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Traditional leaders still head dollar race

THE non-bank financial institutions sector still has considerable inroads to make before equalling the stranglehold on the finance market enjoyed by the traditional banks.

According to latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia-wide, banks accounted for the majority of finance commitments allocated for housing, commercial, personal and lease finance.

The strength of banks in the commercial market is currently indisputable.

Banks accounted for 90 per cent of the $13 billion handed out for commercial activities during November.

Housing finance was no different. Banks committed 83 per cent of the $7 billion allocated during the month, while 76 per cent of all personal finance obtained originated from banks.

It was in the leasing finance industry where NBFIs exerted a dominating influence.

Banks accounted for only 40 per cent of the lease finance sector.

However, this sector is still relatively small, at just $650 million for November.

In all, banks lent $21 billion of the $25 billion of finance committed during November.

They also increased their market share, particularly in the provision of housing finance.

Housing finance increased by 10 per cent or $700 million compared with the previous month of October, while building societies only increased their lending by $18 million during November.

Housing finance has increased 45 per cent during the year to November 1999, largely as a result of the effects of the GST on housing demand.

The commercial sector lost ground overall during November, yet banks still managed to increase the amount of finance committed.

The commercial sector was driven to a large extent by the purchase of property, followed by construction and the purchase of plant and equipment.

According to statistics from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority on the Australian banking scene, BankWest accounts for one in four dollars lent in WA.

BankWest currently has more than $10 billion of lending on its books, National Australia Bank has almost $8.5 billion, while ANZ, Westpac and the Commonwealth each show just over $6 billion in loans.

Together, the ‘big five’ banks accounted for 88 per cent of the total lent by the fifty or so banks who have representation in Australia.

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