FHB scheme delivers new members for Beyond Bank

  • By Christine St Anne

Beyond Bank has garnered new members from the government’s First Home Buyer Scheme.

As the second tranche of the scheme kicks off next month, Beyond Bank general manager customer experience Nick May said the scheme – first launched in December 2019 – has delivered for both the bank and customers.

“Under the first phase of the scheme we have processed around 300 to 350 loans for first home buyers.,” May said.

And while the pandemic unfolded in March and April, momentum in lending still continued for the bank.

“We still managed to hold up quite well. Over the last couple of months, it [FHBs] has actually been the better demographics for us in terms of new lending.” 

Here he notes that pandemic aside, “there is no better time to be a first home buyer,” particularly with mortgage rates at historical lows and initiatives like the FHB scheme. 

The mortgage channel was also key in driving new customers to the mutual bank. 

The broker channel drove around 75 to 80 per cent of new borrowers to the bank. 

“The broker channel has been a really good one for us, especially during this pandemic, We have definitely held up in terms of volume.” 

He acknowledges that that there has been a lot of changes to the processes around income verification and document signing.

Burt like other lenders, Beyond Bank has put in place non-face-to-face processes. 

Beyond Bank is well-positioned for the second tranche. 

May said the bank has tightened up its processes following its initial experience with FHBs. 

Beyond price

After processing 300 new loans, the bank has honed its processes into a “slick” offering. Furthermore, May said there has been some positive feedback from brokers. 

Beyond Bank was among the preferred lenders in the initial scheme – 25 customer-owned banks were represented as well as the two major banks including National Australia Bank and the Commonwealth Bank. 

May also acknowledges the competitive landscape that customer-owned banks are now operating in.

The four major lenders are now offering among the lowest rates in home loans

But for May, price is only just a “ticket to the game”. 

“While you need to be competitive on price, what we have found is that our customers also want  flexibility particularly for first home buyers.

“Options such as offset accounts, redraw facilities as well as the ability to make additional repayments. 

Another product that has resonated with this segment is a parent equity product – also offered by the bank. 

“From a product perspective, we have found first home buyers value these types of options.”