Malivaka Santhbennur| The Adviser| 27 January 2021
Lenders extend cashback offers – The Adviser
Several lenders and their subsidiaries have extended their cashback offers, while one lender has extended its LMI discount offering.
Westpac, St.George Bank, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne have extended their home loan refinance cashback offers, effective 22 January 2021.
The extension is applicable for eligible applications (with a minimum loan size of between $200,000- $250,000, depending on lender) submitted by Wednesday, 31 March 2021, and settled by Wednesday, 30 June 2021, the group said in an update to brokers.
Westpac is extending the $2,000 refinance cashback offer for Flexi First Option Home Loans and loans with the Premier Advantage Package, while St.George Bank, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne are extending the $2,000 refinance cashback offer for Basic Home Loans and loans with the Advantage Package.
The $2,000 refinance cashback offer applies to new owner-occupier (principal and interest repayments) and residential investment refinance applications received from Wednesday, 1 April 2020, to Wednesday, 31 March 2021, and settled by Wednesday, 30 June 2021.
Only one refinance cashback per property refinance will be paid regardless of the number of loans involved.
In addition, Westpac and its subsidiaries have extended the bonus refinance cashback ($1,000 at Westpac, and $2,000 at St. George Bank, BankSA, and Bank of Melbourne) for initial applications on loans with a maximum loan-to-value ratio of 80 per cent.
The bonus refinance cashback offer is for loans with a maximum LVR of 80 per cent and will be paid on the first application only to eligible customers on top of the current $2,000 refinance cashback.
It applies to new owner-occupier (principal and interest repayments) and residential investment refinance applications received from Friday, 18 September 2020, to Wednesday, 31 March 2021, and settled by Wednesday, 30 June 2021.
Only one bonus cashback will be paid for the initial application regardless of the numbers of customers, properties or applications involved.
Applicants must have a transaction account with Westpac or relevant subsidiary to qualify for the applicable offers, and it must be linked to the home loan at the time of settlement. The transaction account must be kept open for at least 60 days after settlement for the cashback to be paid into.
ANZ extends cashback offer
ANZ has also joined the Westpac Group in extending its current up to $3,000 switching cashback discretion to 16 April 2021, from the previous deadline for submitting an application of 1 February 2021.
According to the major bank, eligible loans must now be drawn down by 30 June 2021, extended from 30 April 2021.
ANZ noted that this is not a new campaign but an extension to the application end date and loan drawdown date for the current switching cashback discretion period. It said that the other eligibility criteria continue to apply.
This is the second time the offer has been extended.
Virgin Money extends cashback offer, LMI product offer
The BOQ-owned lender has also extended its current $3,000 refinance cashback offer, as well as its $0 lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI) offer, to the end of 26 February 2021.
Virgin Money will accept applications for the cashback offer between 30 November 2020 and 26 February 2021 (inclusive) that settle by 28 May 2021 for a minimum loan amount of $300,000 and up to 80 per cent LVR.
The offer is valid for one $3,000 cashback payment per primary borrower for new borrowings only.
Customers who have already applied under the previous $3,000 cashback offer from 30 November 2020 to 22 January 2021 (inclusive) will still receive their $3,000 cashback payment, provided they settle their loan(s) by 28 May 2021.
Eligible customers will receive the payment into their Reward Me Home Loan Companion account within 60 days of settlement.
The lender has also extended its $0 LMI offering (which it introduced in September last year) to 26 February. Virgin Money reduced the cost of LMI to $0 for borrowers with a 15 per cent deposit who apply for a Reward Me Home Loan. At the time of the announcement, the offer was valid until 29 November, inclusive.
The $0 LMI offer – which is valid for new borrowings and purchases only and excludes construction loans – is applicable for new owner-occupied principal and interest home loans for applications received, assessed and approved between 24 September 2020 and 26 February 2021 (inclusive) and settled by 28 May 2021. Base LVR must be between 80.01 per cent and 85 per cent at the time of formal approval.
In conjunction with the $0 LMI offer, the lender is also offering eligible customers with special discounted interest rates on eligible owner-occupied principal and interest purchase applications, provided they qualify for the $0 LMI offer.
Under the offer, the pricing applied to the eligible loans will be based on sub-80 per cent LVR pricing with a 0.20 per cent margin, the lender said.
Turnaround time blowouts
The Westpac Group, ANZ and Virgin Money have joined National Australia Bank (NAB), which in December last year extended its $2,000 home lending refinance cash bonus by three months to 30 April 2021.
Several other lenders announced cashback offers in 2020, including BOQ, MyState Bank, Heritage Bank and Suncorp.
The increase in demand for refinancing – particularly given the high cashback offers – has been partly attributed to delays in turnaround times.
According to Momentum Intelligence’s Broker Pulse survey, the average turnaround time for ANZ had increased in the last month of the 2020 calendar year to 19 days, which it partly attributed to huge volumes of incoming refinance activity following its cashback offer.
However, the December 2020 broker survey found that Westpac – and its subsidiary St.George – were the slowest in reaching an initial credit decision, at 24 days and 21 days, respectively.
This marked the slowest turnaround response from the two lenders in the past 12 months, according to the monthly survey.