ANZ acts over Qld property scam loans

Thousands of borrowers with ANZ Bank investment loans for Brisbane and Gold Coast properties have become the victims of a scam which sees them borrowing far more money than they needed to buy their properties.

ANZ has brought in auditors who have found staff of subsidiary mortgage lender Origin arranged thousands of loans for amounts far in excess of the value of the properties they related to.

The ANZ began its audit after revelations by The Courier-Mail newspaper. Melbourne law firm Slater & Gordon is preparing to sue on behalf of property purchasers.

ANZ spokesman Paul Edwards told the Australian newspaper: “We have been a victim of these scams as much as the customers have, although I'm sure the customers will not see it that way.

“We are prepared to forgo investment property lending completely in Queensland if that's what needs to happen to stop these sorts of properties getting into our portfolio.”

The Queensland Cabinet has given “in-principle” support for tightening laws and consumer safeguards to prevent such scams.