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Westpac joins other major banks in cutting lending to foreign property buyers

Westpac BankingCorp. tightened mortgage lending to foreigners, the last of the fourbiggest Australian lenders to do so, The Australianreported April 27.

Westpac will reject all mortgage applications from nonresidents,temporary visa holders and those with foreign self-employed income. The bank willalso lower the acceptable loan-to-value ratio for domestic applications that relyon foreign income to 70% from 80%.

The new policies took effect starting from April 26.

Westpac's decision follows pressure from regulators over concernsof the impact of foreign buyers on the property market. Other major Australian banks,Australia & New Zealand BankingGroup Ltd., CommonwealthBank of Australia and NationalAustralia Bank Ltd., have also tightenedmortgage lending rules to foreigners.