Australia Loosens Lending Laws to Revive Coronavirus-hit Economy

Australia said on Friday it would simplify bank lending rules to free up credit in a bid to stimulate the economy, which slid into its first recession in nearly 30 years due to the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported. Shares of Australia’s “Big Four” banks rallied after the announcement in early trade, with the heavyweight financial sector surging more than 3%. The benchmark index was up more than 1%. National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking rose nearly 6%, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia was up more than 2%. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group rose nearly 5%. The changes will ease the regulatory burden and reduce the cost and time faced by consumers and small businesses seeking to access credit, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said. “The flow of credit will be absolutely critical to our economic recovery,” Frydenberg told reporters in Canberra. Read more