Finance advice

APRA chairman sets sights higher on ‘improvements’ to lending

By James Mitchell
APRA chairman sets sights higher on ‘improvements’ to lending

The prudential regulator has claimed while its curbs on investor and interest-only lending have been successful, there is still more work to be done on ensuring improvements the industry has made are truly embedded into industry practice”.

Speaking at the A50 Australian Economic Forum in Sydney, APRA chairman Wayne Byres said that the regulator’s most recent macro-prudential measures, which instructed banks to ensure no more than 30 per cent of new home loans were interest-only, have so far been a success.

“Over time, our interventions have served their purpose and we have seen lending standards improve,” Mr Byres said.

“Our benchmark of no more than 30 per cent of new lending being on interest-only terms is not overly restrictive for borrowers who genuinely need this form of finance — roughly one in three loans granted can still be on an interest-only basis — but it has required the major interest-only lenders to establish strategies that incentivise more borrowers to repay their principal.

“The industry has been quite successful in doing so. Recent data for the last quarter of 2017 shows that only about one in five loans were interest-only, and the number of interest-only loans with high LVRs continued to fall to quite low levels. All of that is positive for the quality of loan portfolios.”

However, Mr Byres added that the regulator is “not declaring victory just yet” and wants to see higher lending standards become a more deep-rooted foundation of the home lending landscape.

“We still want to see that the improvements the industry has made are truly embedded into industry practice,” the chairman said. “And we can modify our interventions as more permanent measures come into play.”

This will include the further strengthening of borrower serviceability assessments by lenders, strengthened capital requirements for mortgage lending and comprehensive credit reporting being mandated by the government.

“Through these initiatives, we are laying the platform to make sure prudent lending is maintained on an ongoing basis,” Mr Byres said.

APRA’s decision to cap investor and interest-only lending led the banks to lift rates in an effort to stymie demand, a strategy that has come under heavy criticism from mortgage brokers and industry associations.

A parliamentary inquiry into the big four banks last year was largely focused around whether or not the majors had profited from the mortgage repricing.

The ACCC is currently conducting an investigation into the issue.

Meanwhile, a fresh report into competition in the sector from the Productivity Commission estimates that lending curbs imposed by the banking regulator have cost Australian taxpayers $500 million a year, increased bank profits and reduced competition.

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Tune in to the latest episode of Property Showcase, the podcast with the inside track on the products and businesses that will help turbocharge your portfolio, maximise returns and make your overall investment experience seamless and stress-free!

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To hear more about these services, make sure to tune into this episode of Property Showcase!

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Many investors who would have been successfully approved for finance last year are struggling now to either begin or continue their property investment journey because of the current financial climate.

In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, broker John Manciamelli and Momentum Media director Alex Whitlock joins host Tim Neary to discuss how APRA changes and the royal commission have resulted in a tighter lending economy and what that means for Australian investors.

They discuss what traps investors should avoid if they are trying to obtain finance, the four key growth drivers in a property market and unpacking trust structures while revealing one type of trust that you should miss.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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When buying property, it’s important to focus on what’s important. Investor Katarina Taurian shares just what exactly is important to her: having the mindset of looking past superficial cosmetic matters and homing in on the structural suitability and potential of a property.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Katarina joins host Tim Neary to unpack her entry into the property market and experiences of rentvesting, and how the Smart Property Investment Show was vital  in a number of decisions which she made along the way.

Katarina discusses about the team that she had help her along the way, why she thinks that you should never skimp on a good solicitor and accountant, and the red flags which tell her why buying a new property doesn’t necessarily mean buying a better property.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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More than just bricks and mortar, experts often regard property investment as a ‘game of finance’. As such, a good finance strategy can lead any investor to success.

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Why buying new property doesn’t mean buying better property

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