The customer-owned bank has made changes to its home loan serviceability assessment policy, joining a host of other lenders to revise their rates in response to APRA’s new guidance.
In response to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA) changes to its home lending guidance, Heritage Bank has announced that it will lower its interest rate floor for home loan serviceability assessments from 7.15 per cent to 5.75 per cent and increase its buffer rate from 2.2 per cent to 2.5 per cent.
The changes will apply to all new home loans assessed from 1 August 2019.
Following the announcement, Heritage CEO Peter Lock said: “The previous floor rates and buffers were simply no longer appropriate, given the historic low interest rate environment we are now in.
“We welcome the opportunity to review and lower our serviceability floor. This change will make it easier for people to qualify for a home loan, or to borrow more, without adding extra risk.
“Prudent measures are still in place to ensure people can afford their loan, but we’ve been able to remove what had become an artificially high barrier to home ownership.”
Heritage Bank joins the likes of ANZ, Westpac, the Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Macquarie, Suncorp, MyState Bank, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, the Bank of Sydney, Auswide Bank, Teachers Mutual Bank, Advantedge and Bankwest, who have dropped their interest rate floors to as low as 5.3 per cent.
All the aforementioned lenders have also increased their buffer rates to 2.5 per cent, as per APRA’s guidance.