Aussie banks in NZ should ban lending to offshore buyers

ASB, Westpac and ANZ must confirm whether or not they will continue to fund the over-heated property market by lending to non-resident offshore home buyers, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“This issue has arisen because their parent banks have unilaterally announced they are going to cease or limit lending to foreign buyers in Australia.

“Westpac Australia and its subsidiaries have also announced they will reduce the proportion it will lend on property to Australian citizens and permanent visa holders who depend on overseas income.

“The Commonwealth Bank and ANZ in Australia have also reviewed their lending to offshore investors and temporary residents, as Australia's banking regulators cap the proportion of loans that banks can make to foreign investors.

“If the Aussie banks – for prudential reasons – have stopped or cut lending to foreign buyers in their market, their New Zealand subsidiaries need to explain why they are not taking similar precautions in the New Zealand market which is even more over heated, according to the latest figures,” Phil Twyford says.