AMP announces return to investor lending

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After a nearly five-month hiatus from the market, a non-major lender has announced it will return to investor lending this month.

From today, AMP will again accept applications for loans for investment properties after it announced a temporary withdrawal from the sector on 29 July.

The withdrawal was in response to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA) push to slow down investor lending and was one that came as a surprise to many at the time.

In a statement, the bank siad it had always targetted being back in the market during 2015.
“The return to investor property lending is in line with AMP Bank's commitment to return to the market in 2015,” the statement 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.”
While AMP said it was committed to returning to the market in 2015, Philippe Brach, chief executive officer of Multifocus Properties & Finance said he had predicted the bank wouldn’t return to dealing with investors until early 2016, and he is sceptical of the initial reaction the lender will get.
“Bank of Queensland did a similar thing a few years ago where they said they didn’t want to deal with the broker channel. After a while they came back and said they wanted in the broker channel again and a lot of people said why should we jump just because you say jump?” Brach said.
“Initially I think that’s the reaction AMP will get from investors. When you chop and change it can leave a bitter taste in people’s mouths. After a while if the offers are good enough though, people will go back to them,” he said.  
According to APRA statistics, AMP’s investor home loan portfolio dropped by 6% from July to September. AMP’s annual growth in property investment lending, in the year to September 2015, sits well below APRA’s 10% annual growth guideline at 4%.

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