Coalition rejects interest rate risk on loan plan

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 15-May-19

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has downplayed concerns that the Coalition’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme could prompt banks to impose higher interest rates on participants in the scheme. He is confident that banks will want to be involved in the scheme and will not charge higher interest rates, arguing that banks’ exposure will still be restricted to a maximum loan to value ratio of 80 per cent. The New Zealand government introduced a similar scheme in 2003.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, KEYSTART HOME LOANS, NEW ZEALAND. MINISTRY OF HOUSING, HOUSING NEW ZEALAND CORPORATION

RBA pressures banks to cut rates

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 19 & 28 : 8-May-19

Australian banks’ net interest margin fell by 11 basis points in the first half of 2018-19, compared with the previous corresponding period. Jarrod Martin of Credit Suisse says ongoing margin pressure means the banks are unlikely to reduce their variable mortgage interest rates independently of the Reserve Bank. Victor German of Macquarie Group adds if the Reserve Bank had reduced the cash rate by 25 basis points on 7 May, the banks would probably have reduced their variable rates by around 20 basis points.

CORPORATES
CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC

Negative equity feared as house prices plunge

Original article by Michael Roddan, Luke Griffiths
The Australian – Page: 2 : 11-Apr-19

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s deputy governor Guy Debelle says the number of homeowners with negative equity has increased, although he notes that it remains largely confined to Western Australia and mining regions. He adds that it is unusual for house prices to fall sharply at a time when the economy is continuing to grow and the unemployment rate is low. Debelle says the outlook for the labour market is likely to determine whether there is a further increase in negative equity and mortgage arrears.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC

NAB kills off scandal-plagued mortgage referral program

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 26-Mar-19

National Australia Bank has advised that it will end its controversial ‘loan introducer’ program from 1 October. The program sees non-bank employees receive a fee for referring home loan clients, with NAB stating in 2018 that it generates one out of every 20 mortgages written by the bank. NAB also says the program has generated around $2.4 billion worth of home loans, and that around $100 million in referral fees have been paid. Interim CEO and chairman-elect Philip Chronican says he wants customers to come to NAB because of its products and services, not because a third party receives a fee for endorsing it.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE

Reserve urges stingy banks to open up the credit floodgates

Original article by Paul Garvey, David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 19 & 29 : 21-Mar-19

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s assistant governor Michele Bullock has urged the nation’s banks to be less risk-averse with regard to mortgage lending. She has used an Urban Development Institute of Australia speech to argue that banks should relax their lending standards in the wake of the Hayne royal commission and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s move to ease restrictions on lending. Bullock added that a credit crunch in Australia is unlikely, but this could depend on the outlook for the housing market.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, URBAN DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION

Mortgage customers more satisfied dealing with banks than mortgage brokers

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 4-Mar-19

A Roy Morgan Single Source survey for the six months to January 2019 shows that home loan customers who obtained their loan in person at a bank branch had a satisfaction rating of 77.2%, compared to 75.1% for those who used a mortgage broker. Dealing in person with a mobile bank representative had the highest level of satisfaction, at 80.6%. It is important to note that even among more recent home loans (held for under six years), satisfaction with going to a branch to obtain the loan was 79.8%, compared to 77.7% for mortgage brokers. Among the largest home loan banks, St George has the highest satisfaction with loans obtained through mortgage brokers (83.9%), closely followed by Bankwest (81.0%). Satisfaction among those obtaining their home loan through a branch was the highest for Bendigo Bank with 89.6%, well ahead of St George on 79.6%. The Single Source survey is based on in-depth interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 consumers per annum in their homes, including over 12,000 mortgage holders.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, ST GEORGE BANK LIMITED, BANKWEST, BENDIGO BANK

Westpac faces class action on loans

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 24 : 22-Feb-19

Westpac intends to defend a class action launched by Maurice Blackburn on behalf of home loan customers. The law firm will contend that Westpac breached its responsible lending obligations by failing to sufficiently assess borrowers’ capacity to repay the loan and to verify information about their financial circumstances. Westpac had been subject to similar legal action by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission in 2018, and that case will return to court after a settlement was rejected by the presiding judge.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Comyn confident about house prices

Original article by Joyce Moullakis, Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 21 : 7-Feb-19

The Commonwealth Bank has posted a 2018-19 interim cash profit of $4.77bn, which is 2.1 per cent lower than previously. Mortgage and business lending rose by four per cent and five per cent respectively during the half-year, while lending margins were affected by factors such as increased competition and rising funding costs. Meanwhile, CEO Matt Comyn forecasts that growth in housing credit will slow in 2019, although he does not anticipate a sharp decline in house prices.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, CORELOGIC AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Baird defends NAB interest rate hike

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 15 & 16 : 25-Jan-19

Sally Tindall of RateCity expects other major banks to increase their mortgage interest rates after National Australia Bank announced a rise in its rates for owner-occupiers and investors. NAB has indicated that a rise in wholesale funding costs was the main driver of the rate hike, but chief customer officer Mike Baird notes that it is the first increase in its standard variable interest rate since March 2017. NAB chose to leave its mortgage rates on hold when other banks lifted theirs in September.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, RATECITY PTY LTD, BANK OF QUEENSLAND LIMITED – ASX BOQ, VIRGIN MONEY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Banks turn off the investor tap

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 18 : 3-Jan-19

Data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority shows that the nation’s four largest banks held $471.4bn worth of investor mortgage loans in the year to November 2018. This compares with $471.1bn for the same period in 2017. Westpac and National Australia Bank increased their investor loan books slightly, while the Commonwealth Bank and ANZ recorded declines. Meanwhile, Richard Wiles of Morgan Stanley says APRA’s recent move to abolish caps on interest-only loans is unlikely to boost the major banks’ growth in housing loans.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, BANKWEST, ST GEORGE BANK LIMITED, BANK OF MELBOURNE LIMITED, BANK OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, MST FINANCIAL SERVICES PTY LTD, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, COUNCIL OF FINANCIAL REGULATORS, CORELOGIC AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, P&N BANK, FINDER.COM.AU, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG