New brokerage ditches big four, offers 'ethical loans'

by Julia Corderoy17 Mar 2015
A new online brokerage is encouraging consumers to switch their home loans from the carbon-exposed major banks to ethical fossil fuel free lenders. 

Future Home Loans is the second ethical financial services business set up by Simon Sheikh and Adam Verwey, following the launch of Future Super last year – a superannuation fund which encourages investors to switch from funds invested in coal, oil and gas.

According to the Future Home Loans website, since 2008, ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac have loaned over $20 billion to fossil fuel projects in Australia. The brokerage says it will help consumers compare over 100 products from fossil fuel free lenders, often with lower rates than the big four.

Sheikh, a former national director of activist group GetUp, told Fairfax Media that Future Home Loans is aiming to switch $200 million to $300 million in home loans this year.

“A mass home loan switch would make the banks sit up and take notice, it's one of their highest margin businesses,” he said.

Fairfax Media reported that the launch of Future Home Loans follows a three-month pilot that saw $15 million shifted from the big four banks, at an average of $400,000 per home loan, to lenders that do not support the expansion of major fossil fuels projects.


  • by Matt Mitchener 17/03/2015 9:42:48 AM

    Great thought leadership from the Future Home Loans group - I'm sure you are already receiving some impressive traction!

  • by Awesome - Albert 17/03/2015 9:56:55 AM

    I have one question. Where is the money coming from to fund these loans? Unless it is from an extremely wealthy individual and the maximum LVR is 80% I am sorry to say but at the end of the chain is most likely a large financial institutions like HSBC, JP Morgan, National Nominees, Citicorp, Bank of China to name a few, all of who also fund investment in coal, oil and gas.

    Nice marketing ploy but money doesn't come with an electronic tag that tells you were it came from, so to claim your sending a message to the Big 4 by moving loans away from them seems awfully naïve.

    If you want to have a real effect on coal, oil and gas investment, then invest in alternative energy companies yourself, or set yourself up with a solar grid and energy storage for you own home. At least that way you will know the truth about what your money was invested in.

  • by Michael Kent 17/03/2015 10:17:46 AM

    Yeah, because the first thing my clients think about when it comes to home loans is whether the lender is carbon exposed! Get real. 98% of the market don't care.

    It comes down to rate rate rate, fees fees fees and nothing else.