How Bank Australia offers ‘ethical’ home loans

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on February 17, 2022 Fact Checked
How Bank Australia offers ‘ethical’ home loans

Bank Australia says it’s ‘the bank Australia needs’, built on ‘clean money’ and ‘responsible banking’.

Bank Australia was first established in 1957 as CSIRO Co-operative Credit Society, and became Australia’s first ever customer-owned bank in 2011 when it joined 71 other credit unions and co-operatives.

Bank Australia now claims to be the bank for the people who want to live in a ‘fair’ and ‘just’ society. Heavily involved in social environmental issues, Bank Australia has invested more than $1 billion into projects and organisations aligning with its values.

The bank has a ‘clean money promise’ to not use its customers' money for harm. This includes not granting loans to the following industries:

  • Fossil Fuels

  • Live exports

  • Gambling

  • Intensive animal farming

  • Weapons

  • Tobacco

The lender has more than 350 staff employed across Australia and has more than 125,000 customers. As well as home loans, Bank Australia offers personal loans, car loans, savings accounts, term deposits, credit cards, insurance and more.

Bank Australia home loans

Bank Australia offers three home loan products: Basic Home Loan, Premium Home Loan Package, and Clean Energy Home Loan.

Lender

Variable
More details

Basic Investment Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR 70%-80%)

    Variable
    More details

    Basic Investment Loan (Interest Only) (LVR 60%-70%)

      Fixed
      More details

      Basic Home Loan Fixed 2 Year (LVR 80%-90%)

        Fixed
        More details

        Basic Home Loan Fixed 1 Year (LVR ≥ 90%)

          Fixed
          More details

          Basic Investment Loan Fixed (Interest Only) 1 Year (LVR 70%-80%)

            Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of August 11, 2022. View disclaimer.

            Basic Home Loan

            “Our Basic Home Loan offers customers a straightforward option with competitive rates and low fees,” Bank Australia's Deputy CEO John Yardly told Savings.com.au.

            The product attracts an establishment fee, but comes with no annual or monthly fees. Notable features include flexible repayments, redraw facility, 'parental pause' and more.

            Parental pause is effectively a mortgage holiday that allows new parents to take a break on their home loan repayments for three months, or halve them for six.

            Premium Home Loan Package

            The fully featured, 100% offset Premium Home Loan Package bundles in a variety of features for a set annual fee.

            “Our Premium Home Loan Package gives customers access to a range of features like options to pause repayments when becoming a parent or making sustainable upgrades to their home,” Mr Yardly said.

            Its notable features include but are not limited to:

            • 100% offset account

            • Flexible repayments

            • Parental pause

            • Redraw facility

            Clean Energy Home Loan

            You can also get discounts for going green with the Clean Energy Home Loan. For an annual fee, the features are similar to the packaged home loans.

            “Our Clean Energy Home Loan is a discounted home loan for customers who are buying or building 7+ star rated home,” Mr Yardly said.

            If you’re adding green features to your home like solar panels, window glazing and more, you could qualify for a five-year variable rate discount. This is the same if you are building a 7+ energy star rated home.

            See more information on Bank Australia’s home loan products for owner occupiers in the table below.

            Banking aligned with your values

            Bank Australia believes that your choice of bank could help change the world, and that together with its customers, it’s creating world where “people and the planet thrive”.

            Bank Australia is the bank for people who care about people and the planet. Our customers want to align their banking with their values, but also don’t want to compromise on products and services.” Mr Yardly said.

            “As a customer owned bank, we put our customers at the centre of everything we do.

            “We listen to the issues that are most important to them, like climate change and conservation, and use their money to have a positive impact.”

            The bank claims that, as a customer-owned bank with ‘B Corporation’ credentials, it can “do things differently to your typical bank”.

            B Corp certification essentially means a business meets high standards of accountability and transparency, offering notable employee benefits and charitable giving. As part of its B Corp credentials, Bank Australia grants no executive bonuses.

            “Our responsible banking policy means we will never invest in harmful industries like fossil fuels and live animal export,” Mr Yardly said.

            “Instead, we invest in affordable and sustainable housing and community renewable energy.”

            Using money as a force for good

            The customer-owned bank has invested $1.08 in impact finance assets, including loans to businesses and organisations that “benefit people and the planet”.

            Bank Australia was the first Australian bank to join the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV).

            “We believe that a truly responsible bank can make society better by empowering people and organisations to use their money as a force for good,” Mr Yardly said.

            “We also don’t give our executives bonuses, are carbon neutral and own a conservation reserve with our customers.”

            How to apply for a Bank Australia home loan

            Eligibility criteria

            Bank Australia has eligibility criteria for its home loans. Generally, you need to:

            • Be over 18 years old

            • Be an Australian citizen or a permanent Australian resident

            • Be employed or earning a regular income

            • Have a good credit history

              If you’re eligible for a Bank Australia mortgage, you can start your home loan application online by visiting their website.

              Documents needed

              Bank Australia will require documentation to provide proof of identity, finances and income. You may need to submit the following documents:

              • Asset and liabilities documents such as your savings, superannuation, loan balances, credit card debts, etc

              • Gross income and net salary after tax

              • Details of your employment and other income sources

              • Proof of identification like your driver’s license, Medicare Card, or passport


              Image by Dieter Pelz on Unsplash



              Disclaimers

              The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered. Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site. Savings.com.au, yourmortgage.com.au, yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au, and Performance Drive are part of the Savings Media group. In the interests of full disclosure, the Savings Media Group are associated with the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings Media Group manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please visit the web site links at the bottom of this page.

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              author-avatar
              Rachel is a Finance Journalist, and joined Savings in 2021. Coming from a background in the FinTech space, her interests include the innovation of lending technology, property, investing, and more. With a passion for educating and informing people about their finances, she hopes to increase the financial literacy of everyday Australians.

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