It's all his fault Looks like these meagre 1/4% increases will be a blip on things to come. Hey lads. Mortgage rate hike ahead - bankBy Richard Gluyas and Geoffrey Newman August 16, 2007 06:23am CBA says mortgage rates to rise even if no RBA rise Non-bank lenders' rates likely to rise the most Australian stocks slumped almost 3% yesterday THE nation's biggest home lender has warned that home-owners' mortgage rates will rise as the fallout from the US housing crisis continues to spread through global financial markets. As the Australian stock market suffered another $48 billion plunge in value yesterday - taking its losses in the past three weeks to almost 10 per cent - Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ralph Norris said mortgage rates were likely to rise even if the Reserve Bank did not lift official rates. Non-bank lenders most affected Mr Norris said non-bank lenders - companies such as Bluestone, Wizard and Aussie Home Loans - would be more significantly affected by the credit crunch triggered by the crisis among poor-quality sub-prime home loans in the US. He said the Commonwealth had no plans to lift rates, "but the market is driven by supply and demand, and if funding costs increase significantly, then we pass that on". "The fact of the matter is the price of credit in the market internationally has moved, so there will at some stage be some increase in rates," he said. "In regard to the level of those increases, non-bank lenders are going to be in a situation where they're going to have to pass on significantly greater increases than a bank like us." Bluestone rates already raised above RBA rate The Australian reported this week that Bluestone, hit by the higher cost of borrowing money to on-lend to its customers, had been forced to raise mortgage rates by 17-55 basis points. Other lenders, particularly those offering low-documentation loans to customers with poor credit histories, are also likely to pass on the higher costs. Aussie Home Loans' John Symond has warned rates will rise by about 0.25 percentage points. And Mr Norris warned home-owners that he expected official interest rates to rise further after the Reserve Bank's increase of 0.25 percentage points last week to 6.5 per cent. The sub-prime crisis continues to hurt international stock markets, with the Australian market, which took its lead from a falling Wall St, slumping almost 3 per cent yesterday. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which yesterday fell 176.8 points to 5788 points, is down 9.9 per cent - just shy of the technical correction point of 10 per cent - since its record high of 6422.3 on July 24. Aussie stock market falls The Australian stock market, bolstered by the strength of its resources stocks, has in recent months been able to avoid following the big falls on Wall St. But the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down just 7 per cent since the sub-prime crisis first broke three weeks ago, and in the past two trading sessions, the Australian stock market has suffered bigger falls than its New York counterpart. Failures by mortgage lenders in the US, most of which were dealing in the riskier end of the housing market, have kept the US share market on tenterhooks for close to a month, and every day that provides a new financial hardship story pushes that market down further. Investors in Australia's worst-affected hedge fund, Basis Capital's Yield Fund, were told yesterday by the fund's Sydney-based manager that they were now likely to lose more than 80 per cent of their money because of the sub-prime meltdown.