23-Mar-2020 • Corporate

ME today announced a package to support customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The package includes:

  • A range of market leading fixed rate home loan products including 1-, 2- and 3-year terms, starting as low as 2.19% for 2 years.

  • Increasing 6- and 12-month term deposit rates to 1.80%, among the highest in market.
  • The option to pause home loan repayments for up to six months, with a review at three months.
  • Online savers who qualified for bonus interest in any of the last three months (Dec – Feb) will automatically receive bonus interest (currently 1.80%) for each of the next three months (Mar – May).

ME CEO, Jamie McPhee, said “the coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented, and it is important for banks to work closely with people who have been impacted across the country.

“Our focus is clear: to provide support to customers when they need it most and today ME is announcing a range of measures to support both borrowers and savers.

“To support borrowers, ME is announcing its lowest ever suite of fixed rate home loan packages, available to both existing and new customers, helping customers to reduce their repayments during this difficult time.

Variable home loan rates will remain unchanged.

“Fixed rates provide borrowers with repayment certainty. By offering record-low 1-, 2- and 3-year fixed rates and competitive rates across a range of other terms, borrowers can achieve peace of mind by locking in a historically low repayment to help them through this challenging period.”

“Additionally, borrowers experiencing financial difficulty will be able to pause their home loan repayments for up to six months, with a review at three months. For a ME customer with a home loan of $400,000 this equates to an additional $1706 a month for up to six months*.”

“Pausing home loan repayments will help affected home loan customers free up significant funds until they get back on their feet,” McPhee said. “

McPhee said borrowers were not the only ones impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, adding that many savers have seen interest rates on deposits and investment accounts fall to historic lows over the past 12 months.

“To help savers ME has increased the interest rates on 6- and 12-month term deposit products to 1.80%, among the highest term deposit rates in the market.

“Finally, we recognise that many customers with a ME online savings account (OSA) have previously earned a 1.80% bonus interest rate by performing four tap & go transactions each month, however the ability to maintain this activity will be more difficult given coronavirus restrictions across Australia. So, for customers who qualified for bonus interest in any of the past three months, ME will automatically apply the bonus interest rate (currently 1.80%) for the next three months.

“We recognise that government restrictions will mean many customers won’t be able to get out as much as they used to, so this is one way we can help ease the financial impact on savers.

“Over the coming months we will continue to look for ways to help our customers at a time they need it most.”

Support package summary

Fixed rate home loan rate cuts (owner occupier, principal and interest, ≤90% LVR, with member package)

Fixed Rate Home Loan Pricing with Member Package (≤90% LVR)

Fixed Rate Term

Current Rate

New Rate (effective 26/03)

Change

1 Yr OO P&I

3.63%

2.29%

-1.34%

2 Yr OO P&I

2.88%

2.19%

-0.69%

3 Yr OO P&I

3.18%

2.29%

-0.89%

4 Yr OO P&I

3.18%

2.79%

-0.39%

5 Yr OO P&I

2.99%

2.89%

-0.10%

* OO=owner occupier; P&I=principal and interest

 

  1. Borrowers experiencing financial difficulty will be able to pause their home loan repayments for up to 6-months, with a review at three-months.
  2. Interest on 6- and 12-month term deposits to increase to 1.80% p.a.
  3. Online Savings Account Customers who made at least four tap & go purchases in any of December 2019, January 2020 or February 2020 will automatically qualify for the Online Savings Bonus Interest rate for the next three months (March, April and May 2020).

-ends-

* Based on a 30-year loan at 3.09% p.a.