Weekend wrap: Balancing the lending scales, an NCCP overhaul and a warning for brokers

by AB30 Jan 2016
Making news this week, a mutual lender evened the scales between investment and owner-occupied lending, a broker called for an NCCP overhaul and an association head had a stern warning for brokers.

Effective Monday 25 January, Newcastle Permanent removed the differential pricing between investment and owner occupied fixed rate home loans – thus bringing its investment home loan fixed rates in line with its owner occupied home loan fixed rates. 

The announcement means investment rates have been cut by up to 30 basis points with fixed rates starting from 3.79% for a one-year fixed loan to 6.59% for a 10-year fixed home loan. 

From interest rates to regulation, Maria Rigoni, owner of Universal Wealth Management and former CEO of the Australian Institute of Professional Brokers penned an open letter to the regulators, government and central bank this week, demanding a “frank conversation” about the National Consumer Credit Protection Act (NCCP) and the role of the regulators.

According to Rigoni, ASIC’s recent crackdown on interest-only lending illustrates the lack of protection the current consumer protection laws offer and the need for a complete overhaul of the NCCP.

“The NCCP is nonsensical consumer protection. The consumer protection laws are not protecting the consumer and they are not protecting me either," Rigoni told Ausrtralian Broker.

“What I would like to see is a total overhaul of the NCCP. The whole focus of the NCCP does not give any power for a borrower to be a responsible borrower. It is all about the lender having the power and control.”

Finally, chief executive of the MFAA warned brokers to be extra prudent when it comes to engaging in discussions in online forums due to the increased scrutiny from mainstream media. 

“[Mainstream press are] looking at our internal blogs and trade press so any article you write or comment on, my challenge to members broadly is if you have got something to shoot from the hip imagine you are sitting in front of Peter Kell and Kelly O’Dwyer,” Hayden told Australian Broker.