Australian banks to cut debt borrowings

27 May 2011

The largest banks in Australia are to reduce their wholesale term debt borrowings to their lowest level since the economic downturn.

Bankers - who declined to be identified - have revealed the lenders aim to slash these amounts by one-third, while making the most of increasing deposits, Reuters reports.

The representatives noted four large lenders, having borrowed between $140 billion and $150 billion each year over the past 24 months, will only raise $100 billion this time around.

One of the sources confirmed: "The change will be quite akin to the mid 90s when deposits made up 70 per cent of the funding base."

The insider added that new global requirements to make banks switch short-term debt to deposits were partially behind such a strategy.

Last month, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the top banks in Australia were expecting record profits to come off the back of falling debt charges and out-of-cycle mortgage rate increases.

By Tony Aynsley

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