Amusingly, banks crack down on mortgagee gambling

Via Domain:

Gambling is the latest target of banks in the new world of mortgage lending, with many lenders now questioning betting habits great and small.

Mortgage brokers are warning prospective home buyers who gamble to rethink their habits or risk being unable to borrow from most lenders.

The increased scrutiny even extends to large cash withdrawals, which some lenders may consider an attempt to hide gambling habits.

The number of borrowers affected could be significant, with recent data from the Australian Institute of Family Studies finding 574,000 Australians regularly engaged in wagering on sports.

As if taking out a massive Aussie mortgage is not betting it all on black.

Houses and Holes

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the fouding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

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.

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Latest posts by Houses and Holes (see all)


    • Yes. You want your customers shooting up with your sh!t, not someone else’s.

      In an idea world, of course, the banks would love to buy and run the gambling companies (casinos, bookmakers, etc), but they have to pretend about CSR and all that crap, so they can’t do it.

  1. What, so some cocaine-snorting banker is going to judge me on my spending habits? Spare me.. Will the bank frown at me for buying smash avo for brunch as well?

    Enough with this false moralising bullsh*t. Ensuring that potential customers can actually service a loan, that’s your only job, rather than judging what they chose to spend their money on.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Gambling is notoriously addictive and easy to let out of control. Hard to see how identifying it is either a) moralising or b) unreasonable.

    • nil_allMEMBER

      Your sarcasm should be reserved for asic . The bank does not care a tinkers how you spend your money so long as you pay back your loan . While the new regime is now one of zero responsibility expected from borrowers, banks are forced to play mum and dad. Get used to it and worse when asic requires banks to question your transaction history before even giving a 2 grand card

    • Personally I welcome greater scrutiny, the same as a Health Care provider asking questions about smoking history etc.. I have a clean bill of health (not just physical) but also fiscal. Anything that weeds out the competition (for me) is a positive in my book.

    • Jumping jack flash

      Banks are very lax compared to the hoops a prospective debt slave had to jump through to just borrow a small portion of the total amount of the asking price for a house.

      Just 20 short years ago it was all so very different and we actually had an economy that sort of worked.

  2. HadronCollision

    Easy. Off book your Ladbrokes to your wife/partner then mortgage is judged on your income/expenses along as they get by on house keeping.


    PS Ladbrokes paying 101 on Maxy for the Brownlow.

  3. C.M.BurnsMEMBER

    “”As if taking out a massive Aussie mortgage is not betting it all on black.””

    Honestly, it’s as if you both suddently have split-personality disorder. How do you reconcile the above with your recent but oft-repeated recommendation for OO’s to buy a house as the market has bottomed.

  4. mikef179MEMBER

    It’s not gambling. House prices always go up. It’s a sure thing. lol

    Actually it’s even worse than regular gambling because it’s leveraged gambling. You don’t even need the price to go down by 100% to lose your entire initial investment. Something that few Aussie Property Investors have ever considered.

    • They’ve e had no need to consider it.

      so why waste precious Facebook time on thinking about that crap?

    • Professor DemographyMEMBER

      That’s exactly why the 20-30% fall marks are so important psychologically. At that point you have unwound a lot of people’s deposits on paper.

      • 20%-30% falls are a complete unicorn. Pretty sure that 15% falls are probably leprechauns.

        Truth is, we only ever get to 20-30% if the country gets cajorly munted. But not happening, because commodities.

        When the famed $25 iron ore arrives, then the crashniks will finally be rewarded for their patience.

        Before then, there is so so so much fuel to go in the fire.

      • Strange Economics

        20 to 30% drop would only be half of the 100% increase in the last 7 years. It could easily happen and probably should as it is so overpriced.
        In a real market not govt supported, say – the stock market (well forgetting the Fed) – that would be a normal correction.

        A crash loses 50% of the previous market.every 20 years – e.g. GFC 2009 S&P…

        At 20% the banks have lost coverage by the mortgage insurers and have to mark to market and do what are effectively margin calls…Thats the tipping point…

    • SupernovaMEMBER

      +1 “leveraged gambling”! Need a PhD to work out how to gamble with digits and launder them into what is supposed to be the non-productive sector of the economy.

  5. Equity growth not paying back loans, so now the unthinkable – borrowers might need to pay back their loans and are being scrutinised by the banks.

    • Jumping jack flash

      Equity was never used to pay back loans. .. well maybe in a few cases. Usually equity was extracted for buying an investment property, or just spending on useless crap from China.

      Equity is just a fancy name for debt and debt must be repaid plus the interest.

      Wait until the interest suction on the economies starts affecting demand for Chinese junk.

      Then we’ll see some real action. Its a while away yet, but there’s not a lot that can he done to prevent it.

  6. Yet another industry that relies on house prices and debt. Biggest Minsky economy ever is collapsing. Did you see Graeme Samuel who is heading the capability review into APRA pit gis house on the market the day Apra announced the serviceability cuts?

  7. Well, cutting gamblers and cash money launderers out of mortgage eligibility will have an interesting effect on the china man consort

  8. More evidence that Australian banks deserve their Unquestionably Strong rating. You can’t question it.