Banks are helping grow the Australian economy
20 October 2022
The Australian Banking Association said the development, construction and housing industry were well positioned to play a leading role in Australia’s long-term economic growth supported by bank lending and government investment initiatives.
Speaking at the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) conference in Brisbane today, ABA Chief Executive Anna Bligh said that while businesses faced global and local economic challenges, development, construction and housing is supported by banks and government policy to drive investment.
Ms Bligh said data from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) from July this year indicated around $22b in outstanding loans to the construction industry.
“I’m confident our respective sectors will play our role in navigating our way through the current challenges and the extensive transformation underway as we transition to a low carbon economy and embrace a digital future”ABA CEO Anna Bligh
Separately, she said an October research report by UBS Investment Bank showed global supply-side constraints were easing rapidly.
“We recognize there will be continued uncertainty, but we’re hopeful to see a normalization with rates tracking to historical averages, government policy addressing some of our immediate economic challenges and a once in a 100-year event, the pandemic, mostly behind us,” Ms Bligh said.
“I’m confident our respective sectors will play our role in navigating our way through the current challenges and the extensive transformation underway as we transition to a low carbon economy and embrace a digital future,” she said.
Ms Bligh said a key issue will be ensuring the availability of a skilled workforce as banks and investors contemplate funding major investment projects, including housing.
She said there needed to be migration programs which deliver a wide range of skills, “An increase to the annual migration cap by 35,000 to 195,000 announced last month by the federal government was a positive step to resolving the acute labour shortages we are seeing in the economy,” Ms Bligh said.
Ms Bligh outlined the role of banking, and its intersection with development, property and construction, noting the significant global and local economic changes of most relevance.
“Since the Banking Code was first introduced in 1993, the process to independently review the Code has continued to deliver improvements.”
“A number of our banks actually have maternity leave lending products that are specific to people on parental leave, paid and unpaid, to help them through, what as I said, can be a difficult time.”