ASIC disagrees with UBS 'liar loan' report

by Miklos Bolza15 Sep 2017
The Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) has disputed claims found within UBS’ controversial research report on ‘liar loans’.

ASIC faced the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics in Canberra yesterday (14 September) with senior executive leader of deposit takers, credit & insurers Michael Saadat fielding a question from deputy chair Matt Thistlethwaite around the UBS report.

Saadat said that ASIC “disagreed” with the bank’s findings.

“We think things have improved with regards to responsible lending,” he said, pointing out that lending policies and processes have become stricter in recent times.

He questioned the claim that underwriting standards remained unchanged with consumers seeing no difference between current and previous mortgage application standards.

Consumers were “not the best judge” of what goes on behind the scenes, Saadat said, especially with regards to the processes undertaken by the lenders.

Interest rate hikes

Committee chair David Coleman also followed on from questions he put to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) on Wednesday (13 September) around regulatory controls and interest rate increases.

ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell admitted it would be concerning if rate hikes were specifically linked to regulatory changes while being disproportionate to the actual impact of those changes.

ASIC had “noted” this issue, he said, and would be working with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to investigate whether comments made by the banks were false or misleading.

Medcraft added to this, saying that ASIC could “get good insights” into exactly how banks were pricing their loans.

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