The percentage of money lent to low deposit home-lenders fell to under 5 per cent in January - less than half the percentage limit imposed by the Reserve Bank.

Figures released yesterday show just 4.8 per cent of the $3.09 billion lent was to people with deposit of less than 20 per cent.

After exemptions were taken out it was even lower at 3.8 per cent of lending.

The percentage of money lent to low equity borrowers has plummeted in recent months after the Reserve Bank introduced a "speed limit".


From October 1 banks were told no more than 10 per cent of new lending could by taken up by people with equity of less than 20 per cent.

Banks who do not comply face losing their license.

Before the rule was introduced 25.1 per cent of lending was to low deposit home buyers in September. The January figure is down from 5.6 per cent in December.

Banks have to meet the limit on average over the six months to March 31 and then must continue to do so on a three month rolling basis.