BankWest has confirmed it will remove the tax advantages of negative gearing when determining whether or not applicants are eligible for investor loans.
The changes will mean the amount investors can borrow will be lower, and could result in the bank, a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank, writing fewer investment loans.
The Commonwealth Bank is expected to announce similar moves.
The Australian Financial Review reports of speculation BankWest and the Commonwealth Bank are close to breaching the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority's 10 per cent growth cap for investor loans.
Mark Chapman, a director of tax accountants H&R Block, told The Australian Financial Review the change would be most dramatic for existing borrowers, who will have to deal with altered rules.
"The impact of Bankwest's decision on new borrowers is not too bad – they can just borrow through another bank," he said. But for existing BankWest borrowers, the change is retrospective he said.
"They borrowed in good faith from this bank under one set of rules, now they are having another set of rules imposed on them."
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