Rate hiking cycle still has legs

First National Bank (FNB) will increase its prime lending rate by 0.25%, taking the rate from 10.25% to 10.50% following the decision announced earlier today by the SARB Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). The new rate is effective on all prime-linked loans from Friday 18 March 2016.

Says Sizwe Nxedlana, Chief Economist at FNB; “A combination of low commodity prices, government belt tightening which is likely to accelerate and low levels of business and consumer confidence are already constraining South Africa’s growth. Despite this, the SARB raised rates by 25 basis points. The repo rate is now 2 percentage points higher than the January 2014 level when the current hiking cycle began. The SARB is hiking in order to tame inflation which in our assessment is likely to peak above 7% in the fourth quarter of 2016. By raising rates the SARB will tame domestic spending growth even further keeping core inflation in check. Raising rates will also curb inflation through the impact that low growth in domestic demand has on imports and the current account which should stabilise the currency”.

Consumer Information

FNB offers assistance in the form of a Debt Remedy facility from FNB Home Loans and a Special Repayment Arrangement offered by FNB Card.

FNB’s Investment Product House conducts weekly rates review meetings at which rates earned on non-prime linked investments are reviewed independently of the SARB’s MPC announcements. Revised rates are communicated via rates boards in branches and on FNB’s web site, www.fnb.co.za.

Useful Personal Banking Contacts:

www.fnb.co.za  offers impartial financial advice, click on ‘calculators’ for budgeting and planning guides.

FNB Telephone Banking and Pricing Line:  0860 11 22 44

FNB Debt Review Centre: 0860 36 20 02