19 December 2018
Today’s announcement of the removal of the 30% benchmark for new interest-only residential mortgages will allow all banks to offer more choice for customers, leading to an increase in competition across the industry, particularly for smaller and regional banks.
The benchmark was introduced by APRA in 2017 to respond to concerns of an oversupply of interest-only loans. The benchmark had a greater effect on banks with smaller home loan lending operations.
CEO of the Australian Banking Association Anna Bligh said that the decision by APRA would not only benefit customers, it also showed that banks were lending prudently with the proportion of interest-only loans more than halving in two years.
“APRA’s announcement today shows that banks have adjusted lending to respond to concerns around an oversupply of interest-only loans, illustrating a prudential system where both banks and regulators can quickly and effectively respond to a changing environment,” Ms Bligh said.
“While banks will continue to lend prudently, today’s decision will mean all banks can offer more choice for customers who are looking to buy a house or apartment.
“Increased competition across the industry will mean customers have more ability to shop around for the best deal for them when looking at an interest-only home loan,” she said.
In terms of banks home loan commitments, the proportion of interest-only loans are now 16.2% much lower than the proportion seen two years ago (37%).
Contact: Rory Grant 0475 741 007
“Australian banks are certainly better equipped now than they were in the GFC. They’ve got 2 to 2.5 times the capital reserves put aside for a rainy day than they had in the GFC”
“The Australian Banking Association (ABA) welcomes the agreement reached today on the proposed safeguard mechanism reforms, given it paves the way for the passing of a critical piece of legislation for Australia.
“This is about engaging with the entire banking ecosystem in order to ensure the accessibility of the sector’s services are best serving our diverse community now, and into the future.”