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Still number one - just

15 December 2004

Still number one - just

The last of the main trading banks today released the details of their trading in the quarter to 30 September 2004, the period just before the 'mortgage war' broke out, and it shows that the struggle for market share of residential mortgages is tightening right up.

Long time leader, ASB Bank, retains the number one spot for the September quarter, but only just. However, the ASB and the broker-free BNZ were the only main banks to write less business in the third quarter than in the June quarter. In fact, between the two, they wrote almost half a billion dollars less new business in the September period than the June one - ASB wrote $392 million less, and BNZ wrote $103 million less.

In contrast, ANZ-National grew the new business it wrote from the June to September quarters by some $84 million while Westpac grew it by $47 million. New entrant Superbank, who was not active for the whole quarter, started its mortgage book with $46 million in the period.

Kiwibank, who launched in 2002 with $43 million in its first quarter, managed to write $21 million more in the September quarter than June. Even HSBC, which has been struggling to swallow and restructure the old AMP Bank mortgage book, turned around to improve by $10 million.

Overall, $3.058 billion of net new business was written for prime residential mortgages in the September quarter, compared with $3.35 billion in the June quarter, as measured by each bank's General Disclosure Statement. These figures only measure those residential mortgages that meet the regulator's definition to be included in their Capital Adequacy note. Other residential mortgages will have been written, some not meeting the LVR standards, others supporting business investment.

The bank's mortgage books were 15.9% above where they were a year earlier, and 3.3% above the June quarter.

A closer look at the winners and losers in this war of the mortgage titans is revealed in the following table:

ENDS

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