High rate loans sustain St George lending growth

St George Bank continues to favour higher yielding, and marginally riskier, segments to maintain the pace of growth in the home loan market. The bank said residential loans in Australia increased by 12.2 per cent to $62.7 billion in the year to September 2006, in line with rate of growth of the market. Low doc, no deposit and reverse mortgages comprise a gently increasing proportion of new home loan business. These three comprised 14.5 per cent of new loans in 2006, up from 13.9 per cent in 2005 and from 12.2 per cent in 2004. The bank said consumer loans, including credit cards, margin lending and personal loans, increased by 27.8 per cent, a rapid rate of growth only partly assisted by the purchase of the $398 million margin lending portfolio of HSBC in August 2006.