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deposit rates

Rates Update: ANZ lowers rates for second time in two weeks

Much of the news last week was on cuts to  home loan rates after the Reserve Bank announcement. However, term deposit rates followed mortgage rates down. Sophia Rodrigues looks at what has happened.

Monday, 14 March 2011

by Sophia Rodrigues

It was another hectic week for deposit rates with non-bank deposit taking institutions lowering their rates after taking cues from the main banking institutions, and others making some more adjustments to their rates.

The Reserve Bank, as expected, lowered its official cash rate by 50 basis points to 2.50% to match the previous record low.

The most surprising move came from ANZ and The National Bank by the end of last week when they lowered deposit rates for the second time in two weeks for terms up to two years. The move is particularly surprising given ANZ National were already trailing other major banks in the deposit rates it offered except for five months where it was on par with Westpac.

ANZ is now offering 4.35% for 12-month deposits which compares with 4.60% offered by ASB and 4.70% by both Westpac and Kiwibank. Bank of New Zealand offers the least rate here, between 4% and 4.10% depending on the size of the deposit.

A similar pattern is seen in the two-year term where ANZ at 4.75% is now behind ASB, Westpac and Kiwibank but manages to beat BNZ for deposit size of less than $50,000 where BNZ is offering 4.65% and 4.70%.

BNZ seems to be concentrating on the 18-month term where its 5.10% beats ANZ's 4.50% by a wide margin and is also higher than ASB's 4.80% and TSB Bank and Westpac's 4.75%-4.90%.

TSB was another bank which announced further rate cuts last week but the second move was more of an adjustment to the modest cuts it made the week before compared to the other banks.

HSBC who was mum the week before, announced rate cuts last week across all terms from 30 days to five years for its Premier account which has a minimum deposit size of $100,000. The bank made modest cuts in the 6-12 month space and thus its 4.70% on 12-months is now on par with Westpac, TSB and Kiwibank.

Among finance companies, MARAC and Southern Cross lowered rates on guaranteed deposits across most terms but left most non-guaranteed interest rates intact. For the nine-month, non-guaranteed term, both institutions in fact upped the rate by 10 basis points to offer 5.70%. MARAC, Southern Cross and CBS Canterbury now offer the same rate across most terms, though for some terms like 30-days CBS offers a more attractive rate compared with Southern Cross.

PSIS was another institution which announced hikes in the 6-24 month terms by 10-15 basis points thus reversing some of the steeper moves it made the week before. At 4.90% for 12-month term, the rate offered by the BB+ rated institution compares well with banks but is much lower than 5.25% on guaranteed deposits offered by BBB- rated MARAC.

Meanwhile, RaboDirect stays pat on its deposit rates after having committed to keep its special rates until March 31. It will be interesting to see how much cut it makes after that date.


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