Commonwealth Bank has made a subtle change to its mortgage refinance process to provide “more clarity” to customers.
Mortgage customers who want to leave the bank and transfer their home loan to another lender now have to take an extra step to do so.
To initiate the external refinance process, the client or the client’s mortgage broker must call the ABC and discuss with a member of staff their decision to get rid of the banking giant.
Previously, those wishing to begin the process of clearing their loan could do so by completing the corresponding form, which can be downloaded online.
The CBA’s website now invites customers to call them to discuss their external refinancing options.
“Make sure you get the most out of your CommBank home loan before considering refinancing with another lender,” the website says.
“We will need to speak to you (as one of the borrowers) or your recognized broker if you have one.”
Customers are asked to call between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday to “discuss your options or begin your discharge if you choose to continue.”
An ABC spokesperson told news.com.au the bank had updated its refinancing process to improve customer service and provide “more clarity” earlier in the process.
“Following feedback from our clients, lenders and brokers, we now speak with our clients early in the refinance process to help them make an informed decision on the best next steps for them in their real estate journey,” they said. .
“We have a dedicated team of mortgage specialists who are on hand to provide our clients with information and clarification on their mortgage situation.”
Requiring a phone call to repay a loan is not uncommon for banks.
The move shows the CBA may be trying to come up with new tactics to retain customers and prevent them from switching to rival lenders.
That’s not the only recent change made by the banking giant, with the ABC slashing its additional interest rates on home loans for new borrowers last week.
The reduction took effect on September 2 and means homeowners will save 0.1% on their home loan.
It also means that investors could face declines of up to 0.8%.
The lowest variable rate is now 3.69%, down from 3.79%.
Investors with a loan-to-value ratio between 80.01 and 90% can also expect their rates to fall from 5.29% to 4.49%.
The ABC said the changes were part of its ongoing review of interest rates and market conditions to “remain competitive and meet customer needs”.
This is the second time CommBank has cut variable rates for new customers since the start of the Reserve Bank of Australia hikes.
The bank also cut its additional home lending rates by 0.15 percentage points at the end of June.
The move will likely offer some relief to Australians currently battling the cost of living crisis, but the offer does not extend to existing customers.
In a message to existing CBA customers, Rate City research director Sally Tindall said those who already have home loans with the bank will not see this discount “unless they do something.” something about it.”
“Don’t bother getting mad at your bank, getting quits, by getting into tough negotiations or switching to a lender who values your business more,” she said.
The RBA is expected to raise interest rates further, with a 0.5 hike expected on Tuesday.
This will be the fifth consecutive increase in the Australian interest rate, with an expected increase to 2.35%, meaning interest rates would rise to their highest level since December 2014.
Rate City has warned that the average variable borrower could see their monthly repayments rise by $144 if banks pass the hike on to customers in full.
“If it happens [a 0.5 per cent increase]the average homeowner with a variable mortgage could pay an interest rate in excess of 5%,” Ms Tindall said.
“As a result, the average borrower would see their monthly repayments increase, in total, by more than $600. That’s a huge amount of extra money to accumulate month after month.
– with NCA NewsWire