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Westpac trips up as mortgage approval times tick up

Westpac was the only big four bank to kick off the June quarter with a contraction in its mortgage book, according to the latest APRA data. 

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has published its latest monthly authorised deposit-taking institutions statistics (MADIS), revealing that Westpac Group (includes St.George Bank, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne) lost ground in the mortgage space in April.

The major bank’s home lending portfolio contracted by approximately $1.2 billion, from $408 billion in March to $406.8 billion.

Westpac failed to grow its owner-occupied book, which remained unchanged at $228.2 billion, while its investment portfolio slipped from $179.8 billion to $178.6 billion.

This coincided with a sharp decline in the percentage of brokers lodging mortgage applications with Westpac and its subsidiaries, with Momentum Intelligence’s latest Broker Pulse data reporting that broker usage slipped from 56 per cent in March to 48 per cent in April.

Over the same period, Westpac’s turnaround times for broker-originated loans spiked, rising from over 16 business days to over 20 business days.

As a result, Westpac’s net promoter score (NPS) fell deeper into negative territory, from -33.3 to -63.1.

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ANZ recovers territory  

After recording a contraction in its mortgage portfolio in March, ANZ’s book grew by approximately $700 million in April, from $245.6 billion to $246.3 billion.

Owner-occupiers were the sole drivers of ANZ’s portfolio growth, with the bank’s owner-occupied book rising from $160.6 billion to $161.3 billion.

The major bank’s investment home loan portfolio was stable at approximately $85 billion.

Last month, ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott told Mortgage Business that the bank experienced a sharp uptick in mortgage volumes in response to the COVID-19 crisis, particularly from owner-occupier refinancers.

At the time, ANZ’s turnaround times had also improved, sparking an increase in broker usage.

However, the bank has since claimed that “record daily volumes” have led to a deterioration in its turnaround times, which increased to up to 23 business days in May.  

CBA widens gap 

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) – which includes subsidiary Bankwest – has continued to outstrip its big four peers, with its mortgage portfolio growing by approximately $1.8 billion for the second consecutive month, up from $449 billion to $450.8 billion.

CBA’s owner-occupied book increased from approximately $292.2 billion to $294 billion, while its investment portfolio remained unchanged at $156.8 billion.

Broker Pulse data has revealed that in contrast to its peers, CBA’s turnaround times have remained low in recent months at an average of approximately four business days.

Broker usage has also remained steady, ending April at approximately 48 per cent.

Investors dent NAB’s performance

NAB also recorded healthy growth in its mortgage book, thanks to a spike in owner-occupier volumes.

The bank’s owner-occupied portfolio increased by approximately $1.2 billion, from $152.8 billion in March to $154 billion.

This was offset by a dip of approximately $700 million in its investment portfolio, from $108.7 billion to $108 billion.

As a result, NAB’s total mortgage book grew by approximately $500 million, from $261.5 billion to $262 billion.

Coinciding with NAB’s book growth was a drop in its turnaround times in April, from 16 business days to 13 business days, and an improvement in broker usage, from 28 per cent to 32 per cent.

Brokers interested in joining Momentum Intelligence’s Broker Pulse panel can apply to Momentum Intelligence here. Participants of the survey will receive full access to the report and exclusive insights into the research. 


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