In news that will surprise no one, the RBA today announced the tenth consecutive increase to the cash rate.

Another 25 basis points means the rate now sits at 3.60%, the highest since May 2012.

This latest increase is notable for being the first since the ACCC announced it would be reviewing whether banks had passed on the full extent of these rate hikes to savers.

Banks have been accused of disproportionately applying increases to deposit products to introductory accounts to attract new customers, or bonus savings accounts where conditions need to be met to receive the full rate.

They could be scrambling to demonstrate their commitment to all savers this time around.

Mortgage holders will already be wearily familiar with how this works for them, with the rate increases likely to be promptly added in full to variable rate home loans.

The hikes have been relentless, and economists at all of the big four anticipate more in the coming months.

However, as PropTrack Senior Economist Eleanor Creagh pointed out after today's decision, there are signs that will encourage those paying off loans that the hikes are contracting the economy as the RBA is hoping, and that the peak might not be far away.

"The recent wage price data came in below expectations, indicating the breakout in wages growth is not as bad as feared and alleviating some of the concerns around an imminent wage price spiral," Ms Creagh said.

"There’s also mounting evidence that household spending is slowing as the substantial tightening already pushed through weighs on households."

We'll update you as soon as the banks announce how their rates will change after Tuesday's decision

See how the banks reacted following February's announcement


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Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. Some products will be marked as promoted, featured or sponsored and may appear prominently in the tables regardless of their attributes. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the product provider’s website. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of February 28, 2024. View disclaimer.

NAB

NAB have been the first of the big four to announce they will be passing on the full extent of the rate hike to both borrowers and savers.

Their standard variable rate home loans will increase by 25 basis points (0.25%), effective March 17th.

In the same announcement, NAB revealed their savings accounts would also see the full cash rate increase passed on.

The NAB Reward Saver bonus interest rate will increase by 0.25% p.a., bringing the total interest rate to 4.25% p.a., while iSaver introductory and standard variable rates will both increase by 0.25% p.a. to 4.25% p.a. and 1.60% p.a. respectively.

Finally, they also revealed their term deposit rates would see increases by up to 110 basis points, with the 12 month term now sitting at a rate of 4.20% p.a.

NAB Group Executive Personal Banking Rachel Slade pledged the banks commitment to helping their customers in difficult situations.

“We know most of our customers are in good shape but, for some Australians, financial difficulty might be an entirely new experience as rising costs put increased pressure on their finances,” Ms Slade said.

“Our support is designed to get our customers through the tough times, and we know that when our customers reach out to our NAB Assist team early for help, more than 95% of them are back on their feet financially within three months."

Westpac

Hot on NAB's heels were Westpac, who also announced the rate increase would be passed on in its entirety to their home loans and savings accounts.

Both the Life and eSaver savings accounts will move up by the full 25 basis point increase, effective on the 17th of March.

Customers with a Life standard savings account can now earn up to 4.25% interest p.a including the full monthly bonus rate, which is earned by having an account balance higher at the end of a given month than the start.

Variable rate home loans for new and existing Westpac customers will move up by 0.25% from the 21st of March.

Chris de Bruin, Westpac Chief Executive of Consumer and Business Banking, was quick to point out the practical means on offer at Westpac to help customers struggling with increases to their home loan repayments.

"To help customers manage their budgets we offer a range of tools in the Westpac app to track spending and break down expenses," Mr de Bruin said.

"We also encourage customers to use our mortgage calculator to understand the impact of rising interest rates on their repayments."

ANZ

ANZ will increase all variable home loans by 0.25% p.a, effective March 17th.

It is also bringing out a new 12-month Advance Notice term deposit rate of 4.40%pa, effective 14 March 2023.

For savers, the ANZ Plus Save account for balances less than $250,000 will benefit from the full extent of the cash rate increase, to now return 4.25% p.a in interest.

ANZ will 'continue to review' its other deposit products, saying their decisions take into account the potential impact on customers, the change in the official cash rate, business performance and competitive pressures.

ANZ Group Executive Australia Retail, Maile Carnegie was the latest representative from the big four to try and reassure customers that the bank is there to help struggling customers.

“We understand this latest rate increase, combined with cost of living pressures, might cause some home loan customers to feel greater financial pressure and uncertainty," Mr Carneige said.

"If you’re facing difficulty, reach out to us as soon as you can.

"Our expert teams are here to tailor our support to your specific circumstances."

CBA

CBA were the last of the big four to announce it is increasing variable rate home loans by 25 basis points, effective March 17th.

The standard variable rate for both the Netbank Saver and Youth Saver accounts increased by the same amount, now to return 1.85% p.a.

The five month introductory rate for the Netbank saver is now 4.25% p.a, which is also the rate under 18s can receive on the bonus interest rate with the Youth Saver (earned when the balance at the end of a month exceeds what it was at the start).

Those who earn the bonus interest rate with the Goalsaver saw rates lifted by just 15 basis points, but the bank were quick to point out this followed a 75 basis point increase in February, so the product has increased by 0.90% p.a this calendar year.

Rates are now 4.15% p.a.

This CBA announcement marks a mostly uniform response to the RBA decision across Australia's big four banks, passing on the rate increases in full to both home loans and savings accounts.

It was CBA Group Executive of Retail Banking, Angus Sullivan's turn to convince customers of banks commitment to them.

“We know the changing interest rate environment and rising cost of living mean that many Australian households are focused on what they can do to manage budgets, including rethinking some of their spending habits and savings goals," Mr Sullivan said.

“That’s why we encourage Australians to explore our Cost of Living Support Hub where they can find a range of tools and insights designed to help them manage their finances."

He also highlighted movements to CBA's 12 month term deposit accounts, which now yield 4.35% p.a.

Picture by CBA, ANZ, NAB, Westpac





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