BankWest’s Rate Tracker home loan will be available to brokers once again from today.
The lender cut the product from the broker channel in July this year citing “limited funds with which to meet scaling demand” behind the decision.
The product, which offers a discounted introductory rate for the first two years, was still available via BankWest’s direct branches during the past four months – which raised questions about the lender’s commitment to third-party distribution.
The re-introduction of the product to the broker channel is a result of the changed mortgage landscape, the bank told Mortgage Business yesterday.
“BankWest periodically reintroduces products to the broker channel reflective of current market conditions,” a spokesperson said.
While BankWest’s decision to cut the product from the broker channel drew some heat from both brokers and aggregators, Mark Hewitt, AFG’s general manager of sales and operations, said any addition to the range of products available to brokers had to be welcomed in the current market environment.
“With the dropout of a number of lenders and products lessening competition in the market, the return of the Rate Tracker is welcome news,” he said.
“There will be some brokers who might not react too well [to its re-introduction] but I think in the current market we need to swallow our pride and think about what’s best for the client – and I think most brokers will recognise this.”
Ryan Dhue, managing director of The Mortgage Gallery, echoed similar sentiments to Mr Hewitt.
“I think it’s important to focus on the fact that the Rate Tracker is available to the broker channel – which is certainly good news for the industry – rather than revisit all the reasons why it was removed,” he told Mortgage Business.
“The broker channel is well aware of the dangers of an industry dominated by the four major banks and the impact that will have on competition as well as brokers’ value proposition, so anything that ultimately provides clients with more choice is of benefit to the broker channel.”
According to BankWest, the product was designed to encourage brokers to promote the length of the life of the loan and foster long-term customer relationships.
Brokers can earn 0.5 per cent upfront on the Rate Tracker and a tiered trail that hits its maximum level – 0.375 per cent – from the fifth year of the loan onwards.
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