RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Weekly Global News Wrap Up: US consumer loan demand takes hit in Q4; Canada housing slump prompts calls for looser mortgage rules

And HSBC is said to be cutting over 50 investment banking jobs.

From Reuters: A net 18.2% of banks surveyed by the Federal Reserve reported weaker demand for auto loans and 17.4% on net reported lower demand for credit card debt. Both were the largest shares in records that go back to 2011. “This provides evidence for the view that confidence will hurt spending,” said Lewis Alexander, an economist at Nomura.

The drop in auto loan demand corresponds to sales in U.S. light vehicles dropping around 10 percent year-over-year at some point this year, said Michael Pearce, an economist at Capital Economics.

From Bloomberg: Federal officials should revisit lending rules that were introduced last year, as the housing market rapidly cools and first-time buyers find it increasingly difficult to buy a home, industry groups say.

Paul Taylor, chief executive officer of Mortgage Professionals Canada, said the country’s banking regulator should ease up on stress tests that require homebuyers to prove they can handle payments at 200 basis points above the contracted rate. 

Since mid-2017, the Bank of Canada has lifted its key lending rate five times, to 1.75 percent. David Wilkes, chief executive officer at the Building Industry and Land Development Association, says the stress test needs to be changed to reflect those higher borrowing costs.

From Bloomberg: HSBC Holdings Plc will start eliminating at least 50 jobs in its global banking and market unit this week as part of an annual performance review of its staff, a person familiar with the matter said.

The affected employees from across HSBC’s investment banking division will lose their jobs in the coming weeks, the person said, asking not to be identified as the details are private. The person said the cutbacks were not focused on any particular business or location.

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