Interest rates

ABC offers free internet to home loan customers as interest rates soar

One of Australia’s major banks has made a bizarre offer to some struggling customers as interest rates are set to soar.

Banking giant CBA will offer some customers free internet access for three years in a bid to ease cost-of-living pressures.

In partnership with telecommunications provider More, the lender is offering customers who qualify for conditionally pre-approved home loans access to a free NBN plan for three years.

The 36-month NBN plan could save eligible homeowners more than $2,700, and comes as experts are sounding the alarm over impending interest rate hikes in the coming months.

CBA is also offering all existing customers 30% off More NBN plans for the first 12 months when they sign up using their credit or debit card as their bill payment method.

Dr Michael Baumann, executive general manager of Home Buying, said the offer was designed to help Australians put up a tough fight.

“We know the rising cost of living is being felt by all Australians, especially those looking to buy property in the current environment,” he said.

“We want to support pre-approved home loan customers where we can, and that includes longer-term savings on essential, ongoing bills and commitments like the internet.”

It comes as recent CBA research found most landlords were bracing for future rate hikes, with a third looking to cut costs by looking to cheaper utility providers.

“What the research tells us is that Australians want value from their lender and in a way that suits their needs,” Dr Baumann said.

“We also hear from our customers that they want to save money, get a great deal, and grow their dollar, especially on daily and ongoing engagements.”

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Andrew Branson, co-founder of More, said the deal would help those trying to stretch their household budgets further.

“Getting free internet access for three years and having an extra $2,700 in your back pocket is an incredible deal for property owners and investors because you don’t need to connect the NBN to the address where the loan is settled,” he said.

“This type of customer benefit has never been seen before and hats off to CBA for trying something new that will make a significant difference for their customers who are facing increasing cost of living pressures.”

The offer comes as Australians prepare for the Reserve Bank to hike the official exchange rate again when the board meets for its June meeting tomorrow.

The cash rate is widely expected to rise by 25 or 40 basis points, which would push the country’s official cash rate from 0.35% to 0.60 or 0.75.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, with some pundits bracing for interest rates to rise to 2.5% by the end of 2022.

In fact, Nomura Australia Senior Economist and Rates Strategist Andrew Ticehurst recently said The Daily Telegraph they believe rates will go up every month until December, which means we could have a rate hike every month until Christmas.