Australian Broker weekend wrap: Rate hikes, regulatory rumblings and a cooling property market

by AB24 Oct 2015
This week saw banks begin a round of rate hikes, a major shake-up for financial services and a slowing property market.

Westpac set off a round of rate rises when it announced last week it would hike variable rates by 20bps. This week Commonwealth Bank followed suit with a 15bp rate rise. NAB became the third major to raise rates when it announced it would increase variable rates by 17bps. ANZ rounded out the rate hikes by raising rates for owner-occupiers and investors by 18bps. But not all the rate moves are bad news. Origin Finance director Graeme Salt said the rate hikes could see intensifying competition among non-majors.

Dominating news this week was the government's plan to act on the Murray Inquiry. The Turnbull government said it would back a recommendation for mortgage brokers to better disclose vertical integration. The government also said it would task ASIC with investigating broker remuneration models. But the government rejected recommendations to restrict SMSF lending, a move applauded by industry associations.

Finally, the property market showed further signs of cooling. The Australian Residential Development Outlook, released by the Property Council of Australia and Corelogic RP Data, has predicted single digit growth for house prices as record supply soaks up excess demand.