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Westpac launches new serviceability calculator

by Reporter4 minute read
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The major bank has revamped its serviceability calculator in response to broker feedback.

Westpac has announced the launch of an enhanced version of its “Assess” calculator, which it said was developed in response to broker feedback.

The major bank has claimed that the new Assess calculator would simplify the application process by:

  • reducing the time taken to complete a serviceability assessment;
  • introducing a new design, which will only feature relevant fields that are related to the selections brokers make on behalf of their clients;
  • providing brokers with the ability to view their client’s maximum borrowing capacity with no need to reload data for the calculation; and
  • enabling brokers to delete information in any section without having to recommence the calculation process.

Westpac noted that the existing calculator will remain accessible until Friday, 15 November, after which it will no longer be accepted.

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Westpac’s latest announcement follows the revision of its investor lending policy.

Earlier this week, Westpac Group, which includes its subsidiaries Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and St.George Bank, informed brokers that it will be lifting the maximum loan-to-value ratio (LVR) for investor loans with interest-only (IO) terms from 80 per cent to 90 per cent (including for any capitalised mortgage insurance premium).

The changes are effective from 21 October and will apply to:

  • new purchases;
  • refinances both within Westpac Group or externally; and
  • loan variations (i.e. switching from principal and interest repayments to IO).

The maximum LVR for owner-occupied loans will remain at 80 per cent.

Commenting on the changes, Will Ranken, Westpac general manager home ownership, told The Adviser: “Providing the support and finance to help buyers purchase their next investment property is a key focus of our lending strategy.

“We believe this change will provide a competitive proposition for investors looking to purchase their next property.”

In addition to changes to its maximum LVR for investor IO borrowers, Westpac has announced that effective 21 October, referral to credit assessors will no longer be required in instances where expenses are greater than 130 per cent of the Household Expenditure Measure and no other reason that requires credit assessment is triggered.

Westpac stated that such changes are designed to improve turnaround times.

[Related: Westpac eases investor lending policy]

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