Bank: Home loan borrowings rising

Business, Normal

The National, Wednesday November 6th, 2013

 WESTPAC has been enjoying a rise in home loan applications, encouraged by low borrowing rates now at only 7.99%.

The bank said it had extended its special home loan offer to Papua New Guineans seeking investment properties, along with those who were first home buyers and customers looking for low-cost refinancing with the bank.

Westpac’s competitive rate of 7.99% came with a low monthly loan administrative fee of K50 and a 50% discount on establishment fee.  

Head of retail banking Adam Downie said Westpac lenders had noticed an increase in the number of customers taking advantage of the offer, particularly customers from other banks.  

“Since this offer was introduced some months ago, we have been able to show to hundreds of Papua New Guineans how they could save a substantial amount on their existing home or investment loans with other banks,” Downie said.

“People often look at the ‘headline’ interest rate but when they looked at their bank statements, they often found that they had been paying hidden monthly and annual fees.  

“These fees often run into tens of thousands of kina per annum.  At Westpac, we are very upfront about our fees and charges and our headline rate is also competitive,” he said. 

“Buying a property is the biggest financial decision most of us would ever make.  It is important for buyers to be aware of all the fees and charges they would pay.  

“Being educated about this could make the difference between getting a loan or not, or being able to pay the loan off sooner.”

Regional manager SME and branch lending Yawetau Salem said the key benefit of this variable home loan rate was that it showed customers how to save thousands of kina in interest payments and to settle their home loans faster. 

He said the variable home rate of 7.99 % would continue until March next year as they received a lot of inquiries from prospective customers due to its popularity.