NAB, ANZ and Westpac follow CBA in reducing home loans after RBA emergency rate cut

Finance Journalist · 20 March 2020
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut the official cash rate to a historic low of 0.25% yesterday, the second cut in a month and the first out-of-cycle reduction since 1997.
Big four banks - CBA, WBC, NAB and ANZ
Source: Vitalii Tairov, Canstar.

In a statement, RBA Governor Philip Lowe said the move was designed to help stabilise the economy, amid widespread disruption caused by the global COVID-19 outbreak.

He said the cash rate could remain at 0.25% for some time, “until progress is being made towards full employment and it is confident that inflation will be sustainably within the 2-3% target band”.

Hot on the heels of the announcement, Commonwealth Bank was the first of the big four to say it would slash interest rates on some of its home loans, issuing a statement within four minutes after the RBA’s decision.

Today, NAB, Westpac and ANZ have followed in CBA’s footsteps by announcing their own fixed and variable rate cuts for customers.

Below is a breakdown of the home loan reductions made by the big 4 banks, following the emergency rate cut.

Commonwealth Bank cuts to home loan rates:

CBA will cut its 1, 2 and 3-year fixed home loans by 70 basis points to an “all-time low” of 2.29% from 30 March, but at this stage is not moving on variable rates.

The bank will also reduce home loan direct debit repayments down to the minimum payment required from 1 May and will increase their 12-month term deposits by 60 basis points to 1.70%, effective 19 March.

National Australia Bank cuts to home loan rates:

NAB announced via Twitter this morning that it will be cutting its fixed rate home loans by up to 60 basis points, without changing its variable rates.

Effective from 25 March, reductions for NAB’s owner-occupier fixed rate loans will be as follows:

  • 1-year fixed: 2.39% (reduction of 60 basis points, comparison rate to be advised by NAB)
  • 2-and 3-year fixed: 2.29% (reduction of 60 basis points, comparison rate to be advised by NAB)
  • 4-and 5-year fixed: 2.79% (reduction of 20 basis points, comparison rate to be advised by NAB)
  • First home buyers 2-year fixed: 2.19% (reduction of 60 basis points, comparison rate to be advised by NAB).

NAB will also allow some of its variable home loan customers to pause their home loan repayments for up to six months, including a checkpoint (or review) after three months.

Westpac cuts to home loan rates:

Westpac’s reductions apply to fixed rate home loans for owner-occupied customers on principal and interest repayments with a Premier Advantage Package.

The reduced rate of 2.29% will come into place on 27 March for 1, 2 and 3 year fixed loans, with no change to variable rates at this stage.

In a statement, Westpac said customers who have “lost their job or suffered loss of income as a result of COVID-19 should contact [the bank] for three months deferral on their home loan mortgage repayments, with extension for a further three months available after review”.

ANZ cuts to home loan rates:

ANZ was the last of the big four to announce its home loan rate reductions for customers following the emergency RBA cut.

In a statement on Friday, the bank said it will cut all variable interest home loans rates by 15 basis points (effective from 27 March), becoming the first of the big four to cut variable rates following the RBA’s emergency decision yesterday. On top of this, ANZ said it will introduce a 2-year fixed rate of 2.19% (comparison rate to be advised) for owner-occupiers paying principal and interest, the lowest on record for the bank.

ANZ said customers can also request a deferral of their home loan repayments for up to six months, with a review at three months (interest will continue to build up over this time and be added to the outstanding loan balance).

How does your loan stack up? Compare all fixed and variable home loans with Canstar.

*Note: New rates will only appear on the Canstar database from the date they are effective.

Lowest variable rates of the Big 4

Prior to yesterday’s RBA announcement, National Australia Bank (NAB) had the lowest variable rate on offer of the big four banks – NAB, ANZ, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank (CBA) – at 2.84% (comparison rate 2.84%).

Lowest Rate Variable Home Loans (excluding Intro Rate Loans) from each of the Major Banks
Rank Lender Product Rate Comparison Rate*
1 NAB Base Variable Rate P&I Special Offer <80% 2.84% 2.84%
2 ANZ Simplicity Plus P&I <80% Special Offer 2.87% 2.91%
3 Westpac Flexi First Option P&I 95% Special Offer 3.03% 3.04%
4 Commonwealth Bank Extra P&I 70-95% 3.32% 3.33%
Source: Canstar – 19/03/2020. Based on variable owner-occupier home loans on our database for a loan amount of $400,000 at 80% LVR with principal and interest repayments made over a total loan term of 30 years. Excludes loans with intro rates and loans exclusive to first home buyers. Other fees may apply. Please contact lender for full loan details. *Comparison rate based on a loan amount of $150,000 repaid over 25 years. Read the comparison rate warning. Table sorted from lowest to highest by rate, followed by comparison rate, followed by alphabetically by lender.

If you’re currently considering a home loan, the comparison table below displays some of the variable rate home loans on our database with links to lenders’ websites that are available for those wishing to refinance an existing home loan. This table is sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest), followed by comparison rate (lowest-highest). Products shown are principal and interest home loans available to owner-occupiers for a loan amount of $550K in NSW with an LVR of 80% of the property value.

Before committing to a particular home loan product, check upfront with your lender and read the applicable loan documentation to confirm whether the terms of the loan meet your needs and repayment capacity. Use Canstar’s home loan selector to view a wider range of home loan products.

*Comparison rate based on loan amount of $150,000 and a term of 25 years. Read the Comparison Rate Warning.

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This article was reviewed by our Sub-editor Tom Letts and Finance Editor Sean Callery before it was published, as part of our fact-checking process.

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