Australia’s four biggest banks fully pass on central bank rate hike

(Reuters) – Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA.AX) and Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) followed their two main rivals on Thursday in saying they would fully pass on to customers the 0.25 percentage point interest rate rise implemented by the central bank on Tuesday.

Like National Australia Bank (NAB.AX) and ANZ Group Holdings (ANZ.AX), Commonwealth Bank said its rise would take effect on Feb. 17. Westpac, the other lender among Australia’s four biggest banks, said its rise would be effective on Feb. 21. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s Tuesday move took its policy rate, the cash rate, to 3.35%, the highest in about a decade.

Surprising traders, it said further increases would be needed in its fight against inflation.

Australian lenders have moved in step with the central bank in the current cycle of raising interest rates, which began May.