Low interest rates and rising household debt are placing pressure on major banks and skewing risk to the downside, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
In a new report, Moody’s warned that the low interest rate environment is leading to increased exposure to housing and noted that since 2008, major banks had “raised their share of lending to housing” in the face of slackening business lending growth.
“The prospects of a longer period of low interest rates may direct even more bank credit to the housing market, making banks increasingly sensitive to shocks in this segment and at a time when adjustment risks are rising,” the company said.
In the report, Moody’s highlights a “growing disconnect” between housing prices and average household incomes, noting that the higher levels of household leverage pose “increasing tail risks for Australian banks”.
“Australia’s credit conditions and housing risks are starting to pose increasing challenges,” the report said.
Moody’s also pointed to “cyclical challenges” in the labour market, such as part-time employment “outpacing” full-time, putting increased pressure on household debt.
Wealth management relationships are under threat as clients look to switch providers driven by the impact of the royal commission. ...
S&P Dow Jones has announced a new addition to its global ESG index using enhanced ESG scores and granular data. ...
Investor confidence is on the rebound and the ASX hit a 12-year high on Monday. But it’s not all good news for the Australian economy. ...