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LENDING & CREDIT | Cesar Tordesillas, Australia

Other Aussie banks could follow ANZ's rate rise lead

Australia'sthree other big banks are not ruling out interest rate hikes after ANZ's rate increase on home and small business loans.


Westpac, the Commonwealth Bank and NAB would not discount the possibility of another interest rate rise.

The Reserve Bank is predicted to cut the official rate from 4.25 per cent to 4 per cent to spur on a sluggish economy when it meets on May 1, a week before the federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan, delivers Labor's fifth budget.

ANZ's new standard variable rate of 7.42 per cent is still lower than Westpac's, the highest at 7.46 per cent. The

Commonwealth Bank's standard variable rate is 7.41 per cent while the National Australia Bank's is 7.31 per cent.

Westpac, NAB and the Commonwealth would not be drawn on speculation that they would increase rates this week. However, a spokeswoman for NAB said the bank was committed to its policy of having the lowest rate of the major four lenders.

A spokesman for ANZ declined to comment on whether the rise would be reversed if the Reserve Bank cuts official rates on May 1.

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