Say goodbye to the monthly meetings of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) board – from 2024, the RBA will host 8 meetings per year, rather than 11. Based on these newly announced dates, Australian savers and mortgage holders can get a better idea of when to expect changes to their interest rates, allowing them to plan and budget accordingly.

When is the RBA Board meeting in 2024?

The RBA Board currently meets 11 times per year to decide whether to raise, lower or hold the cash rate, meeting on the first Tuesday of every month except January.

Following the Treasury review of the RBA earlier in the year, the new RBA Board meeting dates from 2024 onwards are:

  • 5–6 February
  • 18–19 March
  • 6–7 May
  • 17–18 June
  • 5–6 August
  • 23–24 September
  • 4–5 November
  • 9–10 December

Under the new system, monetary policy meetings will commence on Monday afternoon and pick back up Tuesday morning. The results of the meeting will be announced at 2:30 pm on Tuesday, and will be followed up by a post-meeting media conference at 3:30pm.

Additionally, the quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy will be released simultaneously with the outcome of the Board meetings in February, May, August, and November, rather than issuing the statement on the Friday following the decision. 

What does this mean for your mortgage and savings account?

According to outgoing RBA governor, Philip Lowe, said at the Economic Society of Australia (QLD) business lunch that “the less frequent and longer meetings will provide more time for the Board to examine issues in detail and to have deeper discussions on monetary policy strategy, alternative policy options and risks, as well as on communication.”  

“Likewise, the staff will have more time for analysis, with less time spent preparing summaries of recent developments. The Board will also be able to hear directly from more staff and have greater opportunity to request work on particular topics. And the post-meeting media conferences will provide a timely opportunity to explain the Board’s decisions and to answer questions. This will complement our existing communications, including through speeches with Q&A. Together, this is a significant package of reform that will contribute to better decision-making and communication.”

When the eight-meeting cycle was first proposed following the RBA review earlier in the year, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported that Australians may be able to expect fewer out-of-cycle rate rises, as banks and other mortgage lenders would have more time to prepare for each potential cash rate move.  

The ABC reported that fewer meetings could mean fewer rate changes, giving households more time to adjust their budgets to each RBA decision. However, there’s also the risk that larger moves could be necessary at each meeting.

That said, Dr Steve Kourabas, a senior lecturer at Monash Law School and Deputy Director of the Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies, told 9 News that there’s no guarantee fewer meetings would mean bigger rate changes:

 "There's nothing stopping the Reserve Bank calling a meeting if they think that there's a reason to have an emergency meeting outside of the eight. Also, the move to eight is hoped to allow for greater time to see the effect of the interest rates rather than the monthly meeting.”

For the latest on any cash rate updates from the RBA, and the interest rate announcements for home loans and savings accounts that follow, be sure to follow RateCity’s Rate Tracker hub.