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ANZ responds to ACCC inquiry into home loan pricing

In morning trade the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) share price has pushed higher despite news out of the ACCC impacting the sector.

At the time of writing the ANZ share price is up 1.2% to $27.82.

What has the ACCC announced?

According to the ACCC release, today Treasurer Josh Frydenberg directed the ACCC to immediately commence an inquiry into home loan pricing.

The ACCC will investigate a wide range of issues. These range from the rates of new vs existing customers, how the cost of financing for banks impacts decisions on interest rates, and why the RBA cuts aren’t always passed on in full.

Furthermore, the inquiry will consider what prevents more consumers from switching to cheaper home loans. The ACCC will consider matters such as consumer decision-making and biases, information used by consumers and the extent to which suppliers may contribute to consumers paying more than they need to for home loans.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims said: “Having consumers and the community understand how pricing decisions are made, why, and with what consequences is important for a well-functioning market. We are looking forward to examining how banks make these crucial decisions. It will be important to understand and examine the different factors that financial institutions take into account when setting their prices.”

The ACCC will deliver its interim report by March 30 2020. After which, a final report is due by September 30 2020.

ANZ responds.

This morning ANZ’s chief executive officer, Shayne Elliott, welcomed the ACCC inquiry.

He said: “The inquiry is a good opportunity to provide facts in what is a complex space and we hope it will provide the public with renewed confidence in the way their home loans are priced.”

 “Despite intense competition, there is cynicism in the broader community about interest rates for home loans. We know we have not done a good job in explaining our position and we will be working hard to ensure this process delivers results,” Mr Elliott added. 

Elsewhere, the shares of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB), and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) have also pushed higher. Investors don’t appear to see this as a negative for the banks.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of National Australia Bank Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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