One of Australia’s largest banks followed the lead of its competitors and lowered variable mortgage rates, but there’s a catch.
NAB offers a reduction on variable mortgage loans of 0.30 percent for new customers only.
Analysis from financial comparison website Rate City shows that 23 lenders, including Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and ANZ, have lowered variable rates for new customers since the Reserve Bank began raising interest rates in May.
However, existing variable-rate customers have seen their rates increase by 1.75 percentage points on average over the same period.
Rate City research director Sally Tindall said banks could be taking their existing customers for a ride.
“Sign in to your banking app and check what rate you’re paying. While you’re there, find out the exact name of your loan,” he said.
“Then look at your bank’s website to see what rate it offers to new customers.”
Ms Tindall said NAB was forced to cut variable rates for its new customers to keep up with the competition.
“With refinancing at record highs and billions of dollars in fixed loans coming to an end, lenders are cutting variable rates to attract new borrowers,” he said.
“If you think that, as a long-time, loyal customer, your bank is doing well, check to see if that’s really the case.
“The results might surprise you.”