Bank chases rivals on home loans
Aside from grabbing good publicity, ANZ has several big reasons for going above and beyond this week's official reduction in interest rates.
For one, it has the smallest exposure to the lucrative mortgage market of the big four banks. This means giving borrowers an extra 2 basis points on top of the Reserve's move, as it did on Friday, is less of a drag on profits.
At the same time, the bank has recently been making a concerted push to win mortgage market share from its rivals, and this should help those efforts. Latest figures put ANZ's share of the $1.1 trillion home loan market at about 15 per cent, compared with more than 25 per cent for both Westpac and Commonwealth Bank and more than 17 per cent for NAB.
While the bank makes much of its Asian expansion strategy, chief executive Mike Smith said in April it had made "tactical" investment in domestic mortgages this year.
"Everybody has always concentrated on the Asian story because that's quite different, but we should be growing everything, we've got to put the foot to the gas everywhere," he told BusinessDay.
ANZ is also the least reliant on wholesale funding, which allows it to benefit more from the improvement in global credit markets.
JPMorgan analysts have estimated that while other banks have to refinance between $25 billion and $30 billion a year in wholesale debt, ANZ needs to rollover about $19 billion a year
Finally, cutting rates may help ANZ rebuild its popularity with customers.