Big banks weigh affordability changes

ANZ has confirmed it will review its affordability criteria for investor loans in the wake of the Government's housing reforms. TMM Online asked the rest of NZ's major lenders if they plan to follow suit.

ANZ chief executive Antonia Watson said this week that the bank's "affordability equations will need to be reviewed" after the Government signalled plans to end the tax deductibility of mortgage interest for landlords.

Many banks take 75% of rental income into account when assessing affordability, and advisers expect that figure will drop if the new rules are implemented as planned.

TMM Online asked the rest of the big four and Kiwibank about their plans. Here's what they said.


"BNZ supports the ongoing Government actions to address the sustainability of the housing market and ensure home ownership stays within reach for New Zealanders.

"We are a prudent and careful lender, and our assessments always have an appropriate buffer to handle a range of different scenarios borrowers might face. We are always reviewing the criteria to ensure it is fit for the market conditions."


"Kiwibank regularly reviews lending policies and processes to ensure they are aligned with responsible lending principles.

"We are yet to review the impacts to investor cashflows and/or any requirements to make changes in our assessment processes."


"Westpac NZ continues to lend responsibly to support all our customers, including first home buyers and investors, with their home ownership goals. We regularly review our lending assessment settings in response to changes such as those announced by the Government this week.

"We encourage our investor customers to seek out independent expert advice about what the tax law changes will mean for them."

ASB did not respond to requests for comment.

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