CHOICE says Australians should send banks a message they can’t ignore
CHOICE says today’s decision by ANZ to increase their standard variable home loan rate by 0.06 per cent should be seen by consumers for what it is – an invitation to shop around and look for a better deal.
The People’s Watchdog says that while the rise is modest, it sends a powerful message to ANZ customers that loyalty is a one-way street.
“ANZ knew there was a huge focus on this decision, and their decision to raise rates after the RBA left them on hold tells consumers they come a very distant second to bank profits,” says CHOICE director of campaigns Christopher Zinn.
“If the big four banks have decided to stop listening to the RBA, it’s time for consumers to send them a message they hear loud and clear - shop around and if you find a better deal, move your money.”
While ANZ has talked about their ‘duty…to provide greater transparency about funding costs’, CHOICE says the details of the announcement fall short of the transparency consumers deserve.
“Today’s announcement amplifies the softening up campaign we have seen from the banking industry in recent weeks, using grave pronouncements about instability to dismiss any questions about the way they treat customers,” says Mr Zinn.
“The fact is, our banks would much rather have a complex debate about funding costs than about profits or competitiveness.
“The question of whether we see other lenders follow ANZ’s lead will be a real test of that competitiveness.”
CHOICE is calling on the banks to back up their decisions about interest rates with genuine transparency and evidence, instead of vague references to Europe and the US.
“We think if it’s good enough for the RBA to release the minutes of their board meetings, then it’s good enough for banks seeking to go it alone to allow public scrutiny,” Mr Zinn says.
“ANZ are basically saying ‘take our word for it’, instead of providing some measure by which consumers can judge whether rates ought to be going up, down or staying on hold.”
CHOICE says Australians can go to choice.com.au and use the Compare, Ditch & Switch comparison tool to look for a better banking deal.
Christopher Zinn, CHOICE director of campaigns – 0425 296 442