Three of the four major banks have increased their mortgage rates following the Reserve Bank’s latest hit to interest rates.
Westpac and ANZ announced on Thursday that they would increase variable interest rates on Australian home loans by 0.25 percent per annum. NAB was the first to move on Wednesday.
ANZ said the change to variable home loan interest rates will take effect from May 12 and will increase monthly payments by $68 on a $450,000 variable home loan for a homeowner paying principal and interest.
Westpac is also increasing the variable interest rate on home loans by 0.25 percent per year for new and existing customers, but effective May 16.
The three banks have also announced a 0.25 percent increase for various savings accounts, effective the same date.
The Commonwealth Bank has yet to make an announcement.
On Tuesday, the RBA shocked markets with its announcement on Tuesday that it would raise the official cash rate by 25 basis points to 3.85 percent, the highest level in 11 years.
It followed a pause in April in its aggressive strategy of 10 consecutive rate hikes to offset inflation well above its 2-3 percent target.
The three banks have also said that anyone having problems with payments should contact them.
“We have a number of tools available to help our customers understand these changes and manage their home loans, but if you’re having difficulties, please contact our experienced teams as soon as possible to discuss additional tailored support,” ANZ Group Executive Australia Retail said. Maile Carnegie.
Westpac chief executive of consumer and commercial banking Chris de Bruin said help was available.
“We know that customers are carefully scrutinizing their budgets as interest rates rise. While many are adjusting to make higher payments, we understand that others may need additional help,” she said.
“To help, we are reaching out to some customers who we think may need additional support, we also encourage any customers who are having difficulty to give us a call,” Mr. de Bruin said.
Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe said on Tuesday the increase was necessary to return inflation to the 2-3 percent target range, which he listed as the RBA’s “priority.”
While inflation slowed slightly in the March quarter, Australia’s Consumer Price Index held at an “uncomfortably high” 7 percent.
“Inflation in Australia has passed its peak, but 7 per cent is still too high and it will be some time before it returns to the target range,” Dr Lowe said in his monthly statement.
“Given the importance of returning inflation to target within a reasonable time frame, the board felt that a further interest rate hike was warranted today.”
Other factors leading to Tuesday’s interest rate hike included high service inflation and Australia’s tight labor market, with labor costs rising despite productivity growth.
Dr. Lowe also warned that “further tightening” might be needed, signaling future pain for households already struggling with rising cost-of-living pressures.
The announcement did not sit well with some politicians.
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said the RBA had failed to combat rising inflation and was instead “crushing families” across the state.
“I don’t know if pulling this lever is necessarily giving the result that the bank wants…getting inflation under control,” he said.
“I’m sure (the RBA) is creating a lot of other problems. Many, many families are under enormous pressure right now.”