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NAB increases credit card rates by 0.75%

NAB Increases Credit Card Rates By 0.75%


Kelvin Thomson - Acting Shadow Minister for Financial Services


Media Statement - 21 February 2000


Kelvin Thomson MP, Acting Shadow Minister for Financial Services, has sought action from Treasurer Peter Costello following today's announcement that National Australia Bank has increased interest rates on some credit cards by 0.75%, effective 21 February.


"Where is the Treasurer's 'red hot competition' now?" Mr Thomson said.


"Does the Treasurer believe that there is any justification for NAB increasing its interest rates on credit cards by more than the official interest rate rise of 0.5%?"


Just last year, the Reserve Bank reported that, "the decline in interest rates on credit cards in recent years has been less than on other household loan products, and less than the cash rate." *


When the Bank of Adelaide increased its interest rates on its variable rate home loan by 0.7% - more than the 0.5% official rate rise announced on February 2nd - the Treasurer stated, "There is no reason... there is no monetary reason why (Bank of Adelaide) is putting up its interest rates by 0.7 per cent. And I always find that the most direct way of making your displeasure known is to go to another bank because banks that overcharge in the competitive market place are going to lose customers."


"What does Peter Costello have to say when it comes to the National?"


"The Treasurer talks tough, but is missing when it comes to action. The Federal Government constantly tells us that the banks have social responsibilities but they never define what they are, nor what they are going to do to make them fulfil their obligations.


"Labor has consistently advocated formal monitoring of bank prices by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. It is time the Treasurer acted."


* Reserve Bank Bulletin June 1999, Consumer Credit and Household Finances


Authorised by Gary Gray, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.