Australian Bank Stocks Are Getting Crushed After The Regulator Announced Loan Monitoring

SOCHI, RUSSIA – FEBRUARY 18: Taihei Kato of Japan crashes as he competes in the Nordic Combined Men’s Individual LH during day 11 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at RusSki Gorki Jumping Center on February 18, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

The major banks are dragging down the rest of the Australian market.

Westpac led the pack, falling 1.75% to $32.48, followed by the NAB, down by 1.5% to $32.11, the ANZ 1.26% to $31.48 and the Commonwealth weathering the storm better than the rest at 0.43% down to $81.67.

The weakening in bank stocks came after Australia’s financial regulators announced a joint operation against risky home lending, mostly investment and interest-only loans.

And this morning, the Westpac Consumer confidence index fell 5.7%, indicating the most pessimistic population in about three years, and softer retail spending ahead.

Wall Street was flat to weaker overnight, with the S&P 500 closing just 0.02% down.

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