ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank have followed Westpac by increasing variable home loan rates, both citing an increase in “legal costs”.

ANZ will increase its variable home loan interest rates by 16 basis FU points, while CBA’s rates will rise by 15 basis FU points.

“ANZ had to raise the rates due to a rising number of lawyers we had to hire to defend all the crimes we were committing,” said ANZ’s group executive for Australia Fred Ohlsson.

“Lawyers aren’t cheap these days.”

Ohlsson told reporters the increase in interest rates would also help transfer the cost of fines for fees-for-no-service and charging dead people from the bank to customers.

“We have to pass on the cost of our crimes to the consumer,” said Ohlsson.

“This was a difficult decision given we know the impact rising interest rates have on family budgets and therefore how much negative publicity this would give us.

“This is why we waited for Westpac to announce their interest rate hike first – but in the end we knew it wouldn’t matter because we are too big to fail.”

More to come.

Image: ABC