Major bank subsidiary pulls investor lending deals

An Australian bank has revealed that it will no longer accept applications from new customers seeking to refinance their stand-alone investment lending from other financial institutions.

A Bankwest spokesperson told Mortgage Business that the change impacts “a very small number of applications”.

“However, Bankwest continues to assess investment lending applications from current and prospective customers who meet relevant criteria within risk appetite,” they said.

“This aligns with Bankwest’s commitment to supporting a stable national housing market and sustainable economy in line with regulatory guidance.

"Bankwest will continue to monitor the impact this change has on customers and the market, in order to maintain prudent lending and a sustainable business.”

The news comes as brokers expect refinancing to continue to play a major role in the mortgage market this year.

Will Foster of Foster Finance told Mortgage Business that “there was a lot more refinance” in 2016 than in previous years as consumers became better educated about alternatives on the market and were no longer “happy with what their incumbent banks were doing”.

He added that based on his experience he believed this trend would continue throughout 2017.

Meanwhile, at today’s RBA board meeting, where the cash rate was left on hold, board members noted that borrowing for housing has “picked up a little, with stronger demand by investors”.

“With leverage increasing, supervisory measures have strengthened lending standards and some lenders are taking a more cautious attitude to lending in certain segments.”

[Related: RBA makes cash rate call]

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