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Westpac chairman defends rate rise

Westpac chairman defends rate rise

Westpac (ASX:WBC) chairman Ted Evans has defended the company’s much-derided recent home loan rate rise, stating that its current rates were unsustainable.

Westpac recently drew the ire of customers, and politicians including the PM, by raising its home loan rates by 45 basis points – 20 points above the RBA’s recent rate rise.

But speaking at the company’s AGM, Evans said the increased rise was inevitable.

“With interest rates now clearly on the rise again, both at home and abroad, there are limits to how long we could continue to absorb [external cost increases] without weakening our bank, the Australian financial system and, hence, the Australian economy,” he said.

“We would do no favours to anyone by offering mortgages at rates that we know to be unsustainable.”

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