STANDARD Chartered Bank has ruled out any changes on tax loan interest rates despite the 0.75 per cent rise in base lending rates that comes into effect tomorrow. Standard Chartered is the only bank among the territory's main lenders to have committed itself on tax loan rates. Hongkong Bank plans to assess its tax loans this week before deciding on whether to charge higher interest rates. Moves by Hong Kong banks to lift their lending rates by 0.75 per cent followed the widely-expected announcement by the Hong Kong Association of Banks that interest rates for all savings and time deposits with maturities of one month or less would rise by 0.75 per cent. Unlike home mortgages, tax loans are not directly linked to base lending rates. Instead, their terms are packaged by each bank according to marketing objectives and customer demand. 'For the time being, there are no plans to change interest rates on tax loans,' said Hongkong Bank's marketing planning manager Kevin Chiu. 'We will look at the situation next week before making a decision.' Standard Chartered Bank will continue to charge the interest rates quoted when its tax loan package was launched earlier this month. 'Our rates have been published in all brochures and advertising material and we will stick to those rates,' senior communications manager Rory Chan said. Tax loans are one of the fastest growing consumer finance products and were used by nearly 170,000 taxpayers last year. Growing rivalry between banks for a share of the tax loan market has resulted in lower interest rates and this year, for the first time, banks have used annual percentage rates in tax loan brochures. The deposit and prime rate increases announced in the territory were widely expected after banks in the United States raised prime lending rates last week. That move followed the US Federal Reserve's decision to raise the federal funds rate, its key overnight lending rate, and its discount rate each by 0.75 per cent. From tomorrow, savings and 24-hour call deposits will pay 3.75 per cent and other retail deposits will pay from 4.25 per cent to five per cent.