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Westpac bolsters responsible lending with ApplyOnline changes

by Staff reporter10 minute read
Westpac

The major bank has informed mortgage aggregators that brokers will soon need to provide additional details about why their clients are choosing certain loan products.

From 14 November 2017, brokers will be required to complete additional Requirements & Objectives (R&O) questions and declarations in ApplyOnline if their clients are interested in certain loan types and features.

Westpac said that the questions are designed to help brokers understand their clients’ motivations and align the product to their requirements.

“The declarations are there to prompt you to explain the implications of product choice and their features so your client can make more informed decisions,” the bank said.

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The loan types and features are:

• Fixed Interest Rate loans
• Loans requiring Lenders Mortgage Insurance
• Loans with Interest-Only or Interest in Advance (Prepaid Interest) repayments
• Line of Credit loans
• Loans for Refinancing and Debt consolidation
• Bridging or Relocation loans
• Mixed Purpose loans
• Non-Real Estate goods

Westpac will also require R&O questions and declarations that will be displayed for each applicant to the loan. These questions will cover:

• Clients with foreseeable changes
• Clients with special circumstances; e.g., have dependents with special needs
• Clients in arrears or hardship with existing credit or fixed expenses
• Clients approaching retirement age, or will do so during the term of the loan (age and loan term dependent)

Applications will not progress in ApplyOnline unless all relevant questions have been answered.

“As a bank, Westpac is committed to responsible lending and meeting our conduct obligations under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act,” a Westpac spokesperson said. “Requirements and Objectives are a part of our Responsible Lending obligations. We are making some further Responsible Lending changes in ApplyOnline.”

From 8 January 2018, brokers will not be able to submit any loan structural changes via email. Westpac said that assessors can no longer act upon instructions unless they are resubmitted via ApplyOnline.

The bank said that there will be scenarios where, if the assessor identifies that a change is required, the broker will also be requested to make the change in ApplyOnline and resubmit the application.

[Related: Brokers responsible for 56% of major bank flows]

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