Macquarie Bank named Money's Home Lender of the Year
Thanks to its quick turnarounds and clever pricing model in home lending, Macquarie Bank has become a favourite with brokers.
According to Alex Dunnin, executive director of research and compliance at Rainmaker Information which publishes Money, "not only are they a comprehensive, leading bank with a wide and flexible range of products, some of these are sharply priced to compete hard with a market brimming with leaner, cut-price competitors."
Brokers now look more favourably at Macquarie and are impressed by the clarity it has shown in setting out to whom it will and won't lend.
Mortgage Choice chief executive Susan Mitchell says Macquarie has been the big winner over the past two years. "They rolled out some amazing systems and really put in the time to invest in their processes," she says.
The consensus among brokers is that the bank's digital processes, including those for uploading documents, are the smoothest in the market, and loan approval times are around two days, something the major banks are unable to compete with.
It's for these reasons, according to Ranin Mendis, head of operations at Joust Home Loans, that a lot of brokers on his platform are using Macquarie. "It's become very clever with some of the pricing and loan-to-value ratio (LVR) tiers: it has 60%, 70% and 80% pricing tiers. Not a lot of lenders do that and Macquarie has been offering that since last year," says Mendis.
Currently it's offering a low three-year basic fixed home loan with an interest rate of 2.19% for owner-occupiers with a 70% LVR.
The bank's two main loan products are its basic home loan, which requires a 20% deposit, and offset loan account, which offers customers up to 10 fully transactional offset accounts - this is popular with those who want to segment their savings while still offsetting interest on their loan.
This product also comes with a Macquarie credit card with no annual fee for the life of the loan.
"Our focus is on delivering an exceptional experience when customers bank with Macquarie so we're pleased to be recognised as the best bank home lender in 2020," says Ben Perham, Macquarie's head of personal banking.
"Over the past year, we've transformed our home loan approval process to deliver market-leading turnaround times and are able to approve fully documented home loans in as little as three hours, which means we are giving greater certainty and confidence to our customers.
"We've also continued to develop our award-winning digital banking offering with additions such as Macquarie Authenticator, an app that gives our personal banking customers real-time control to approve or deny transactions and other account activity."
Second is Adelaide Bank with its Smart Saver fixed three-year owner- occupied rate of 2.29%. It is also known for its user-friendly products. HSBC was also a top three finisher last year and consistently provides low rates - its two-year fixed rate of 2.09% is the lowest in the market.