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Carol from Vista Financial posted a topic in Pensions & Mortgages: Ask VistaSo late yesterday (after I finished my other post, naturally) Westpac announced it will be increasing rates by 0.14% p.a. quoting increased wholesale funding: In particular the bank bill swap rate, which is a key wholesale funding rate for mortgages, increased by about 25 basis points between February and March this year and has remained elevated. “We initially hoped that this increase would be temporary, and therefore we have incurred these costs over the last six months. The rate changes announced today will not recover these costs..." - Official Westpac Media Release, 29 August 2018 I.e we didn't increase them then, but we are now, and not by the full amount needed cover costs. Interpret that as you may. So the big question is when/if this will cause a domino effect with the other big banks? There have been rises in smaller banks but none of the big four, perhaps due to the target already firmly on their backs as a result of the Royal Commission. Will they follow suit hoping that Westpac will take the first wave of anger and disapproval? Or will they stand fast in an effort to claw back a little customer sentiment? (Along with some nicely crafted marketing giving themselves a cheeky gold star of course). No doubt we will find out shortly. Bottom line, the only real way to guarantee your rate and repayment is to be on a fixed rate, but they come with restrictions - so do you homework first to see if it is right for you. As I have already mentioned elsewhere rates are so low at the moment that when they eventually go up again it will be a shock to the system for many that have only ever known low rate environments. So prepare yourselves. Those of the era of double-digit interest rates know what I mean. The RBA knows it too and have flagged rising rates as something to prepare for. Some economists now argue this recent move by Westpac (and potentially by others) may now delay any increase decisions by the RBA. Time will tell.
Hello, We just got a Westpac Handycard and by the looks of it we can't buy nothing online with it, it's a Cirrus card. Was told that to get a Mastercard or Visa, we need to have a credit card. I don't understand this because in the UK you can have a Mastercard/Visa on a current account. I am very annoyed that we have all our savings on this card and we can't use it for most transactions! Was told that because we not permanent residents we can only get a card like this, this is very annoying, we can't wait 3 years to get a decent bank card. Can anyone help? Is it worth changing banks? If so which one would offer us a decent bank card? Note for new migrants - keep a UK credit card open, you can always cancel over the phone, we had to wait 2 weeks for a Westpac card. We ordered 2 cards and only one has showed up. It makes it very difficult to settle if we can't have access to your own money.