Bankwest Home Loan Review

bankwest home loan review
Expert Rating - (5/5)
5/5
Bankwest, now a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, has had a long history since its beginnings in 1895 in Perth, Western Australia.
Over the years their product offerings have continually changed to meet the ever-changing credit environment in Australia. How are they as lenders today?
Reservoir Finance’s senior mortgage brokers surveyed our customers and combined it with our experience in working with them to bring you this comprehensive review of Bankwest Home Loans.
bankwest home loan review breakdown

Reservoir Finance Score Breakdown

How does Bankwest fair? Let’s break it down. Our Reservoir Finance rating assesses a lender on five key criteria:

Bankwest has a relatively competitive interest rate in the market, especially their Complete Variable Home Loan with 100% offset and Principal and Interest Repayment, which is currently at 2.68% p.a.. Bankwest fees are priced fairly. Whilst they are cheaper than the big four banks, there are other lenders who have cheaper yearly fees.

Bankwest’s borrowing capacity assessment is relatively harsh with all other factors being equal compared to other lenders in the market. This is expected with the lower rates that they have on offer. As a result, we tend to find that Bankwest may lend around 10% less money (borrowing capacity) than other major banks or second-tier banks. This is mainly due to the assessment rate that they apply when evaluating your loan application which is quite different (higher) compared to others and has more buffer.

Over the last decade, we have seen that Bankwest has improved its policy assessment criteria. Being a bank from the west coast of Australia, they once showed strong reluctance in lending for the East-coast high-density apartments, but this has changed a lot over the last few years. Overall, Bankwest has a good lending policy rooted in common sense.

In terms of loan facilities, Bankwest has a wide range of products fitting all kinds of clients. If you need to visit a physical bank branch often, you may find that Bankwest’s closure of dozens of their branches. In recent years they have been investing heavily in their online digital presence.

Our clients find that Bankwest’s customer service is very pleasant to deal with. Their staff are diligent and easy access to information (no need to always wait to speak to their manager!) and as brokers, we find them very cooperative and supportive in supporting prospective clients. Bankwest was named the National Non-Major Bank of the Year in 2019. With mortgage brokers of Reservoir Finance, the overall customer services will be even greater due to our near 24/7 availability and easy access to the bank’s products and services.

Is Bankwest a good bank? Our final score...

Final Score - 5 out of 5
5/5
An overall rating of 5 stars was given to Bankwest by a group of our senior mortgage brokers. The overall experience for our clients who have mortgages with Bankwest has been consistently positive and we (as mortgage brokers) also love working with them as they are very accommodating and transparent in their communication and policies. We believe Bankwest is a good “all-rounder” as a lender for people with strong credit histories as they have competitive rates, great facilities and great customer service.

What we like

What we don't

Bankwest, previously known as The Bank of Western Australia, was founded in Perth in 1895. It was taken over by Commonwealth Bank of Australia in 2008. Bankwest is a major play in home loan lending with a wide range of products. Though owned by CBA, Bankwest operates separately to CBA with their home loan policy, products and pricing.

Bankwest offers a wide range of home loan products for owner occupiers and investors. Their home loan package product is called Complete Home Loan, with Variable and 1-5 years Fixed Rate options. Bankwest also has basic home loan product – Premium Select Home Loan and Fixed Rate Home Loan. These following home loans are available for both owner occupiers and investors.

Home LoansKey Information
Complete Variable Home Loan PackageThe Complete Variable Home Loan Package includes a variable rate home loan, with an eligible credit card and up to 9 offset accounts. 
Complete Fixed Home LoanWithin the fixed period, only 40% offset facility applies. After the fixed period, the loan will automatically turn into the Complete Variable Home Loan.
Variable Rate Home Loan (Premium Select)The Premium Select Home Loan is normally called a “basic home loan” with no offset function and has no ongoing fees. However, Bankwest does give an option to keep the offset function by charging $10 monthly fee.
Fixed Rate Home Loan40% offset function during the fixed term. No offset fee applies during the fixed term but a $12 monthly loan maintenance fee applies. After the fixed period, optional offset function may apply with $10 fee per month.

