Westpac yesterday raised it's home lending rates by 0.2% and NAB, CBA, ANZ and Macquarie will most likely raise rates in the coming weeks. But that's not the end of it - there is still more to come.
The rate increase has come as a result of Westpac's need to hold more capital to protect deposit holder funds. Former CBA chief David Murray's enquiry into the financial services sectors highlighted that the major banks and MacQuarie were holding a significantly lower percentage of capital relative to the their loan book compared to the remainder of deposit taking institutions. The average risk weighting of the majors loan books sits at around 16% while the remainder of the market sits around 30-35%. APRA wants to see that risk weighting increase to 25%.
APRA has been steadily applying pressure to banks to increase their capital holdings to strengthen their balance sheet to market shocks. Westpac and other banks have had to go to market to raise more capital which has diluted the banks return on equity.
Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer said Westpac would be maintaining its return on equity target of 15 per cent. Which means further capital raisings will mean further rate hikes. This is likely as Westpac and other banks would need to raise more capital in response to pressures from global regulatory changes known as Basel IV.
So we can expect to see more rate hikes out of the majors.
This certainly creates opportunity for smaller lenders in the market who are already meeting their capital requirements and already have competitive offerings - some with rates below 4%.
With all the changes in the market now is an ideal time to talk to us to review your lending. Contact us today.