Banks must pass along full rate cut: Lowe

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Mr Chalmers echoed Mr Frydenberg's comments in reminding customers they can express their distaste by shifting their mortgages to a rival lender.

"We are facing economic challenges both domestically and internationally, particularly from the trade tensions between China and the US", Mr Frydenberg told Nine's Today program this morning.

Commonwealth Bank and NAB have quickly announced they will pass on the Reserve Bank's cash rate cut in full to its customers, suggesting they had little choice following the reputational damage that followed a series of scandals.

"Today's decision to lower the cash rate will help make further inroads into the spare capacity in the economy", he said.

"A further gradual lift in wages growth is expected and this would be a welcome development".

It will "support employment growth and provide greater confidence that inflation will be consistent with the medium-term target", he said.

Westpac only passed on 0.2 of a point for its principal-and-interest home loans and ANZ 0.18 of a percentage point.

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The cut was the first since 2016 when the bank cut rates twice in May and August.

"My message to the banks is that, while they are critical pillars of the economy and especially at a time of domestic and worldwide economic challenges, it was important to maintain the flow of credit to households and businesses", Frydenberg told The Australian on Tuesday. "This is deeply disappointing from the ANZ".

"The royal commission highlighted how the culture within financial institutions needed to improve ... and how the conduct had fallen below public expectations", he told The Australian on Tuesday. "Actions like this don't give the Australian people any comfort that the banks have changed their behaviour". "The answer here is that the board has not yet made a decision, but it is not unreasonable to expect a lower cash rate", he said.

Athena only entered the home loan market this year.

Athena was the first non-bank lender to reduce rates, and they passed on the whole cut, reducing rates by 0.25 basis points.

"Unless the bank becomes more bearish on the central economic outlook, a move below 1% is not imminent", David Plank, head of Australian economics at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said in a note after the speech.

National accounts data - a measure of the strength of the economy - to be released on Wednesday is expected to show growth remained soft in the March quarter.

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