Term deposit rates are up, but so are mortgages


First - the good news - at least for savers: some term deposit rates are going up.

But on the other hand, some mortgage rates are going up too.

The Bank of New Zealand has launched a two-year term deposit with an interest rate of 4 percent. You'd have to go back to March to find a time when the banks were last offering term deposits with interest rates of 4 percent.

The offer was announced as BNZ trimmed some of its shorter duration term deposits.

It is a sign that BNZ, like other banks, is incentivising savers to lock up their money for a longer period of time.

The banks are keen to lock savers in for longer term deposits, because they need the funds to loan to mortgage customers.

As savings rates fell many people with money to invest decided to put their funds into other investments, like shares or property.

So the banks are finding it harder to attract money locally.

It illustrates the growing divergence between the Official Cash Rate and the rates offered by the banks.

When the OCR was cut to 1.75 percent CANSTAR, which monitors rates, warned of a trend of mortgage rates increasing in spite of expectations of OCR cuts.

"New Zealand's financial institutions have had to increase their borrowing from overseas to support our lending demand," it said. "The knock-on effect is that mortgage rates will continue to rise."

"With the vast amount of global uncertainty we are faced with - Brexit, US presidency, China's economic outlook - today's OCR announcement could have minimal influence on the mortgage rates banks set.

"The financial institutions are looking much further afield in their considerations and I suspect, will continue to do so."

This week Bank of America Merrill Lynch issued a report predicting global interest rates "will surprise to the upside" next year, with the US Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan all hiking.