Valuer Acumentis predicts rise in distressed sales

Original article by Michael Bleby
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 32 : 30-Oct-20

Listed valuation firm Acumentis has reported revenue of $13.4 million for the September quarter, compared with just $8.4 million for the entire 2019-20 financial year. The firm has posted a pre-tax profit of $1.6 million for the quarter. Acumentis notes that it is benefiting from an improvement in residential activity, while it predicts an increase in forced home sales as JobKeeper payments and mortgage repayment deferral periods end.

CORPORATES
ACUMENTIS GROUP LIMITED – ASX ACU

Give more help to borrowers: APRA

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 : 23-Sep-20

Repayments on more than 900,000 mortgage and business loans were deferred in late March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many borrowers are now facing the six-month anniversary of their deferral, and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has offered lenders a number of suggestions about how to handle customers who are slated to resume repayments. Amongst other things, APRA has suggested that lenders should contact borrowers via a number of channels in the lead-up to the expiry of their deferral period. National Australia Bank CEO Ross McEwan recently indicated that 20 per cent of these customers have failed to respond when it has contacted them regarding the issue.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

Lockdown to trigger more loan distress

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 10-Jul-20

Data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority shows that banks have deferred 18 per cent of small business loans in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Morgan Stanley has warned that that many businesses in Melbourne that have been forced to shut down for a second time may never re-open, particularly smaller ones. The APRA figures also show that more than 10 per cent of home loan repayments have been put on hold. Loans to investors account for 34 per cent of home loan repayments that have been deferred, prompting concern that there may be a surge in distressed selling.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED

CBA bid to avoid cliff for economy

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 22-Jun-20

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia estimates that about 127,000 of its customers with mortgage loans have deferred their repayments due to the coronavirus pandemic. Angus Sullivan, the head of CBA’s retail banking division, says that 15-20 of these customers are still making some repayments, while some customers have asked to resume making repayments. He adds that CBA has begun contacting all customers who have deferred their repayments to discuss their options ahead of the deferral arrangement ending in September.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Bad loans hit small banks hard: Citi

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 16 : 16-Jun-20

Citigroup analysts note that Australia’s smaller mortgage lenders have actively pursued increased market share in recent years. However, Citi warns that they are set to be hardest hit by a coronavirus-induced rise in loan losses later in 2020, as such losses tend to be highest during the first 3-4 years of a loan. Citi contends that small lenders will need to focus on capital demands rather than further growing their market share, which in turn is likely to prompt a swing back to large lenders.

CORPORATES
CITIGROUP PTY LTD

Savings rates are drying up as banks race to the bottom on mortgages

Original article by Matt Johnson
The New Daily – Page: Online : 3-Jun-20

Data from Canstar shows that Australian banks reduced the interest rates on a range of savings accounts and term deposits by up to 75 basis points in May. However, the interest rates on mortgage loans were reduced much less aggressively, averaging just 0.08 per cent for variable home loans and 0.36 per cent for fixed-rate loans. Steve Mickenbecker of Canstar attributes this to factors such as growing competition from non-bank mortgage lenders. However, he does not expect rates to fall much further.

CORPORATES
CANSTAR PTY LTD

NAB’s check on mortgage deferrals

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 13 & 15 : 18-May-20

The National Australia Bank announced in March that it would offer a six-month repayment reprieve to mortgage loan customers impacted by COVID-19, with 80,000 borrowers taking up its offer. It stated then it would wait for three months before contacting borrowers to see if they are able to start making payments again, but it has begun the process after just two months. All the other major banks have confirmed they will wait the three months before getting in touch with borrowers. A NAB spokesperson says it has commenced the process ahead of time to ensure it has got in contact with all relevant borrowers before the "three-month checkpoint". Recent figures from the Australian Banking Association reveal that 429,000 borrowers have sought a pause on their repayments since late March.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION

For the record as Australia entered shutdown in March, Mortgage Stress was close to a record low

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 6-May-20

New research from Roy Morgan shows that an estimated 828,000 mortgage holders (18.2%) were in ‘mortgage stress’ as Australia entered shutdown in March. This is a significant improvement on those considered to be in mortgage stress 12 months ago, and is the second-lowest level of mortgage stress in over a decade. In the three months to March 2020, 18.2% of mortgage holders (828,000) were ‘At Risk’, down from 21.5% (903,000) in March 2019. Over the same period those ‘Extremely at Risk’ also decreased from 14.5% (594,000) to 12.6% (559,000). However, the number ‘Extremely at Risk’ hit a low of only 425,000 (10.7%) in October, following an RBA interest rate cut, and has since increased. These are the latest findings from Roy Morgan’s Single Source Survey, based on in-depth interviews conducted with 50,000 Australians each year including over 10,000 owner-occupied mortgage-holders.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Good news and bad debt

Original article by Terry McCrann
Sunday Herald Sun – Page: 63 : 3-May-20

The advice from Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh that "so far" more than 320,000 home loan borrowers and 170,000 businesses have had loan repayments deferred is a mix of ‘good’ news and ‘bad’ news. Clearly the numbers who need repayments deferred "will increase". Some "good news" for the government is Roy Morgan’s April estimate of Australia’s unemployed and under-employed, down 439,000 on the last 2 weeks in March – however, it only dropped because of the government’s JobKeeper scheme. If JobKeeper numbers were added to those who are unemployed and under-employed then "real joblessness" is probably around a third of the workforce, with not one person from the public sector ‘out-of-work’. Even with Australian banks proactively playing their part the post-virus reality is not going to be "a walk in the park" – assuming it is allowed!

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION, ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Greedy banks protect profits: ACCC

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd, David Ross
The Australian – Page: 15 : 28-Apr-20

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has released the interim report of its Home Loan Price Inquiry. It has concluded that the nation’s four major banks failed to pass on the full 75 basis point reduction in the cash rate during 2019 in order to protect their profits. The ACCC also found that existing home loan customers tend to pay higher interest rates than new borrowers. Steve Mickenbecker of Canstar says it is a ‘lethargy tax’ rather than a ‘loyalty tax’, and the onus should be on existing customers to actively request a lower interest rate.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, CANSTAR PTY LTD