Savers miss out on thousands as banks slash term deposit rates

Savers miss out on thousands as banks slash term deposit rates

CBA, Westpac, NAB and ANZ have cut term deposits this week as savers feel the sting of falling interest rates. 

  • CBA cut TD rates by up to 0.45%
  • Westpac cut some TD rates by 0.20%
  • NAB cut some TD rates by 0.10%
  • ANZ cut TD rates by up to 0.20% 

Analysis of the big four banks from RateCity.com.au shows that compared to March this year, term deposit rates are now up to 1.30 per cent lower. 

1-year term deposit rate changes

 

Mar-07

Aug-16

Difference

CBA

2.20%

1.50%

0.70%

Westpac

2.30%

1.55%

0.75%

NAB

2.40%

1.75%

0.65%

ANZ

2.30%

1.70%

0.60%

3-year term deposit rate changes

 

Mar-07

Aug-16

Difference

CBA

2.30%

1.45%

0.85%

Westpac

2.50%

1.50%

1.00%

NAB

2.50%

1.65%

0.85%

ANZ

2.50%

1.65%

0.85%

5-year term deposit rate changes

 

Mar-07

Aug-16

Difference

CBA

2.40%

1.50%

0.90%

Westpac

2.80%

1.50%

1.30%

NAB

2.70%

1.75%

0.95%

ANZ

2.80%

1.70%

1.10%

Notes: Rates based on $20K balance

If you put $20,000 into a 5-year term deposit with Westpac in March, you would earn a total of $2,800 in interest at maturity. However, if you put that same amount into the 5-year term deposit today, you’d earn $1,500 in interest, that’s $1,300 less. 

RateCity.com.au research director Sally Tindall said these cuts are particularly tough on savers who rely on the interest they earn from term deposits. 

“The banks keep chipping away at term deposit rates on the back of increasing expectations the cash rate will keep falling towards zero. This may force some Australians to seek out more risky investment options. 

“With low interest rates and a sluggish economy, it’s unlikely we’ll see term deposit rates turn around anytime soon,” she said. 

Interest earned on 1-year $20,000 term deposits

 

Mar-07

Aug-16

Difference

CBA

$440

$300

$140

Westpac

$460

$310

$150

NAB

$480

$350

$130

ANZ

$460

$340

$120

 

Interest earned on 3-year $20,000 term deposits

 

Mar-07

Aug-16

Difference

CBA

$1,380

$870

$510

Westpac

$1,500

$900

$600

NAB

$1,500

$990

$510

ANZ

$1,500

$990

$510

 

Interest earned on 5-year term deposits

 

Mar-07

Aug-16

Difference

CBA

$2,400

$1,500

$900

Westpac

$2,800

$1,500

$1,300

NAB

$2,700

$1,750

$950

ANZ

$2,800

$1,700

$1,100

Notes: Rates based on $20K balance. Interest earned annually and paid at maturity.

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Fact Checked -

This article was reviewed by Research Director Sally Tindall before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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Learn more about term deposits

Which bank has the best term deposit rates?

If you’ve been shopping around for a term deposit, you might be wondering which bank has the best term deposit rates.

Term deposit rates will generally be affected by the amount you choose to deposit and whether you opt for a short or long term deposit.

Longer term deposits tend to have higher interest rates than shorter terms. The trade-off for earning a higher interest rate on your term deposit is that you can’t access your funds for the duration of the term deposit.

When comparing which bank has the best term deposit rates, it pays to do your research and compare how your funds will fare over the short and long term.

Unlike home loans or savings accounts which give you the option of fixed or variable rates, term deposits are always fixed, which means you get a guaranteed amount of interest over the term of the deposit.

Will term deposit rates increase?

While there’s no definite way to predict when term deposit rates will increase, it may help to understand some of the factors that influence term deposit interest rates.

The official cash rate is set by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). When the RBA either increases or cuts interest rates, it influences the interest rates set by banks.

The other factor that determines when term deposit rates will rise is competition between banks. Banks may increase their term deposit rates or offer higher rates as an incentive to win new customers over or increase their market share.

Term deposit interest rates will also change, depending on how much you invest and how long you invest.

What is the best interest rate for a fixed term deposit?

The best interest rate for a fixed term deposit changes all the time, as interest rates move up and down and banks compete with each other to win market share.

To find the best interest rate for a fixed term deposit, it’s helpful to understand how interest rates are applied to term deposits.

There are three factors that determine the fixed interest of term deposits:

  1. The size of your deposit
  2. The duration of the term
  3. The frequency of interest paid

Term deposits vary in duration from one month to five years or more. Interest rates generally work on a sliding scale; shorter terms get a lower rate, longer terms get a higher rate.

