ANZ, NAB carve out housing gains

ANZ and National Australia Bank continue to edge out their two big rivals in gaining share in the nation's home lending market, while Westpac lags behind the broader market.

ANZ and National Australia Bank continue to edge out their two big rivals in gaining share in the nation's home lending market, while Westpac lags behind the broader market.

With nearly $3.8 billion in housing loans sold in the past month, ANZ and NAB grabbed most of the gains.

On a monthly measure ANZ is growing slightly ahead of its big-bank rivals while Westpac continues to lose market share, investment bank Nomura said. The assessment is based on monthly banking figures compiled by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. However, said Nomura analyst Victor German, while Westpac appeared more aggressive on pricing in the mortgage market, it would take time for the bank to regain momentum. Mr German said continued improvement in housing credit appeared to be underpinned by the household sector's appetite for low-interest borrowing.

Business credit growth trends remain weak, with October figures highlighting a small decline. While the broader mortgage market grew at 5.5 per cent in the past year, Westpac's mortgage book grew just 1.8 per cent. ANZ has grown fastest, at 7.1 per cent, while NAB had growth of 6.9 per cent. Commonwealth Bank largely matched the overall market with growth of 5.8 per cent.

The figures come as ANZ last week demonstrated investments in retail banking technology, signalling the possibility of voice-recognition technology in call centres.

ANZ retail banking boss Phil Chronican said the move could have a "massive productivity benefit" for the bank because it could save resources required to identify customers over the phone.

All of Australia's big banks are ploughing hundreds of millions into upgrading their technology, amid expectations that mobile banking will be a critical way to keep and win customers.

NAB retail banking boss Gavin Slater will this week provide an overview of investments in banking technology and changes in product mix.

In terms of overall banking market share, Commonwealth Bank has 26.8 per cent and Westpac 24.7 per cent. After making gains in recent years NAB is on 16.3 per cent and ANZ has a 14.8 per cent share of the nation's mortgage market.

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