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

Non-banks clamp down on new loans

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 6-Apr-20

Non-bank lender Pepper Australia has increased its home loan interest rates and tightened its credit criteria as it assesses the impact of the coronavirus on its operations. Pepper will stop offering construction loans and will require a bigger deposit for commercial loans, while larger deposits will also be needed for its two types of home loans. Fellow non-bank lender Bluestone has also introduced new credit criteria as well as increasing the rates on all of its loan products by 35 basis points.

CORPORATES
PEPPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, BLUESTONE GROUP PTY LTD

Analysts cut bank earnings forecasts

Original article by Gerard Cockburn, Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 21 : 5-Mar-20

JP Morgan expects the net profits of Australia’s major banks to fall by 3-4 per cent over coming years after they moved to reduce their mortgage interest rates by 25 basis points, in line with the latest official interest rate cut. JP Morgan adds that the prospect of lower profit margins may prompt banks to reduce their dividend payouts. Macquarie has reiterated its ‘underweight’ recommendation on the banking sector, while UBS has downgraded its earnings-per-share forecast for bank stocks.

CORPORATES
JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Home loans lift on property recovery

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

A report from Deloitte notes that there was a seven per cent decline in new mortgage settlements in 2019. However, the latest edition of its Australian Mortgage Report shows that lenders and brokers expect a 2-3 per cent increase in mortgage settlements in 2020. Heather Baister of Deloitte says mid-tier lenders such as Macquarie and Citibank could benefit the most from the expected upturn in settlements.

CORPORATES
DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, CITIBANK PTY LTD

Housing boom to lift economy

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 1 & 7 : 12-Feb-20

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that there was 4.4 per cent growth in new home loan approvals in December. This was the biggest monthly increase since September 2016, and well above economists’ expectations of 1.6 per cent growth. Mortgage approvals increased by 14 per cent year-on-year. Factors such as the three official interest rate cuts in 2019 and a relaxation of lending restrictions in April have contributed to increased demand for home loans, with owner-occupiers accounting for much of the growth.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS