The West

Kelly tips rate cut before year s end
Kelly tips rate cut before year's end

Westpac's chief executive Gail Kelly is tipping a December interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank if it holds off trimming them tomorrow.

Economists are divided over whether the Reserve Bank of Australia will cut the cash rate on Melbourne Cup Day, with Mrs Kelly describing it as a "very much a line ball call".

Asked by reporters whether she expected a rate cut, Mrs Kelly replied "if not tomorrow, then probably December".

"I think we are definitely in an environment where declining interest rates is the likely outcome, and certainly would be very beneficial for consumer confidence and consumer sentiment," she said.

But Mrs Kelly gave no indication whether Westpac would be passing on any rate cuts to its mortgage customers.

"I think we will have to wait to see what the Reserve Bank actually do tomorrow."

Earlier, Westpac unveiled a 15 per cent fall in net profit to $5.97 billion for the year to September.

The drop was due to tax implications from its takeover of smaller rival St George.

Its cash earnings, which takes out one-off financial items, rose five per cent to $6.598 billion from the previous year and came in above analyst expectations of $6.46 billion.

The West Australian

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