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MAJOR BANKS INCREASE INTEREST RATES


​The Commonwealth Bank has followed in the footsteps of Westpac in announcing that interest rates will rise on some of its home loans for both investors and owner-occupiers. Commonwealth Bank yesterday announced that it will increase the standard variable interest rate for home owners and investors by 0.15%. The increase means that from 20 November, owner-occupiers will face a standard variable interest rate of 5.60% per annum, while investors with a standard variable rate mortgage will see their interest rate move to 5.87% per annum. Fixed-rate home loan and business loan custtomers will be spared however, with the bank not applying the increase to those loans. The Commonwelath Bank's rate rise is smaller than Westpac's 0.2% increase, and Commonwealth Bank Group Executive for Retail Banking Services Matt Comyn said that was a result of the bank trying to stay competitive while also meeting regulatory requirements. "As Australia’s largest home lender, we are committed to delivering competitive products and services to our customers, while maintaining an unquestionably strong capital position," Comyn said. "We recently raised $5.1 billion to strengthen our capital position in line with new regulatory requirements implemented in response to the Financial System Inquiry. We have now reviewed our home loan pricing in light of these changes," he said. While the bank said the rise was necessary, Comyn said the bank had delberated carefully on how to proceed. "Any decision to change interest rates is carefully considered. The cost of the new capital required to make the Australian banking system more secure needs to balance the interests of our customers, as well as the nearly 800,000 households who are direct shareholders and the millions more who are invested through their superannuation funds.”

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