank’s ME Go app and previously offered those saving for a home deposit up to 5.65% p.a.
Today, that was cut to 5.55% p.a. while the base rate sits at 0.55% p.a.
To earn the top interest rate, HomeME account holders must deposit $2,000 a month into a linked transaction account and grow the balance.
The maximum rate applies to a balance of $100,000, after which a lower rate of 3.00% p.a. applies.
Virgin Money, which was acquired by BOQ in 2013, offers savers up to 5.35% p.a., 5.05% p.a. of which is a conditional bonus rate. There is no movement yet from Virgin Money.
New market leader emerges
A new market leader has reared its head following BOQ and ME Bank’s moves on Tuesday.
According to Savings.com.au’s market research Rabobank’s High Interest Savings Account now boasts the highest interest rate on offer to Aussie depositors, coming in at 5.60% p.a.
However, that is an introductory rate and will revert to 4.20% p.a. after the first four months.
For longer-term savers, ING’s Savings Maximiser offers a maximum interest rate of 5.50% p.a. and a base rate of 0.55%.
The market’s leading unconditional savings account interest rate is offered by Unity Bank.
Its MoneyMax savings account promises depositers a 5.00% p.a. interest rate.
Image by upklyak via freepik