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Major banks continue lending crackdown

A big four bank is ramping up its security efforts around broker-introduced loans by ensuring that all new customers visit a bank branch in person.

In an update sent to mortgage aggregators on Friday, ANZ reminded all brokers that accounts can only be opened with the customer present at the branch.

“Brokers must advise their customers to visit an ANZ branch to open accounts and to bring correct forms of identification with them,” the bank said.

“Referrals and requests for new accounts can still be sent to branch staff, however won’t be actioned until the customer has been identified by the banker.


“Requests for account opening cannot be fulfilled over the phone or email by branch staff.”

ANZ has also announced further clarification of income requirements to help brokers understand what forms of income and documentation are acceptable.

The move comes as lenders begin to tighten their policies as the royal commission continues to unearth instances of misconduct. Home loans were targeted during the first round of the financial services royal commission, where ANZ was accused of being non-compliant with the NCCP by not verifying inconsistent living expenses.

However, ANZ is not the only bank cracking down on its credit policy.

As of last week, Westpac now requires brokers to provide additional information and supporting documents to give an “accurate view” of their clients’ living expenses.

“The number of expense categories will increase from six to 13. This will allow you to have more detailed conversations with your customers to better understand their financial situation,” Westpac said in a note to brokers.

“Customers will need to produce more documentation with their loan applications to support their stated outgoings and debts. All checklists will be updated with these enhanced requirements.”

Westpac has also introduced a new Financial Acknowledgement form, which will detail the income, expenses and liabilities the customer has told their broker.

“Customers will need to sign and date this form before sending it back to us as part of their loan offer documentation,” the bank said.

Brokers have been tasked with making sure that all applicable expense categories have been entered. Comments must be provided where a zero sum is given for a particular expense.

Westpac said that brokers must “make detailed enquiries and capture the customer’s response to ensure we have an accurate view of the applicant’s living expenses” and ask customers to provide acceptable verification documents for applicable outgoings and debts.

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