Peter Overton, Nine News Sydney: An interest rate cut is back on the table today, as Australia’s economic forecast now weaker than expected.
The Reserve Bank governor saying that its him, not ban bosses, who control the economy’s leavers.
Ross Greenwood: As Australian families worry about falling house prices and slow wages growth – Philip Lowe’s message offered little hope.
Philip Lowe, RBA Governor: I’m confident lower interest rates would stimulate the economy if that was what was needed.
Greenwood: But cuts will only happen in certain circumstances.
Lowe: it is possible the economy is softer than we expect, and that income and consumption growth disappoint.
And today he cut the Reserve Bank’s forecast of economic growth by a quarter of a percent – this year and next.
The Governor says it’s a line ball whether the next interest rate move is up or down.
Lowe: Today the probability appears to be more reasonably balanced.
Greenwood: But if rates were to fall, the bigger question is whether our banks, like our largest The Commonwealth, would pass all of those cuts on.
Matt Comyn, CEO CBA: I wouldn’t make guarantees about pricing decisions at any point in time.
Greenwood: The Governor though says he has a firm grip on our economy.
Lowe: I am not concerned that having left the cash rate for so long at the current rate that we’ve let monetary policy to the banks.
Greenwood: The Banking Royal Commission and today the Reserve Bank Governor confirmed that banks put their profits before customer’s best interest.
Today the Commonwealth Bank posted a $4.7 billion profit for the past six months – slightly ahead of last year.
Comyn: With the benefit of hindsight looking back, we became complacent – I’m not for a moment stepping away from that. I don’t underestimate the amount of work that is required to restore confidence from our customers and the wider community.
Lowe: Financial institutions were very profitable for decades. And when you’re very profitable, you probably don’t do as much introspection as you probably should.
Greenwood: His message – if you’re not happy with your rate, then change bank
Lowe: Go knock on their door, ring up, go online, look for a better deal.
And say that Phil sent you Greenwood: Ross Greenwood, Nine News