Data are compiled on the last working day of the month. Data are subject to series breaks relating to changes in the sample of reporting institutions and lending products over time. Business lending rates are the predominant or average indicator rates offered by major banks on loans to small businesses. The definition of small businesses differs between banks but is generally based on annual turnover, number of employees, amount of borrowings or deposits with the particular bank, or a combination of these. In some cases, a margin is added when setting rates on individual loans, although loans secured by residential property generally do not attract a risk margin. Since early 1998, banks have differed in their approaches to determining risk margins: for some banks, these margins vary according to the type of security offered; for others, they vary based on the riskiness of the customer; risk margins also vary from lender to lender. The effect of changing pricing policies and products has been to introduce breaks in the series. ‘Term’ refers to fully-drawn loans with a fixed maturity. ‘Small overdraft’ refers to those loans that are below the minimum size that qualifies for other variable rates to small businesses (for example, advertised overdraft indicator rates often apply only to loans of more than $20 000). The ‘3-year fixed’ rate is the average rate charged to small businesses for residentially-secured loans. ‘Weighted-average rate on credit outstanding’ represents the all-up interest cost of business loans (including risk margins) across all banks and is calculated from data in statistical table D7 using the midpoint of each interest band; this calculation excludes impaired loans. For these series, small business loans are those facilities less than $2 million, while large business loans are those facilities $2 million and above. The ‘large business variable rate’ is the banks’ indicator rate prior to December 1993. ‘Housing loan’ rates are those quoted for loans to owner-occupiers; in most cases, the same rates also apply to investment housing. Rates for ‘Banks’ and ‘Mortgage managers’ are the average rates of large lenders in each group. ‘Standard’ rates apply to housing loans with facilities such as the option to redraw or make early repayments. ‘Basic’ rates are those on loans with limited options. ‘Discounted’ rates are the interest rates that are offered on standard variable rate housing loans as part of professional packages. Where a bank offers a tiered product, with different rates depending on the size of the loan, the rate applying to a loan equal to or greater than $250 000 is used. ‘Three-year fixed’ rates are those on bank loans where the interest rate cannot be varied for the first three years of the loan. ‘Personal loan’ rates are the average rates of the large lenders in each group. ‘Term loans (unsecured)’ refers to instalment loans with terms up to seven years. Where a lender offers a tiered product, with different rates depending on the term and amount of the loan, the rate applying to a $15 000 3-year loan is used. ‘Credit cards – Standard’ refers to standard Visa and MasterCard accounts with an interest-free period. Prior to February 2006, the standard credit card series also included Bankcard rates. ‘Credit cards – Low rate’ refers to Visa and MasterCard accounts with an interest-free period, but with fewer features than standard credit cards. ‘Home equity loans’ refers to the indicator rates on revolving, variable rate loans secured by residential property. ‘Margin loans’ are revolving, variable rate loans backed by approved securities (usually Australian equities or managed funds). Where tiered rates are quoted, the rates applying to a $200 000 loan where interest is paid in arrears are used.