Non-major bank flags plans for SMSF lending

One non-major bank has revealed its SMSF lending plans, following its restriction on investor lending earlier this year.

AMP Bank said it will accept investor property loan applications effective 16 November, following a temporary withdrawal from the market in response to regulatory guidelines covering growth.

“The return to investor property lending is in line with AMP Bank’s commitment to return to the market in 2015,” the group said.

“Investor property lending to SMSFs remains on hold in order to meet AMP Bank’s regulatory commitment for the SMSF portfolio. The bank is expected to return to SMSF lending later this year.”

In September, a Queensland broker warned that the prudential regulator’s lending limits are shrinking the number of SMSF lenders in the market, creating significant concerns for SMSF investors.

Thrive Investment Finance owner Samantha Bright told SMSF Adviser the SMSF lending landscape has lost its competitiveness since APRA announced its curbs on investor lending.

“It’s not that the banks don’t want to lend; they’re being forced not to lend,” Ms Bright said.

“Before these changes [announced by APRA], we actually had more players coming into the market and looking at these products. I actually had some small lenders asking me to look at the products they were planning to release."

Ms Bright said that while it is beneficial that the changes are helping to limit lending to the most suitable SMSF borrowers, the smaller number of lenders has meant longer turnaround times and reduced competition.

“It’s gone from having a pool of lenders to barely a puddle,” she said.

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