Investor lending comes off the boil

Two non-majors with a high proportion of investors on their books have seen a slowdown in investor lending over January.

New figures from APRA reveal that Macquarie Bank’s investor lending grew by 73.1 per cent in the year to January 31, down from the 75.2 per cent recorded for the year to 31 December 2014.

The non-major is adamant it will not be targeted by APRA for growing its investor lending by more than 75 per cent in 12 months.

Speaking at an operational briefing following the release of its December quarter figures last month, Macquarie group head of banking and financial services, Greg Ward, said he did not believe the bank will be targeted by the regulator since it is “too small”.

Macquarie’s residential loan book was valued at $19.1 billion as of January 31.

"I don't think we are the target of APRA's announcement," Mr Ward said in reference to the regulator’s increased supervision of home lending.

ME Bank also tapered off its investor lending growth over the 12 months to January 31, recording 36.5 per cent, down from the 40.5 cent recorded over the 2014 calendar year.

ME Bank national broker manager Stewart Saunders told Mortgage Business that while there has been uplift in lending to investors over the past 12 months, ME Bank has seen the overall market being “quite contained and growing in line with our general mortgage growth at the moment”.

Mr Saunders said it is important for APRA to have an overarching prudential view across the financial institutions to ensure stability in the financial markets and the wider Australian economy.

“It’s good that they are looking at some risks in the market and coming back to banks with feedback around those hotspots where they see some concern,” he said.

“We are comfortable with the approach they’ve taken and the way they are dealing with the market more generally.”

Mr Saunders added that ME Bank supports APRA’s investor lending measures and will work with the regulator on any areas that it can.

 

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