Finance advice

ASIC cracks down on mortgage exit fees

By webmaster

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released a new set of guidelines on lenders’ mortgage exit fees which should, in theory, reduce the cost for borrowers on moving between lenders.


The new lender practices expectations, released yesterday, follow just over a week of intense debate that borrowers should be free to move between lenders following the Commonwealth Bank’s decision to hike its mortgage rate over and above the increase of the Reserve Bank at the beginning of the month.

The new guidelines set out which types of costs and losses may be able to be included in an exit fee, and those which cannot.

ASIC chairman Tony D’Aloisio said he expected that lenders would move to review their practices to ensure they comply with the new guidelines. In addition, Mr D’Aloisio said ASIC would be challenging lenders whose fees were exceptionally high.

“The law limits these fees to the recovery of a lender’s loss caused by the early termination,” he said.

“Lenders cannot use exit fees to discourage a borrower from switching their loan or to punish them for doing so.”

ANZ has already moved to eliminate its $700 exit fee.

While the increased scrutiny on early termination fees appears to be good news, there is scepticism that amplified pressure on exit fees – or even the withdrawal of them – will do much to stimulate competition for borrowers.

At the end of the day, it is up to consumers to improve competition. The best home loan deals can be found by shopping around – or bargaining with lenders and threatening to move unless they offer you a better deal.

All lenders face, to a degree, the same funding costs. And while the Commonwealth Bank and now ANZ, might decide to increase their home loan rates to reduce the pressure higher funding costs place on their profits, many lenders won’t. It all comes down to profit margin and just what margin lenders are prepared to run with.

Many smaller and non-bank lenders, who do not have shareholders to please, are offering much lower interest rates than the big banks, so if you’re in the market for a home loan, make sure you shop around.

In any case, if you’re well versed on the market’s various offerings, you’ll have a much stronger bargaining tool when it comes to dealing with your existing bank.

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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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Gavin Kemp and his now-fiancé bought their first property together after only six months of dating. They weren’t even living together at the time. Now, two years on, the pair have bought five properties, sold two and have a solid plan in place for their ongoing property journey. 

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Gavin will share his thoughts on the current property market, reveal the people who he has leaned on throughout his property journey and discuss why his strategy employs a zero procrastination rule.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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A joint property portfolio before they were even living together

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