Home loan borrowing rates set to rise in 2016 after APRA's latest decision

Home loan borrowing rates set to rise in 2016 after APRA's latest decision
Home loan borrowing rates set to rise in 2016 after APRA's latest decision

Deposits held by the major banks will be safer following APRA's latest move to strengthen capital held against mortgages, but borrowers can expect higher rates for their home loans.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) today announced an increase in the amount of capital required for Australian residential mortgage exposures by authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) accredited to use the internal ratings-based (IRB) approach to credit risk. The change applies only to the four major banks - ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac - and Macquarie Bank, which are the five institutions currently allowed to set their own mortgage risk weights.

The much anticipated 2016 implementation will mean that, for ADIs accredited to use the IRB approach, the average risk weight on Australian residential mortgage exposures will increase from approximately 16% to at least 25%. 

The increase in IRB mortgage risk weights addresses a recommendation of the Financial System Inquiry (FSI) that APRA ‘raise the average IRB mortgage risk weight to narrow the difference between average mortgage risk weights for ADIs using IRB risk weight models and those using standardised risk weights’.

The increase is also consistent with the direction of work being undertaken by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel Committee) on changes to the global capital adequacy framework for banks. 

The increased IRB risk weights will apply to all Australian residential mortgages, other than lending to small businesses secured by residential mortgage.

In order to provide these five ADIs sufficient time to prepare for the change, the higher risk weights will come into effect from 1 July 2016. All other lenders regulated by APRA currently use a standard 35 per cent risk weight on residential mortgages, meaning that even after mid-2016 these major banks will retain a cost advantage.

APRA noted the residential mortgage portfolio is the largest credit portfolio for ADIs and, in aggregate, IRB accredited ADIs hold the material share of these exposures.

"Therefore, strengthening the capital adequacy requirement for residential mortgage exposures under the IRB approach will enhance the resilience of IRB-accredited ADIs and the broader financial system," it said.

It is expected that the major banks will be quite differently affected by APRA's policy announcement.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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