Wholesale market signals predicted the hold in OCR rises, and with the Canterbury quake, we should expect softer term deposit rates in the planable future.
Yields on NZ Government bonds have softened in the last six weeks, and the 90 day bank bill rate has been going sideways.
But the big influence on term deposit rates has now shifted from these wholesale benchmarks, to the impacts of the RBNZ's core funding ratio on banks.
The bank's needs for funds now depends on the technical structure of their balance sheet. If they need funds to bolster their position, they now need to focus much more than in the past on local TD offers.
But if demand for loans is weak, that pressure evaporates. And in fact, both business and agriculture demand for funds is currently very weak.
Even more interesting is the mortgage demand - it is Kiwibank that is supplying the bulk of the current aenemic demand, and when Kiwibank wins mortgage business from its big four competitors, there is a funding shift of real cash from Kiwibank to those banks as the loan transfers. In effect, funds pour out of Kiwibank into the Aussie-owned banks.
Even though they lose short-term mortgage market share, they gain cash and ease their balance sheet pressures.
If this goes on too much longer, Kiwibank may accentuate its own capital and funding pressure, and need to draw back while it absorbs the new business it wins. This in turn will give the big banks an opportunity to increase pricing margins (higher mortgage rates, or lower TD rates) to make up for market share losses.
Unless Kiwibank ups the ante and raises its term deposit rates to fund its borrowing growth, we expect a slow but steady falling away in term deposit rate offers over the rest of 2010.
This expectation will change if the economy picks up, however, and growth leads to increased loan demand. But businesses and consumers are not in that mood, and new home buying is running at unusually low levels.
Kiwis are deleveraging - and that means softening of term deposit offer rates.
Depending on your own circumstances, some people may find it time to 'go longer' with their TDs to hold on to current rate levels.