Farmers tell banks to cut rates

The National Farmers’ Federation is urging the nation’s banks to pass on yesterday’s rate cut to its farming customers.

“Yesterday’s decision by the Reserve Bank to cut the cash rate to 0.1 point and launch a $100 billion program of quantitative easing means that money has never been cheaper,” NFF Chief Executive Tony Mahar said.

“We implore the banks to pass on the full rate cut to their customers, many of whom are farmers who have just begun the long recovery and rebuild process from one of the worst droughts in living memory.

“With farm debt levels high, failing to pass on the full rate cut would demonstrate utter contempt for farmers and agriculture.

“We will be watching the banks closely to ensure they do the right thing. A reduction in the headline home loan rate is not good enough. We need to see rates reduced for all loan products. including those that farmers and small businesses rely on to keep the economy running,” Mr Mahar said.

“If banks are seeking to demonstrate, by various measures, that they want to be very good corporate and community minded citizens then the best thing they can do is pass on the interest rates to those that are best placed to help kick start the economy and that’s farmers, farm businesses and the associated suppliers.

“It would be a shame if they undid all their good work during the COVID crisis for short-term profit taking.

“With the price of debt now at a record low, the banks should play their part in rebuilding our nation and our industry after the devastation of drought and COVID-19 and inject liquidity back into the economy. Australia’s farmers expect nothing less.

“We wait in anticipation,” Mr Mahar said.

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