A rates omen from Westpac

Like Westpac's latest deposit rates cut, future reductions will have limited effect as banks strain to retain self-managed super investors in the wake of funding pressures.

One more big bank has blinked on term deposits but the severe competition for money means that the rate falls are again minor. In turn, that means bank margins will be under pressure.

The big banks will be looking to trim costs. The stimulation from the Reserve Bank official rate cut will be limited and will not boost demand for lending dramatically.

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