ANZ backs away from no rate rise commitment

ANZ CEO Mike Smith yesterday clarified the bank’s likely approach to pricing home loans in Australia as the RBA prepares to lift the cash rate next week.

The Herald Sun on Monday reported Smith as saying "I'm reluctant to move above the Reserve Bank, right now, because I can't see how it would be in the best economic interests of Australia."

Smith stood by this yesterday but emphasised that he said reluctant, a nuance lost in follow ups in other media this week. What I said is that "I would be reluctant right now to move beyond an official rate increase, because I actually believe that the rate increase is probably a little soon, and I feel that it would be … it would have been better to have waited until after the Christmas period to adjust official rates.”

Responding to a question on what this policy might imply for the bank’s cost of funds Smith said: “There is no adjustment to funding costs; that continues to increase. So it’s a balancing act. And as I said, I didn’t say I wouldn’t do it, I just said I’d be reluctant to do it. That’s a very clear distinction.”

Source: The Sheet