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WestpacTrust Revises Interest Rates On Home Loans

19 November 1999

WESTPACTRUST REVISES INTEREST RATES ON HOME LOANS

WestpacTrust is revising interest rates on home loans by lowering its three, four and five year fixed rates and raising floating rates.

The three year fixed rate will drop from 8.5 percent to 8.25 percent, the four year fixed rate will drop from 8.75 percent to 8.6 percent, and the five year fixed rate will fall from 8.95 percent to 8.8 percent. The interest rate on floating rate home loans will increase to 7.25 percent.

The changes to fixed rates will take effect from 21 November. The change to floating rates will take effect for new loans from 7 December and from 29 December 1999 for existing floating rate home loans.

WestpacTrust general manager New Zealand retail and business Ross Aitken attributed the revisions to the bank's desire to offer customers a range of rate options and general pressure on wholesale interest rates including the Reserve Bank's 0.5 percent increase in the Official Cash Rate earlier this week.

"The increase in the OCR along with rising wholesale interest rates have forced us to raise the floating rate by 0.5 percent," Mr Aitken said. "But we are also lowering our longer term fixed rates to give customers a competitive range of rates and payment options."

WestpacTrust chief economist Bevan Graham warned that upward pressure would continue on floating interest rates. "As the economic recovery continues to gather momentum, the Reserve Bank will move to counter budding inflationary pressures," he said. "This week's move in the OCR is therefore the first in what we expect to be a sustained but modest increase in interest rates over the course of the next 12 to 18 months."

Mr Aitken said: "The home loan market is still very competitive and WestpacTrust is currently offering 0% interest for the first month on Choices floating rate home loans. This offer is open to new home loan customers and existing customers who redocument their loans. That is a saving of about $615 for a $100,000 loan on the new floating rate.

"Floating rates are only one home loan option. Customers who want greater certainty in their payments can choose fixed rates or capped rate loans. Capped rates are a good home loan option in an environment of changing interest rates as they combine some of the flexibility of floating rate loans with the security of knowing your interest rate will never rise above the agreed cap during the capped rate term. WestpacTrust is the only bank offering capped rate loans."


ENDS

For further information, please call:

Jane Anderson
WestpacTrust Public Relations Manager
04 498 1657
025 502 325

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