Mortgage competition ‘intense’ as discounting continues

A non-major lender has commented on the fierce competition for owner-occupied home loans as it looks to ramp up its distribution through brokers and financial planners.

AMP Bank grew its overall mortgage book by five per cent over the 2015 financial year, but admitted the result was “constrained by lower investment property lending”.

The non-major’s new retail mortgage business from advisers was steady at 24 per cent. Growing AMP Bank home loans through its advice network remains a priority for the group.

In a trading update, the ASX-listed lender said it would “maintain focus in both aligned adviser and mortgage broker channels.”

AMP noted that lower mortgage growth in the second half of the 2015 financial year reflected the temporary cessation of investment property lending to meet regulatory growth limits.

AMP Bank has now recommenced investment property lending, including SMSF property loans.

Owner-occupied loans made up 71 per cent of the AMP’s mortgage portfolio at 31 December 2015, while investment property loans were 29 per cent.

“Residential mortgage competition, particularly in the owner-occupied market, remained intense in the period with continued market-wide discounting,” the group said.

“Management continues to target lending growth at or above system, subject to funding, return on equity hurdles, and regulatory growth caps.

“AMP Bank’s credit policy remains conservative and has been strengthened during this period of intense competition.”

[Related: AMP Bank names new boss]

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