Macquarie Group, the global investment banking and diversified financial services group, has chosen not to reprice its $26 billion loan book in line with the Big Four’s increases to standard variable investor rates.

Macquarie also chose not to raise the price of variable loans for owner-occupiers, unlike mid-tier rivals Suncorp, Bank of Queensland, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, and ING Direct.

Macquarie’s decision contrasts to previous instances when it quietly followed the major banks in repricing its loan book. While the Sydney-headquartered group has played down mortgage growth since re-entering the $1.5 trillion Australian mortgage market in 2012, chief executive officer Nicholas Moore has made no secret that the group’s earnings are being driven by “annuity-style” businesses such as funds management and traditional lending and leasing, rather than investment banking.

However, in the six months to Nov. 30, Macquarie’s local mortgage book barely expanded, growing 0.7% to $26.4 billion, according to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA) most recent data, despite advertising loan rates as low as 3.89%.

According to Morgan Stanley, the overall system’s annual housing loan growth is running at about 6%, down from a peak of 7.5% in September 2015. 

Data from comparison site Canstar indicates that lenders such as Macquarie are increasingly pricing loans depending on borrowers’ circumstances. For instance, Macquarie’s advertised standard variable rate remains at 5.35% for owner occupiers and 5.67% for investors. At the same time, the group is offering “basic variable” owner-occupied loans of more than $750,000 with a 20% deposit paying principal and interest at 3.74%, down from 3.84% early last month.

Citibank also lowered its “mortgage-plus” investor variable principal and interest deal on loans north of $500,000 by 20 basis points to 4.37%.

In contrast, CBA recently increased investor variable rates seven basis points to 5.56% while leaving owner-occupier prices at 5.22%, the lowest advertised rate among the Big Four.

All banks generally discount up to 120 basis points, with CBA rumoured to have sliced off 150 basis points early in 2016 amid heated competition from other lenders.