Is Commonwealth Bank the Bad Guy?

When Commonwealth Bank came out with a 0.45% interest rate increase, 0.20% higher than the Reserve Bank interest rate increase, the media, politicians and the public were enraged. Having taken the brunt of the bad publicity most of the other banks and smaller lenders have also followed suit.

As each lender announces their interest rate increases, the negative publicity towards the Commonwealth Bank cushioned the blow for each of these lenders. In this industry, one leads and the others follow. Not so long ago Westpac were the bad guy when they increased their interest rates. How quickly we forget.

It has taken approximately 2 weeks for banks and smaller lenders to release their new interest rate increases and below is a summary from each of the major lenders.

  • Commonwealth Bank – 0.45% and no news on exit fees
  • Westpac – 0.35% and not going to abolish exit fees
  • ANZ – 0.39% and abolishes exit fees
  • NAB – 0.43% and abolishes exit fees
  • ING Direct – 0.38% and abolishes exit fees
  • St George – 0.37% no news on exit fees
  • Suncorp – 0.39%

I expect smaller lenders to follow suit since most of them rely on similar types of lending .

I am not saying what CBA did was right but it seems that their decisionto increase interest rates beyond the RBA recommendation was not so sinisterwhen you take into account how the other lenders have followed.

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