Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hypocrisy as our banks slash rates... on deposits

As today's Daily Telegraph reports:

"ANZ has cut its savings rates by up to 0.55 per cent per cent, Commonwealth Bank by up to 0.40 per cent, St George by 0.28 per cent and Westpac by up to 0.30 per cent."

All in response to the dive in 90-day bank bill rates.

Fair enough. But those banks haven't yet cut their rates on mortgages (funded half at around the 90-day bank bill rate) and they say they are not sure they will at all.

And there's something else.

On Wednesday St George pushed UP by 0.25 percentage points the rate it changes on its business loans.


Curious, I asked the St George spokesman why the bank felt to the neeed to push up rates at a time when rates were falling.

She replied:


I can confirm we raised business lending rates 0.25% on Wednesday. Attached is the new rates now effective.

The following can be attributed to a St.George Spokesman:

Our rates are constantly under review. There are many other variables besides the official cash rate that affect interest rate costs and these all have to be taken into account. For example, the 90-day cash rate, the cost of short and long term funding, all impact the Bank's cost of funds.

The 90-day rate! Strewth! Don't they think we know it's been diving?

They must know. They cut their deposit rates in response.

In case they don't know, here is a graph showing what's happened to the 90-day rate over the last few days. It's gone of a cliff:

Where did I get the graph? Oh yes - St George in its Tuesday market presentation.