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Financial News: RBA Chief Criticizes Banks For Relaxed Lending Rules

RBA Chief Criticizes Banks For Relaxed Lending Rules

04/04/2017 - 08:26:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Australia's central bank chief criticized banks for relaxed lending standards and cautioned that regulators stand ready to take more steps.

"Too many loans are still made where the borrower has the skinniest of income buffers after interest payments," Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said in a speech on Tuesday.

Lenders assume that people can live more frugally than in practice they can, leaving little buffer if things go wrong.

Further, he observed that various prudential measures are needed to address the underlying supply-demand issues in the property market.

"Nothing increases the supply of well-located land like good transport links," he said. "Underinvestment in this area is one of the factors that has pushed housing prices up."

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority last week introduced new measures to curb risky lending by banks.

Lowe noted that growth in employment is slow and wage growth is the lowest in some decades.

"We will want to see an improvement here before we can be confident that growth in the overall economy is strengthening," he added.

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