In a further sign that competition amongst lenders is remerging, ANZ will ease its lending criteria in a bid to acquire a greater portion of the home loan market according to media reports.
New ANZ retail banking chief Phil Chronican said the major would now revise some of its lending policies and upgrade its mortgage processing capacity in order to take on more borrowers.
"ANZ last year took the view it would dial back the risk in all loan books which included some risk settings on mortgages which were pretty conservative in hindsight, but understandable at the time," Mr Chronican told BusinessDaily.
"We're now easing it selectively. We will take a more flexible approach to lending, particularly with existing customers who have consistent track records."
Mr Chronican has also established a special team of executives to improve the group's mortgage processing systems to cope with the rising number of loan applications from brokers and the branch network.
However, Mr Chronican admitted that the new processing systems would take a couple of months to find their feet.
"We're sharpening our processes. We've had a lot of operational hiccups," he said.
"The system is not yet where I want it to be, but we will certainly be there within a month or two."
The major bank was the first of the big four to lower its maximum loan to value ratio (LVR) to 90 per cent in November 2008, as the global financial crisis forced ANZ to tighten qualifying standards on most forms of lending.
As a result, the bank lost a significant amount of market share to CBA and Westpac.
But the bank's recent push to increase home lending is already having a positive effect on the market, with Mortgage Choice reporting that they originated more loans for ANZ in January than any other bank.
"They eclipsed CBA to be the number one lender," the mortgage broker’s chief executive officer Mike Russell said.