Australia's biggest credit union has launched an assault on the nation's A$860bn (US$789bn) mortgage market, cutting its standard variable interest rate by 25 basis points (bps) to 6.37%. The move puts Credit Union Australia's new standard variable rate about 50bps below the average rate of the big four Australian banks. The cut is in stark contrast to the rising rates offered by the major banks, which have sometimes increased their rates well ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia's interest-rate adjustments. "There has been talk in recent weeks about the need for competition in financial services," CUA group general manager Andrew Hadley said. "This is an opportunity to step to the mark and do something about it."