Will ANZ seize the opportunity – or seize up?

Will ANZ seize the opportunity – or seize up?

The incoming CEO of ANZ, Shayne Elliot, was highlighting just the other day how they want to grow their mortgage business, particularly in NSW.

Well, here is your chance ANZ!

Westpac, maligned by parliamentarians as being greedy, raised mortgage rates earlier last week.

ANZ competition

If our banks are not an oligopoly, then surely one or two of them, given their current super profits, will obviously seize the day to gain market share be reducing their mortgage rate?

If however, as many of us suspect, there is actually no true banking competition in this country, then the other banks will simply leave mortgage rates as they are, or being rather greedy, perhaps even raise them as well, but to a lesser degree of course. In so doing they would big-note themselves as doing their customers a favour , but proving however, that the Australian banks treat mortgage holders as mere ‘fodder’, rather than customers.

As I said, “ANZ, this is your chance! This is your chance to prove to your customers, the general public, the new Treasurer, and even Senate enquiries that there is ‘real’ competition in Australia?”

We will see what happens, but we should not hold our breath.

How does this help you? Well we have to be aware of the landscape in order to prosper! Our banking territory is a minefield of virtually wilful but whimsical actions to support their bottom line, no matter what. The banks in Australia are simply allowed to operate and price loans to keep their profit margins fat. This is not free enterprise! It does not represent an economy which is operating efficiently.

One thing is for sure - It is not going to get any easier or cheaper to borrow, which is ultimately required to drive the Australian economy and Australian ownership of our vast land.

Hard working Australians should be getting help to buy property, but everyone from APRA to the Banks to the RBA is just making it more difficult. This blinkered focus will only drive property values higher, as we have been warning for some time. Rents will also climb - for the hardest working of Australians. So if you have a property portfolio and the ability, even in these difficult circumstances, to accumulate more property, it is a wise move to do so.

Will the RBA cut rates?

Speaking of the RBA? You may wonder if they will cut rates to help counter the Westpac hike? This would make sense - that is, if we had a benign and enlightened central bank. But they act like dictators. When it comes to the RBA there are always two questions to ask however,

  1. What should they do? Answer, cut rates to 1.5% so as to make a real difference, adding to any Turnbull lift effect, and get this economy going. After all inflation is not a problem, un-employment is too high, and the economy is barely growing. So why not cut rates and support the nation? After all, rates are near zero in both Europe and the USA.
  2. What will they do? Probably nothing, other than to offer an intellectual superior- sounding dialogue on the global and local economy, which they basically lifted from a tabloid newspaper (and got paid a lot of tax payer’s money to do so). The reason they will do nothing is that a new experience, such as dropping rates below 2.00%, is probably beyond their old world, backward looking at past data capabilities.

I apologise for falling back to lampooning the RBA, but it is so tragically obvious how inept they are, one can only weep!

Again however, this weight of our own making, a self-promoting independent central bank, will only add to the already considerable upward price pressures in our booming property market.

Clifford Bennett

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