Rate cut helps struggling farmers

By Seymour Telegraph

Drought Minister David Littleproud says decisions by Rabobank, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank to pass on full Reserve Bank interest rate cuts are a victory for many drought-stricken farmers.

Last week the RBA board cut the cash rate for the first time in almost three years — down 25 basis points to 1.25 per cent.

The three lenders are the biggest agri-lenders and their decision to pass on the full rate cut follows Mr Littleproud’s call to do so recently.

‘‘Farmers can now get the full benefit of the Reserve Bank’s interest rate cut,’’ Mr Littleproud said.

‘‘It’s fantastic to see Rabobank, National Australia Bank and the Commonwealth Bank do the right thing. They deserve credit for that.

‘‘Farmers in drought need every bit of relief they can get.’’

However Mr Littleproud slammed banks ANZ and Westpac after they ignored calls to pass through the full RBA interest cut to customers.

‘‘I call on ANZ and Westpac to immediately change their decision and pass on the full interest rate cut,’’ Mr Littleproud said.

‘‘Even the Reserve Bank governor has taken the unusual step of saying this interest rate cut should be passed on in full and points out lending costs for banks have reduced.

‘‘Now is not the time for profiteering. I encourage customers at these banks to consider switching to another bank. It seems ANZ and Westpac haven’t learned a thing from the banking Royal Commission and are keen to reduce trust in banks even further.’’