The Westpac Group is clamping down on lending to overseas property investors who want to buy residential property in Australia. The bank says the move has been made to bring it in line with the annual investment lending growth limit mandated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
Lending applications now require an Australian address, according to a letter leaked to news sources recently. This move follows a recent announcement that the bank was reducing its loan-to-value ratios on investment loans to 80%.
The news restriction would mean that the applicant would need to have an Australian visa and conform to Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) criteria. This is a more active enforcement of existing rules which state that non-residents need to obtain FIRB approval when buying property.
A spokesman for the bank said: “It’s just a reminder to brokers with a higher percentage of non-resident lending that when submitting owner-occupied applications [they] should contain an Australian residential address.”