Investor pricing action not positive, says non-bank

Separate pricing for investors is a negative thing, even though it is expected to lead to more business from third party distributors, says one non-bank lender.

Mortgage Ezy chief executive Peter James said the decision by some banks to make investor loans more expensive was a step back in time for the lending industry.

“We don’t believe that raising interest rates for one class of borrowers is a positive thing. In fact, what we believe is that that’s simply going back 20 to 30 years,” he said.

“We want to make progress in this industry but when you actually close your eyes and look at the lending landscape, we've actually gone back in time. It was 20-30 years ago where we had higher rates for investors.”

Mr James said APRA’s crackdown on investor lending has given the banks cover to recoup some margin on their investor loans.

“The banks have reacted to APRA's guidelines by giving them a reason to grab more margin,” he said.

“We all know that we're in a rate war at the moment and the banks have been holding their breath for a very long time.”

According to a recent poll by Mortgage Business’ sister publication, The Adviser, 64 per cent of brokers plan to write more loans with non-banks as a result of APRA’s investor lending crackdown on banks.

However, Mr James said this statistic will not influence Mortgage Ezy to target more investors.

“We believe APRA is being responsible and we want to support their initiatives. However, we don't believe that using the stick to investors is the appropriate way to go for Mortgage Ezy,” he said.

“We’ll be holding our rates as long as we can, keeping them at the same low level for investors as we do for owner-occupiers.

“We don’t just want to write investor loans, and that of course is the danger that non-banks actually face. What we need to do is target a balanced book, and that’s what we’re after.”

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