On the same day a neobank, Xinja, announced it had attracted $30 million in deposits just a week after launching its first savings account with an ongoing rate of 2.25%, ANZ has cut rates on a number of its savings accounts and term deposits.
- Cut the base rate on its Online Saver by 0.05 percentage points, to sit at 0.05%
- Reduced the majority of its term deposit rates by between 0.05 and 0.10 percentage points
ANZ’s Online Saver total rate (base rate plus bonus) is now 1.55%. At the same time ANZ cut its savings rates, the bank made two home loan products cheaper, lowering their Residential Simplicity Plus Special Offers by up to 0.20%.
Last week, fellow “big four” bank National Australia Bank cut the introductory rate on its iSaver account by 0.15 percentage points to a new rate of 1.44%. It also reduced the bonus rate on its Reward Saver account by 0.11 percentage points to 1.39%. This means these two accounts now have total interest rates – including the base rates of 0.11% plus the new introductory and bonus rates – of 1.55% and 1.50%, respectively (down from 1.70% and 1.61%).
Other banks to cut savers’ rates in the past few days include Citibank, decreasing some of its term deposit accounts by up to 0.04 percentage points. ING has reduced some of its personal term deposits by up to 0.10 percentage points, but has increased others by as much as 0.15 percentage points to a maximum of 1.90% p.a., effective today. MyState Bank has varied various Term Deposits by up to 0.05 percentage points. Bank of Queensland today reduced the bonus interest on its Bonus Interest Savings Account by 0.10 percentage points, leaving this account with a 1.40% total interest rate.
Canstar finance expert Steve Mickenbecker said it was interesting to note that the banks had moved before the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) met next, on 4 February, to discuss if it would cut the official cash rate. Banks typically follow the cash rate movements as a guide to set interest rates on their products, and many financial commentators believe the RBA will reduce the rate in the coming months from its already historic low of 0.75%. However, these cuts are considered “out of cycle” given they came despite there being no recent movements in the cash rate.
“In this low-rate environment, the banks’ margins are under pressure,” Mr Mickenbecker said. “They are trying to reduce funding costs where they can.”
They do this, he said, by reducing the amount of money they have to pay out in interest on their deposit products, such as savings accounts and term deposits.
Mr Mickenbecker said at present, it seemed many smaller banks, such as customer-owned organisations and “neobanks”, were often offering better rates to savers, to stay competitive. He said larger, more well-known banks could afford not to offer “cutting edge” prices due to the insulating benefit of their large customer bases and widespread distribution across Australia.
Canstar’s database shows some of the highest ongoing rates (including bonus rates but not promotional rates or products with limited availability) are digital banks Xinja (with 2.25%) and 86 400 (2.25%), Bank of Queensland (2.15%) and UBank (2.10%). On our database, the highest total interest rates on savings accounts – which could include promotional bonus interest paid only for a limited time or only if certain conditions were met – included Macquarie Bank’s 2.65%, Heritage Bank’s 2.5% and Rabobank’s 2.5%.
“No one has got a brilliant rate at the moment, but savers can still get rates above 2%,” he said, adding that amount of interest would have been considered low before the cash rate cuts last year but was now a competitive benchmark.
“Savers have to start hunting now for these better rates while they are still around.”
He said shopping around for the best deal should include considering aspects such as the base interest rate and any bonuses that could be paid. For savings accounts with promotional bonus rates, he said customers may want to consider the period of time an introductory rate was available for and what interest rate would be applied to the account when it expired.
What are ANZ’s interest rates on its savings products?
Canstar analysis of our savings product database shows that ANZ’s base rate of 0.05% is the lowest on offer from the major banks at the time of writing. We’ve outlined the full details of ANZ’s savings account and term deposit rate cuts in the tables below, as well as our side-by-side comparison of how its Online Saver account stacks up against similar products from its fellow big four banks.
|ANZ Savings Account Rate Changes|
|Product||Tier||Old Rate||Change||New Rate|
|Online Saver||Base Rate||0.10%||-0.05%||0.05%|
|Total Rate (base + intro)1||1.60%||-0.05%||1.55%|
|Source: Canstar, 23/01/2020. Based on ANZ’s Online Saver flexible savings account product. Flexible savings accounts include those with no conditional bonus rate. 1. Total Rate includes base rate plus the promotional rate of 1.50% for three months.|
|ANZ Term Deposit Rate Changes|
|Term (months)||Standard TD||Advanced TD
(Requires 31 days notice to withdraw money prior to maturity)
|Change||New Rate||Change||New Rate|
What are the big four banks’ savings account rates?
|Flexible Savings Accounts from the Major Banks|
|Bank||Account||Base Rate||Promotional Rate||Promotional Period||Total Rate 1|
|ANZ||Online Saver||0.05%||1.50%||3 months||1.55%|
|Commonwealth Bank||NetBank Saver||0.10%||1.55%||5 months||1.65%|
|Source: Canstar, 23/01/2020. Based on all flexible savings accounts available from ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB & Westpac; for the deposit amount of $10,000. Flexible savings accounts include those with no conditional bonus rate. 1. Total Rate includes base rate plus any applicable promotional rate.|