Here are a couple of examples of how interest is applied to term deposits.

  • A $10,000 term deposit taken out over 12 months, with interest paid at maturity, might receive a fixed interest rate of 2.20 per cent.
  • A $10,000 fixed term deposit taken out over 12 months, with interest paid quarterly, might receive a fixed interest rate of 2.00 per cent.

Using the size of your deposit, the duration of the term and how often you want to be paid interest, you can shop around for the best interest rate for a fixed term deposit.

How often do term deposit rates change?

One of the advantages of a term deposit is that this type of investment enjoys a fixed interest rate. This means that the interest rate that you have signed up for will not change during the period of your term deposit, regardless of rising or falling market interest rates.

However, it is important to be aware of the end of your term deposit. Once your term ends, whether this is in three months or three years, many banks will default to rolling over your deposit into a new term, sometimes with a lower interest rate. Once your term deposit rolls over, you will then be locked into this new fixed interest rate for another term.

Make sure to use the grace period at the end of your term to your advantage. Shop around for a competitive interest rate and reinvest your money accordingly.

What should I know about ING’s business term deposit rates?

ING Direct offers several term deposit options for businesses looking to save over some time. 

The business term deposit rates ING offers are compounded annually, meaning that the interest earned after the first year is added to the amount you originally deposited. 

During the second year, the interest is calculated on the new amount. If you close the term deposit once it matures, you can ask for the money to be transferred to your business account either with ING or another bank. You can also renew the term deposit and choose to reinvest the total amount earned through the earlier term deposit. Alternatively, you can opt to renew with just the sum you originally deposited, and withdraw the interest earned.

You’ll need to deposit a minimum of $10,000 for at least 90 days if you open a term deposit with ING. In the current low-interest environment*, the annualised interest rate for a 90-day deposit is 0.05 per cent. This means you’d earn $1.25 over a three-month term if you deposit $10,000. 

If you opted for a longer time frame, such as two years, you’d get an annualised interest rate of 0.30 per cent on your deposit. If you deposited $10,000, in two years the interest accrued would amount to approximately $60. Again, this is an estimate only based on current rates.

* Rates correct as of January 2021

How do you calculate term deposit interest?

If you’re ready to open a term deposit, there’s a lot you’ve already figured out. You’ve decided on the length of your term and found the best interest rate, but there’s something you still might be wondering. How do you calculate term deposit interest?

One of the easiest ways to calculate term deposit interest is by using a term deposits calculator. However, you can also estimate your total earnings on your own.

A fixed interest rate signifies what percentage of your original balance your term deposit will earn annually. For example, a deposit of $1,000 at an interest rate of 3 per cent will earn three per cent of $1,000 annually – meaning you’ll earn $30 of interest each year.

You can estimate your interest using three variables. Multiply together your deposit amount, interest rate, and term length and you’ll approximate the interest a deposit will earn. For example, if you invest in a term deposit for $5,000 at an interest rate of 3 per cent for two years, your interest would total $300.

What is a term deposit rate?

The term deposit rate is the agreed interest rate for your term deposit. It remains fixed for the term of the deposit.

For example, if you deposit $5,000 for 12 months at a 2.5 per cent term deposit rate, that 2.5 per cent term deposit rate will be fixed for the entire 12 months and won’t change until the term matures.

The term deposit rate is one of the most important factors to consider when comparing your term deposit options. The general rule of thumb is that the longer the term, the higher the term deposit rate.

Term deposits are a popular type of investment because they’re safe and provide reliable returns.

The return you get on your term deposit will be determined by the amount you initially invest, the amount of time you choose to invest it for, and the term deposit rate.

What is a term deposit?

A term deposit is an investment savings account. A term deposit usually pays a higher rate of interest than a regular savings account, with the interest rate fixed for the term (or duration) of the deposit.

You can open a term deposit account for one month or up to five years depending on your investment goal, and invest as little as $500 to start earning a profit.

With a term deposit, you get to decide how much you want to invest (the principal or deposit), for how long (the term or duration) and the frequency of interest payments.

A term deposit represents a secure form of investment, unlike trading in shares or purchasing real estate. And a term deposit up to $250,000 is protected by the government guarantee.

How safe is a term deposit?

You may have heard that a term deposit is a type of investment, different to a traditional savings account. All investment comes with inherent risk, so it’s important to know how safe a term deposit is before committing.

