You Can Always Vote With Your Feet Again

By AR - Back in January when the big banks lifted their lending rates a month ahead of the RBA meeting where official interest rate decisions are made, Kevin07 Treasurer, Wayne Swan was indignant. Banks should base their decisions on how Australian Working Families would feel about it. Otherwise, you know, the banks will be judged "harshly". Coming in for particular criticism was the ANZ Bank which raised its rates more than the other big banks. Wayne Swan's advice to the ANZ's customers was "vote with your feet," meaning ignore for a moment establishment fees, exit fees, your credit cards, direct debits, etc but take your mortgage business to another bank.

Another bank - you may well ask, Which Bank? I doubt there's any government statistics available as to how many people took Swan's advice and left the ANZ Bank, but if any did it is conceivable that some of them may have turned to the Commonwealth Bank. Too bad if they did. Following Tuesday's RBA decision to raise rates 0.25%, the Commonwealth Bank raised its rates by 0.30%. This move drew immediate criticism from the Treasurer: "People rightly will be furious with the Commonwealth Bank". And he urges, "Vote with your feet". Again.

But why would you? Back in January the CBA lifted its rates by only 0.1% whereas the ANZ which copped all the opprobrium raised its rates by 0.2%. Now that CBA has upped it 0.3% making a total increase of 0.4%, they will still be less than the ANZ, (assuming they pass on the full RBA increase) at 0.45%. The CBA should be praised for their efforts in keeping rates as low as possible for Australian Working Families. "Mr Swan joined in to condemn the Commonwealth Bank and said it had a lot of explaining to do." Yes, I wish someone would explain it to him.

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