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Australian competition watchdog to probe into residential loan pricing

Australia's lending institutions are facing an inquiry into how they price and advertise their residential mortgage products, as well as whether and how they pass the central bank's rate changes on to borrowers.

The Australian government has directed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to immediately start an inquiry into home loan pricing among deposit-taking institutions and credit licensees.

The inquiry will also look into what prevents consumers from switching among home loans.

"We are looking forward to examining how banks make these crucial decisions. It will be important to understand and examine the different factors that financial institutions take into account when setting their prices," said ACCC Chair Rod Sims.

The ACCC is expected to produce a preliminary report by the end of March 2020, and a final report by the end of September 2020.