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Japanese banks could be our new home lenders

TREASURER Wayne Swan would welcome new foreign lenders to the Australian loans market, saying more competition would mean better deals for borrowers.

Responding to a Daily Telegraph report that  Japanese banks could snatch $100 billion of the Australian home loan market by undercutting local lenders which fail to pass on rate cuts, Mr Swan warned the big domestic banks could no longer take their customers for granted.

“I welcome the entry of new lenders who meet our strict regulatory criteria and want to get in the ring and fight for customers by offering good deals for Australian families and business,” Mr Swan said in a statement.

At least three big banks, the $62 billion Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, $42 billionSumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and $35 billion Mizuho Financial Group, are said to be considering operating here, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The arrival of the Asian giants would be good news for homeowners, with the big four banks hinting they won’t pass on an expected 0.25 percentage point rate cut in early February and others likely to follow, blaming rising costs of funds in world debt markets spooked by eurozone woes.

But Mr Swan said the Government’s banking competition reforms have put the power back into the hands of consumers.

“Banks can no longer take their customers for granted,” the Treasurer said.

“The banks are now having to earn the loyalty of their customers.”

Story courtesy of Pricefinder.