Photo source: Xinja
Photo source: Xinja
Neobank Xinja has paused opening new savings accounts in order to sustain its market leading interest rate for existing customers.
After taking in unprecedented deposits of over $350 million in just over a month, the bank said it had made the decision to protect existing customers, rather than continue to onboard new customers and drop their interest rate.
The decision comes in the wake of the Reserve Bank's (RBA) decision to cut Australia's cash rate to a new record low 0.5%, with the global and national economy reeling from the effects of the coronavirus.
The table below displays a snapshot of some of the highest non-introductory savings account interest rates on the market.
*Data accurate as at 01 August 2020. Rates based on a savings balance of $10,000. Introductory bonus interest rate products not included. Sorted by total interest rates. Refer to providers' websites for bonus rate conditions.
Xinja chief executive and founder Eric Wilson said Xinja was continuing to break the traditional banking model with this decision.
“When faced with higher than expected deposit flows, and an RBA rate cut, most banks would just drop deposit interest rates, hurting existing customers while chasing new ones," Mr Wilson said.
"That’s not what Xinja is about. We are holding our rate steady, at 2.25%, but hitting the pause button on customers opening Stash accounts.”
Xinja's Stash savings account rate is a variable rate, meaning it could go up and down, but Mr Wilson said in this unprecedented time, the neobank wanted to offer stability and balance to their loyal existing customers.
“We won't drop the rate on Stash accounts now, just because the RBA has dropped the cash rate and demand is much higher than expected," he said.
"But there are three things we have to balance: the RBA rate cut makes it more expensive for Xinja to hold deposits at the same rate before the launch of our lending program; there has been an unprecedented uptake of Xinja Bank by Australians; and now, how we - as a new bank - manage the costs of those deposits.
"Managing those costs as a new bank in a way that cares about existing customers means pushing the pause button on opening new Stash accounts for a while."
He said when new Stash accounts are available again, new customers who only have a transaction account will be given priority.
What is Xinja's current interest rate?
According to Savings.com.au's research, the Xinja stash account has the joint highest non-introductory savings account rate on the market at the time of writing, at 2.25% p.a.
This maximum rate is available for balances up to $245,000, and no conditions need to be met to earn it.
Xinja was granted its full bank license in September last year and launched the Stash savings account in January.
The neobank boasts over 25,000 existing customers and plans to launch personal loans and home loans later this year.
As March progresses, more banks are likely to notify customers of changes to their savings account interest rates - Xinja holding firm could be the exception rather than the norm.
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