After the RBA’s irresponsible exhortation to the banks to ramp up wholesale borrowing last week it is something a relief to see Westpac today declare that deposits will remain a key focus. From the AFR, according to senior executive Brian Hartzer:
Mr Hartzer said on Tuesday that the bank was prioritising growing deposits and strengthening its balance sheet in the current low credit growth environment.
One hopes this is more than mere window dressing. I don’t for a moment think that the banks would do this voluntarily so it means APRA is still on their hammer about funding all new loans from deposit growth. It’s a great shame that it is no longer receiving support from the RBA.
He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.