Tomorrow week, the ANZ will starts its new policy of announcing its retail interest rates independently of changes in the RBA cash rate. Most focus will probably be on whether there will be any changes brought about by funding cost pressures and / or new demand. It could be a very interesting event with the headline issue being the change – if any – in the standard variable mortgage rate.
My guess is that it is unlikely that funding costs or other competitive pressures have changed to a point that will see the ANZ change its mortgage interest rates. It will be a critical data/event for the economic calendar (as I wrote here last month http://stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com/2011/12/anz-retail-rates-new-calendar-event.html ) and one that all interest rate and RBA watchers should follow. It is really the start of a process that the banks should have started long ago in driving an education campaign on banking with the main element the diminishing influence of the official cash rate on the banks and other mortgage providers funding costs.
As mentioned, it is just too close to the December RBA rate decision for the ANZ to change its mortgage rate – to raise the mortgage rate by say 10 or 15 bps now would be a marketing own-goal of great magnitude. It may well be better to lay the groundwork for a move and release more information on trends in funding costs, then see what the RBA does in February and then break away from the RBA cash rate a little later down the track.