CBA clamps down on investment lending practices via third-party channels

By Michael Mata

The recent tightening of investment lending practices by Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) only applies to loans coming through the third-party channel, a bank spokesperson has confirmed.

Last week, it was reported that CBA had slammed the brakes on new refinance applications for standalone mortgages.

In a recent notice disseminated to its broker network, CBA said: “To ensure we continue to meet our commitments, from Monday 13th February [onwards] we will be suspending the acceptance of new refinance applications for Investment Home Loans, until further notice. Applications which include both Investor and Owner-Occupier loans are not impacted.”

While this notice appears to apply to all refinance investor loans, CBA told Australian Broker that these changes apply solely to intermediary-sourced loans. This means borrowers will still be able to access refinance investor loans through CBA’s retail branches.

“We’re committed to meeting our responsible lending and regulatory obligations, and to ensure we continue to meet this commitment, we are unable to accept new refinance applications for Investment Home Loans from our broker partners,” a CBA spokesperson told Australian Broker on Wednesday.

“The vast majority of our single property investment home loan refinances come to us through our broker partners so the decision was made to address this in the first instance to ensure we continue to meet our regulatory requirements. We constantly review our products, policies and processes to ensure we’re meeting our customers' financial needs.”

Bankwest, which is owned by CBA, recently announced that it would also halt all new applications from customers looking to refinance their standalone investment lending

So far, rivals ANZ, Westpac, and NAB have made no changes to their investment lending policies in either their third-party or retail channels.