In yet another blow for consumers and businesses around the country, Westpac has raised its home loan rates by almost double the 0.25 percent lift in the official cash rate ordered yesterday by the Reserve Bank board.
Treasurer Wayne Swan accused Westpac of using the cover of the Liberal leadership change to push through the 45-basis-point hike in its standard variable rate.
“I see no justification at all for this move by Westpac, cynically trying to use the cover of today’s other events,” he said.
Swan added that the rise is a “slap in the face” for consumers.
Westpac’s move was also strongly condemned by consumer association Choice. Spokesman for Choice, Christoper Zinn said the increase is “a much more substantial increase than anyone expected.”
The other big four banks are yet to announce their official position on interest rates.