Commonwealth Bank launches fully flexible mortgage range for UK owner-occupiers and buy-to-let customers

30 October 2000

London: The broadest range of flexible mortgages launched simultaneously in recent times in the UK - 11 products including discounted, fixed, capped, and buy-to-let options - will be unveiled on 30th November 2000 by Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia's leading financial services provider.

To allow customers easy access, the Commonwealth Bank will offer its 'genuine Australian' home loans through a new brand, "NewWorld", using call-centres, the internet - through new website - and later through mortgage intermediaries.

NewWorld Mortgages will include standard UK flexible features- such as overpayments, daily interest calculation and payment holidays and redraw facilities - as well as innovative Australian benefits such as loan portability, product switching and fortnightly or weekly payment options.

At launch, NewWorld's standard variable rate loan (SVR) of 6.99 per cent per annum (% p.a.) for owner-occupiers will be discounted by 1.24% p.a. giving customers an interest rate for six-months of 5.75 % p.a. And, in a move that is unusual in the UK but common in Australia, NewWorld will launch with a standard variable rate for buy-to-let customers at the same attractive level as for owner-occupiers (6.99% p.a.).

For a limited period, owner-occupiers taking out a NewWorld mortgage will also benefit from one year's free mortgage payment protection insurance - providing additional peace of mind and saving them over £300 on an average-sized loan.

The Bank's product range through the NewWorld brand will also include:

  • A flexible capped rate loan for both owner-occupiers and buy-to-let customers
  • Flexible two, three and five year fixed rate deals for both groups, and;
  • Competitive MPPI and buildings/contents insurance products for mortgage customers.

Adrian Cosenza, Head of European Banking for Commonwealth Bank said, "We will be offering flexibility as standard throughout our product range - rather than just on one or two products. We want to make sure that customers can choose the payment option which suits them - whether fixed, variable or discounted - and benefit from true Australian flexibility with it".

"We're intending to use our unique experience, built up in one of the world's most developed flexible mortgage markets, to help make flexible loans a 'must-have' rather than a 'nice-if' for homeowners in the UK."

Adrian Cosenza added, "The UK is in a very similar position to Australia five years ago: there are plenty of flexible loans but they are still not the norm. We can see all the tell-tale signs that this country is now on the verge of a flexible mortgage explosion and we intend to be right at the front, leading the movement and putting the consumer first."

In a market with plenty of 'Australian-style' loans, NewWorld's mortgage range aims to stand out by offering:

  • No redemption penalties on non-fixed products - including non-fixed buy-to-let loans
  • Flexible features on all mortgages types - whether fixed, discounted, capped or SVR
  • Monthly, fortnightly or weekly payment options
  • True 'portability' for customers - including those with fixed, capped and discounted rate mortgages - so that people moving house do not have to redeem an existing deal
  • Product switching between most NewWorld products.

In Australia, Commonwealth Bank of Australia has over 10 million customers with a 25% share of mortgage lending and a 22% share of consumer deposits. It is also the leading supplier of credit cards, e-banking and online stockbroking services.