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Major bank cuts rates, gears up for second round of FHLDS

A big four bank has announced rate reductions on both fixed and variable rate home loans as it prepares for a second wave of applications from the federal government’s FHB scheme.

NAB has announced home loan rate reductions of up to 15 bps across its variable and fixed-rate products.

The major bank’s variable rates now start from 2.69 per cent (base rate), with its fixed rates starting from 2.19 per cent (4.02 per cent comparison rate).

According to Sally Tindell, RateCity research director, NAB is jockeying for position in the face of stiff competition from its big four peers.  

“It’s game on between the banks,” she said.

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“Cuts from NAB are the latest move in an interest rate war that’s yet to show any clear sign of bottoming out.”

She added: “All eyes are now on CBA and ANZ to see if they will take the bait and follow suit.

“They’ve all seen the spike in refinancing and want to make sure they get their fair share of business. Particularly as new home lending is falling.”

This comes amid research from online broking platform Lendi revealed that in the three months to 31 May, 38 percent of the group’s home loan customers sent their business to a big four bank, up from 16 per cent in the 12 months prior.

The surge in business was driven by refinancers, with 48 per cent of Lendi’s customers lodging applications with the big four, up from 14 per cent in the year ending 29 February.

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NAB gears up for round two of FHLDS

NAB is also preparing for the second round of the federal government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS), after approving over 1,000 home loan applications through the program earlier this year.  

NAB has supported more than 1,000 Australians purchase their first home through the FHLDS and is preparing to help thousands more as the next round of places open on 1 July.

“It’s great to see so many Australians purchase their first home sooner than they expected, even at a time when the coronavirus crisis has impacted the housing market,” Rachel Slade, NAB group executive, personal banking, said.

“We have seen a diverse range of customers access the scheme. We’re seeing both young home buyers in their 20s or 30s and customers in their 50s buying their first property.”

Ms Slade noted that prospective first home buyers could now apply for conditional approval ahead of the opening of the second phase next month.   

“On 1 July, thousands more spots become available, and we look forward to helping many more Australians achieve their home ownership dreams,” she added.

[Related: Big banks cash in on cashbacks]

Major bank cuts rates, gears up for second round of FHLDS
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