27 Feb 2014

Westpac mortgage lending rises

1:32 pm on 27 February 2014

Westpac's mortgage book grew strongly in the December quarter, even as its lending to people with low deposits shrank.

The Australian-owned bank's quarterly profit jumped 35 percent to $266 million in the period, thanks partly to higher fee income and a 63 percent plunge in estimated losses on bad loans.

The $477 million growth in the mortgage book in the three months to December has been heavily influenced by the Reserve Bank's restrictions on lending to those with low deposits, introduced in October.

New lending to people with deposits of 20 percent or more grew by $582 million, while lending to those with lower deposits shrank by $105 million.

The bank's commitments to lend to people with small deposits rose $15 million and to borrowers with bigger deposits by $215 million.