Term deposits offer a fixed interest rate which is guaranteed, so you do not have to worry about rising or falling interest rates when investing. You can add up how much interest you will earn over your fixed term, and this will be paid into your account per the conditions of your term deposit.

Term deposits with authorised deposit-taking institutions are also guaranteed for up to $250,000 by the Financial Claims Scheme, so you don’t have to worry about the bank collapsing either.

The only inherent risk of a term deposit is if you may need to break it early. If this happens, you will need to pay a breakage fee and possibly sacrifice some of your interest as a penalty. But if you know you can invest a certain amount of money for a fixed period of time, you can rest assured that a term deposit is a safe investment option.

What are BOQ term deposit rates for businesses?

As term deposits are rising in popularity, many banks are offering competitive term deposit interest rates. Among them is BOQ, which offers the term deposit rates for new funds and rollovers. You don’t need to pay any establishment or account keeping fees,] and you can re-invest, add extra money or withdraw money at the end of your term without any hassles. 

BOQ gives you the option to invest your funds in terms ranging from 30 days to five years. The BOQ business term deposit rates vary based on the term duration. 

Term length Interest rate  Interest paid 
90 days  0.55 per cent  At maturity
120 days 0.50 per cent At maturity
180 days 0.70 per cent At maturity
270 days 0.60 per cent At maturity
1 year 0.60 per cent At maturity
2 years 0.65 per cent Annually
3 years 0.70 per cent Annually
5 years 0.75 per cent Annually

Rates are current as at 21/01/21, but subject to change. 

What are Suncorp Bank's term deposit rates for businesses?

A term deposit with Suncorp Bank allows you to lock away a specific amount of money at a fixed interest rate for a nominated period. You will need to make a minimum investment of $5,000 and up to $2,000,000, and can select a period from one month to 36 for your investment. Term deposit investments ranging from one to 12 months are based on interest paid at maturity, while investments from 12 to 36 months are based on interest paid annually. 

While the interest rate will differ based on your investment amount and term duration, here are some of the most popular Suncorp Bank business term deposit rates as of January 2021: 

Term $5,000-$99,999 $100,000-$999,999 $1,000,000-$2,000,000
4 Months  0.50% p.a. 0.55% p.a. 0.60% p.a. 
7 Months  0.55% p.a.  0.60% p.a.  0.65% p.a.
12 Months  0.50% p.a.  0.55% p.a.  0.60% p.a. 
24 Months  0.65% p.a.  0.70% p.a.  0.75% p.a.

Please note that these interest rates are effective from 13th November 2020 and are subject to change without notice. Moreover, if you choose from an early withdrawal, the interest rate will be adjusted, and other charges are likely to be applied. 

 

How long is a term deposit?

A term deposit refers to when you lock your money in an account for a certain period of time and at a specified interest rate. You will not be able to access your money for the length of the agreed term without incurring a penalty fee.

A long term deposit generally refers to a term deposit that lasts for more than 12 months – which in some cases may be as long as 10 years.

Usually, the longer you store your money, the better the interest rate you’ll get, so a long term deposit will tend to pay higher interest than a short term deposit.

At the end of the term, you can roll over the money (plus the interest you’ve made during the term), or you can withdraw it all.

Can you add money to a term deposit?

When you open a term deposit, you agree to lock your money away for a set period and earn a fixed amount of interest during that period.

Where everyday transaction accounts give you the flexibility to deposit and withdraw funds as frequently as you like, term deposits trade flexibility for higher interest rates.

Once your funds are deposited in a term deposit, they’re fixed for the length of the term, meaning you can’t add additional funds midway through the term.

When the term deposit matures, you may have the option to add additional funds and roll the funds over for another term, or you may choose to withdraw the money at that point.

If you have extra funds to invest, you could consider opening an additional short term deposit account or a high-interest savings account.

It’s worth noting that you can withdraw the funds midway through the term, but a penalty is likely to apply.

What is a fixed term deposit?

A fixed term deposit is a safe and stable way to earn a fixed return on your cash investment.

Fixed term deposits are essentially bank accounts where you lock your money away for a fixed period and earn a fixed interest rate on those funds.

Fixed term deposits can be both short term, which is usually anything under 12 months, or long term, which can be up to 10 years.

Once the fixed term has ended, the bank or financial institution will give you back your initial deposit plus any interest you earn during the fixed term period.

Depending on the type of fixed term deposit account you open, when the term matures, you may have the option of rolling the funds over for a new term or withdrawing the funds.

Unlike other savings or transaction accounts which offer variable interest rates and flexible features, fixed term deposits offer fixed interest rates, which means the amount of interest you earn will remain the same during the term of the deposit.