5601.0 - Lending Indicators, Oct 2019 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/12/2019   
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Quality declaration

Institutional environment

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) produces Lending Indicators with data sourced from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). The ABS does the final quality assurance and analysis of all data.

APRA is the independent statutory authority for the prudential regulation of the Australian financial services industry. The authority for APRA to collect data is granted under the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001, which established APRA as the national statistical agency for the Australian financial sector. For more information about the roles and responsibilities of the organisation, see the APRA website.

For information on the institutional environment of the ABS, including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


Lending Indicators presents monthly statistics on new commitments by significant Australian lenders for financing households and businesses. It includes:
finance commitments for the construction, purchase, refinancing of, and alterations to owner occupied and investment dwellings;
personal finance commitments;
fixed finance commitments to businesses, and
lease finance commitments to businesses.

Depending on the category of counterparty and loan purpose, these commitments may be classified by:
state and territory;
major banks, other Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) and non-ADIs;
first home buyer (owner occupier and investor).

It is important to note the distinction between a financing commitment and actual financing activity. For example, housing finance commitments are not a direct measure of financing, sales or construction in the residential dwelling market. A commitment exists once the home loan application has been approved, and a loan contract or letter of offer has been issued to the borrower, and the borrower has accepted the offer. A commitment to lend will only happen after the property has been found and valued and mortgage insurance arranged (where relevant). The actual advancement of funds may not occur in the same month or necessarily at all.


Lending Indicators is released monthly, 28 working days after the end of the reference month.


The data published in lending indicators does not represent all new loan commitments in Australia. To reduce reporting burden on smaller lenders, the collection only aims to capture those lenders that contribute to 95% of total housing, personal and business credit outstanding as reported on the ABS/RBA Loans and Finance Leases Reporting standard (ARS 720.1).

Lending Indicators has no sampling error since it does not select providers to be in sample but tries to enumerate all providers in scope that meet the specified coverage. Lending Indicators also has low non-response rates. As with all surveys, Lending Indicators does have non-sampling error arising from inaccuracies in collection, recording and processing. Every effort is made to minimise non-sampling errors by the careful design of questionnaires, contact with providers and efficient data processing procedures.

Revisions to previously published statistics are included in the publication as they occur.

The Methodology tab has more detail on scope and coverage.


The Economic and Financial Statistics (EFS) collection was implemented from July 2019 to improve the reliability and accuracy of the data collected. Where new concepts under the EFS collection were sufficiently similar to those previously published, the ABS has produced historic series back to July 2002 (i.e. a backcast series) to help with historical analysis and comparability of data. For more detail please see Information paper: Upcoming changes to Lending to Households and Businesses, Australia.

Prior to the commencement of the EFS collection the following changes to forms and reporting requirements:


    APRA took responsibility for data collection from regulated entities on behalf of the ABS. A small number of unregulated entities continued to report direct to the ABS.

December 2018:
    Lending to Households and Businesses replaced two separate publications: Housing Finance and Lending Finance.

July 2019:
    The Economic and Financial Statistics (EFS) data collection reporting was implemented.
    December 2019:
      Lending Indicators replaced Lending to Households and Businesses with reported data from EFS for the first time.

    Occasionally a financial institution may change its institution type, for example, from a non-ADI to an ADI. The reclassification caused by such a change is reflected in the month it occurs, and earlier periods are not revised.


    Statistics are generally provided in trend, seasonally adjusted and original terms. The trend series smooths out the volatility in the data including removing seasonal effects (such as the number of trading days and moving holidays), and is therefore considered the best indicator of underlying movements. The seasonally adjusted series removes the seasonal effects but does not smooth out the volatility in the data. The original series neither removes the seasonal effects nor smooths out the volatility in the data.

    Both seasonal and trend estimates, by their nature, are subject to revisions over time. In most instances, the larger revisions will be to the previous month and the same month a year ago. For more information regarding seasonal adjustment and trend series, please see Time Series Analysis Frequently Asked Questions.

    Definitions are listed in the Glossary.


    Enquiries can be made through the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or by email to client.services@abs.gov.au. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.

    Other data sources include the APRA Statistics website and the Reserve Bank of Australia's Bulletin. They include a large number of tables of financial statistics, mostly sourced from the ABS and APRA.