Heritage cuts interest rates to help those in need

27 March 2020

Heritage Bank will cut interest rates on business banking loans by a full 1.00%, and on credit cards and variable rate personal loans by 0.25%, in a move designed to help those hit hard by the COVID-19 downturn.

Heritage will also cut interest rates across most new fixed rate home loans, up to 0.30% for a one-year owner-occupier and 0.29% for a one-year investor loan.

Variable home loan rates will remain the same, with Heritage’s Discount Variable home loan rate of 2.87% already among the most competitive variable rates in the market.

The reductions are in response to the Reserve Bank’s recent emergency rate cut, and come into effect from 1 April.

CEO Peter Lock said Heritage fully understood the financial strain that COVID-19 was causing for many people, and had looked closely at the best way to pass on interest rates to maximise the benefit for customers.

“Our home loan rates are already among the lowest in the market, and we’ll be extending cuts across most of our fixed-rate loans,” Mr Lock said.

“But we are extending the benefits to more than home loan customers. We specialise in the small business sector, and we know they face particular difficulties in the current environment. That’s why we’ve cut a full 1.00% from our business banking rates.

“We also know that people may be looking for additional credit to help get through the tough times.

“We’re also reducing credit card rates and our standard personal loan variable rates by 0.25%, which can provide an immediate benefit to people in the current unsettled COVID-19 environment.

“We believe this package of rate cuts will help provide greater assistance to a wider range of customers in these uncertain times.”

Mr Lock said these rate cuts were in addition to other relief measures now available to customers affected by COVID-19, including:

  • Deferral of scheduled home loan and business banking loan repayments by up to 6 months
  • Waiving fees associated with restructuring of loans, as needed
  • Removal of all arrears, default and dishonour fees for impacted customers for the next six months
  • Waiving or refunding fees incurred because COVID-19 pandemic impacts have made it impossible for customers to meet requirements of their accounts - for example, missed payments.
  • Early redemption on Term Deposits and Farm Deposit Management accounts for customers impacted by the pandemic, without fees or penalties.