We have been critical of the 2016 trend of banks not passing on full Reserve Bank rate cuts to borrowers. The trend seems to be embedding.
The banks themselves have pointed out that in some rough equalising bargain, they have been paying savers 'more' as the official underling policy rate has fallen.
While they use selective term deposit terms to feature this point (and often non-standard terms), our review suggests that the trend overall backs up their claims.
Generally, rates have fallen, but both borrowers and term savers have seen smaller falls that indicated in the policy rate.
And that means a better deal for term savers than for floating rate borrowers.
Be a little careful with our table below because banks pitch their 'best rates' and 'specials' at fixed terms that may be different to those two terms listed here.
For example, you can get 3.60% from many banks for an 18 month term, and 3.65% from ASB. And no banks, large or small, offer rates above 3.80% for any term (3.80% is offered by Heartland for a 5 year term). The retail rate curve is now fairly flat.
But what is clear from this view is that the general proposition that savers have been spared the full decline in wholesale rates is largely true, at least from mid 2015. Prior to that, and especially since early 2015, there had been a closer relationship between wholesale rates and retail offers. That is less so now than in the past.
No New Zealand saver is going to think 3% plus rates are 'good', but they are certainly better than what is available in many other countries. And looking forward, one thing seems fairly certain; they are unlikely to improve from here.
Borrowers might be raising an eyebrow however. Their rates aren't going lower either, and they tend to be a younger aged group. In a situation where borrowers are 'paying a bit more' while savers are 'receiving a bit more', the inter-generational fault line is exposed; 'boomers win again'.
Use our deposit calculator to figure exactly how much benefit each option is worth; you can assess the value of more or less frequent interest payment terms, and the PIE products, comparing two situations side by side.
Here are some benchmarks over the past fourteen months:
|for a $25,000 deposit||Term||30-Jun-15||31-Dec-15||31-Mar-16||30-Jun-16||31-Aug-16||change|
|One year swap rate||1 year||3.07||2.75||2.21||2.25||2.03||-104|
|HSBC Premier||6 mths||3.50||2.90||2.80||2.80||2.80||-70|
|ICBC||6 mths||3.45||3.25||3.25||3.30||[ -15 ]|
|1 year||3.60||3.45||3.45||3.25||[ -35 ]|
|SBS Bank||6 mths||4.10||3.45||3.35||3.30||3.55||-55|
Our unique term deposit calculator can help quantify what each offer will net you.