Money Editor for NZ Herald

HSBC cuts home loan rate to record low 3.79pc

HSBC says its two year fixed home loan rate of 3.79 per cent is a 50 year low. Photo/Getty Images.
HSBC says its two year fixed home loan rate of 3.79 per cent is a 50 year low. Photo/Getty Images.

HSBC has slashed its two year fixed home loan rate to a 50 year record low 3.79 per cent - but it's only available to owner occupiers and those with a mortgage of half a million or $100k in the bank.

The bank's special interest rate comes in the wake of last week's official cash rate cut which saw the Reserve Bank drop the rate by 25 basis points to 2 per cent.

The move sparked a flurry of banks to drop their floating mortgage rates but there has been little movement on fixed mortgage rates which are already at record lows.

Fixed mortgage rates tend to be more influenced by how much banks must pay to borrow wholesale money on the international money market than the OCR.

HSBC said its new rate beat its previous best offer of 3.95 per cent for 18 months - an offer which the bank put up in February - a 50 year low.

But those who wish to qualify for it must put up part or all of their home as equity and meet minimum deposit and equity criteria.

Newcomers to the banks must have a mortgage of at least $500,000 or savings and investments of $100,000 with HSBC while existing HSBC customers can only get the lower rate if they add another $100,000 to their mortgage debt.

Glen Tonks, head of retail banking and wealth management at HSBC New Zealand, said the rate cut was not a stunt and would not be a loss-leader for the bank.

"For us this is about growth. This is about taking market share."

Tonks said the bank had made double digit growth on its mortage book in the last year and was serious about growing its business in New Zealand.

He said the minimum requirement to have a $500k mortgage was not a hard ask and was designed to attract customers from a certain market segment.

"It is quite achievable here in Auckland. We have never struggled with that [criteria]."

But he said it was not just an Auckland offer and the bank also had relationship management teams in Wellington and Christchurch.

But don't expect the other major banks to follow suit.

SBS was the first bank to offer a sub-4 per cent mortgage rate in November last year but none of the majors have gone that low.

It is currently offering 4.15 per cent fixed for two years on a special rate.

According to most of the major banks are currently offering special rates around 4.29 per cent for two years fixed.

- NZ Herald

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