Rates pause welcomed amid duress

First National Bank (FNB) will maintain its prime lending rate at 10.50% following the decision announced earlier today by the SARB Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

“Signs that consumers are cutting back offers enough breathing space for rates to remain on hold. Lower spending, for example, is worrying and indicates fading consumer confidence. Under these conditions, lenders and borrowers remain cautious with new credit. Yet we are seeing sustained affordability of new loans from consumers with secure incomes,” says FNB CEO Jacques Celliers.

Says Sizwe Nxedlana, Chief Economist at FNB; “Despite the decision not to change rates, the SARB’s statement remained hawkish citing upside risks to inflation from global and domestic sources. While the recent data flow is supportive of the decision not to raise rates, the short-term inflation outlook is not rosy. Inflation is likely to accelerate in the latter part of this year peaking above 7% in December. However, inflation is most likely to decelerate thereafter. Following this logic there is some scope, albeit limited, for further rate hikes into the peak of consumer inflation later this year.”

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