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January 8, 2008

Australian treasurer displeased by ‘excessive’ rate hikes

by Richard Kilner

Story link: Australian treasurer displeased by ‘excessive’ rate hikes

Australian bank ANZ has been called on by the country’s treasurer, Wayne Swan, to explain why it has raised its home loan rates.

Both customers of the bank and the government deserve an explanation as to why the rates had been raised so much, Mr Swan told a meeting of central bank, Treasury and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority officials.

At the meeting the treasurer was given updates on the situation of the Australian economy as regards the impact of the US subprime mortgage crisis.

Last week the National Australia Bank raised its own rate, but the 0.2% rise of the ANZ is almost twice as great an increase.

In an ANC Radio interview, Mr Swan said that the rate rises were entirely due to the US subprime mortgage crisis, which has caused worldwide credit problems.

Swan went on to ask banks to consider the added difficulties rate hikes would place upon families, and described the ANZ increase as ‘excessive’.

He added that rises that are excessive would not be viewed favourably by the families or government of Australia.

 

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