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Bank ceases lending to expats

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Reporter 5 minute read

A non-major lender has announced that it would no longer process home loan applications for Australians living overseas.

Teachers Mutual Bank Ltd (TMBL) has announced the latest of a number of changes to its credit policy, effective across all of its brands (Teachers Mutual Bank, Firefighters Mutual Bank, Health Professionals Bank and UniBank) from 1 July 2020.

TMBL has informed brokers that it will no longer accept home loan applications from Australian expats.

Citizens or permanent residents living and working abroad, who do not plan to return within six months, will no longer be permitted to obtain finance from TMBL to purchase a property in Australia.

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According to TMBL, the changes are designed to ensure compliance with its regulatory obligations.  

“This policy has been reviewed to ensure the bank maintains sound residential mortgage lending practices and continues to meet the regulatory obligations detailed by APRA,” TMBL noted.

TMBL has actively revised its credit policy over the past few months, lowering its risk appetite in response to serviceability concerns associated with the COVID-19 crisis.   

In May, TMBL announced that it would cease lending for off-the-plan property purchases, reduced the threshold on several secondary income types for home loan serviceability assessments, and hiked interest rates across two and three-year fixed owner-occupied and investment home loans by 5 bps.

Most recently, the bank lowered its debt-to-income ratio – calculated with the applicant’s total financial debt commitments divided by their total gross income – from a maximum of 8 to a maximum of 7.

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[Related: TMBL lowers debt-to-income threshold]

Bank ceases lending to expats
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