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More rate hikes ‘only a matter of time’

by Emma Ryan10 minute read

Brokers are confident that Australia’s smaller banks will lift their variable home loan rates after Macquarie Bank yesterday followed the majors with a 20-basis-point hike.

Macquarie Bank’s decision follows an announcement from St. George late on Friday that it would increase its rates by 15 basis points.

Christopher Foster-Ramsay of Capital Home Loans said the majors’ rate hikes set a precedent for non-majors to lift their rates over time.

“It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” Mr Foster-Ramsay said. “I think the reason for the non-majors being able to lift their rates, or wanting to lift their rates, is not the notion of profiteering. It’s more got to do with following an industry-wide precedent.”


Danny Luu of Pagoda Finance also believes it’s only a matter of time before all of the non-majors increase their rates.

“It is part of this overall APRA requirement; they have to allocate more capital towards their loan book. As a result, they’re just following the majors lead,” Mr Luu said.

“Macquarie has followed [St. George]. Suncorp, I would say, will make an announcement soon as will ING Bank.”

“It just looks like it's going to filter through the whole system,” No Fuss mortgage director Laurie Gardner agreed.

“It's just a matter of waiting and seeing.”

Meanwhile, Andrew Potter of G’day Mortgages & Loans said the non-majors will have potentially missed an opportunity to gain some of the majors' market share if they decide to lift their rates.

“I was hoping that the non-majors would want to try and steal a bit of market share but it seems that they’re all going sheep-like into the abyss,” Mr Potter said.

“I question the rationale – is it just a quick grab to get a bit of extra cash out of people?

“I think it’s a little bit profit-taking, a little bit of opportunism and it doesn’t do them any favours.”

[Related: NAB Broker reveals new rates]