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RBA makes emergency interest rate cut to new record-low 0.25%

19 March 2020

The RBA has made an emergency interest rate cut in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, slashing them to a new record-low of 0.25 per cent.

The Commonwealth Bank has responded quickly with chief executive Matt Comyn saying they are unprecedented measures for unprecedented times.

The CBA has reduced rates on small business loans by 100 basis points, reduced the rates on one, two and three-year fixed mortgages by 70 basis points to a low of 2.29 per cent but have not changed their standard variable rate.

“We are taking deliberate steps to further support parts of the economy most in need,” Mr Comyn told Australian Financial Review.

“In particular, we want to ensure that we help keep small businesses open so that they can keep Australians employed, and that we do everything we can to support households and older Australians.”

Over at the ANZ and their CEO Shayne Elliott told the media this week they were planning a comprehensive package of measures.

“We are not in the business of putting money into customers’ pockets but we can certainly stop taking it out of their pockets, and that’s what we can do, is take pressure off customers doing it tough,” Mr Elliott said.

RBA governor Philip Lowe said in a statement the central bank will be making $90 billion in cheap funding available to around 130 on the country’s biggest banks to counter the coronavirus disruption to economic activity.

“At some point, the virus will be contained and the Australian economy will recover,” he said.

“In the interim, a priority for the Reserve Bank is to support jobs, incomes and businesses, so that when the health crisis recedes, the country is well placed to recover strongly.”

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