Overall, Bankwest provides competitive interest rates in the market. Currently owner occupied home loan rates start from 2.68% for variable and 2.24% for fixed, and investment home loan rates start from 3.17% for variable and 2.49% for fixed. Further discounts may apply, depending on the loan size.

In terms of fees, here is a summary for most relevant fees.


Bankwest’s facilities are comprehensive with different offers to cater for different borrowers. We have summarised the home loan product features in the table below.

For clean credit (one minor default is acceptable) borrowers with over 20% deposit getting a loan over $200k, Bankwest has very competitive rates. Bankwest is also friendly to investors with cash-out purposes.

Also, for first home buyers who demand high LVR. Bankwest is still one of the banks who offer 95% plus LMI for first home buyers, apart from those participating in the government’s FHLDS (First Home Loan Deposit Scheme). As the FHLDS is extremely popular, and always run out of spots quickly, those who do provide 95% borrowing lenders become second popular choices for first home buyers.

Last but not least, since many lenders have withdrawn their “manual pre-approval”, and used “system auto pre-approval”, buyers won’t get the real confidence to make a potentially most expensive spending in their lifetime. So brokers and buyers truly appreciate those who are still doing real pre-approvals.

Max LVR depends on many factors including security type, location (postcode), size and loan purpose. Max LVR without LMI Premium is 80% as always.

For owner-occupied new purchases, max LVR may be 95% plus LMI, but caps at 98% including LMI. For owner-occupied refinance, max LVR is 90% plus LMI. For investors, max LVR is 90% including LMI.

Borrowing capacity depends on dozens of factors, including family size, salary, extra income, liability, living expenses (over ten categories), etc.  In order to get a quick picture of how Bankwest’s borrowing capacity looks like, we will put three scenarios here, which you can compare with other lenders among our home loan review pages. In order to be relevant, we use 2019 Great Sydney average income as a guideline for both single ($1,305 per week) and household ($2,867) scenarios. (updated by Feb 2020)

Scenarios:

  1. A single applicant with $1,305 weekly income. Buying the first home with a 20% deposit. Well-budgeted saving habits and below HEM living expenses. No existing liabilities.
Approximate maximum borrowing amount: $460,000.

  1. A single applicant with $1,305 weekly income, living with parents. Buying first investment property with a 20% deposit. Assuming $550 per week rental income being generated from the investment. Well-budgeted saving habits and below HEM living expenses. No existing liabilities.
Approximate maximum borrowing amount: $560,000.

  1. Couple applicants with 2 incomes at $2,867 weekly. Buying first home with a 20% deposit. Well-budgeted saving habits and below HEM living expenses. No existing liabilities.
Approximate maximum borrowing amount: $840,000.

In general, you can reach Bankwest by their branches, website, and phone calls. Also if you apply home loan via brokers, (good) brokers can always be relied on to help you regarding post settlement issues. Both brokers and customers are giving Bankwest good reviews and comments, ranking them at the top of the list among all banks.

Bankwest home loans can be applied via their branches and lenders; however, a majority of Bankwest home loans are settled through mortgage brokers. Contact us to get our Premium Bankwest Mortgage Broker’s help. As Bankwest’s Premium Mortgage Broker, we are well equipped in our knowledge and confident to provide premium services to our clients. If you prefer physical branch access, a Westpac home loan is a good alternative to consider.

We find the most popular Bankwest home loan product for the past year is Complete Variable Home Loan with Principal and Interest Repayment (please be noted there is no perfect product for all as personal circumstances and financial situations vary). At the moment its rate for sub 80% LVR with over $500k loan size is 3.05% p.a. for Owner Occupiers and 3.42% p.a.. (updated by Feb 2020)

Interested in applying for a Bankwest Home Loan?

Contact Reservoir Finance today and let us help determine if a Bankwest Home Loan is best for your personal circumstances. We are a Bankwest Premium Mortgage Broker which means you can be assured we know the ins and outs of the credit policies AND you are eligible to have the upfront property valuation fee waived.

The Reservoir Finance team aims to help Australians fulfill their dreams of home ownership, achieving financial freedom and protecting their hard earned money. We are a values based group of finance brokers and always seek to put your needs first as your success is in our best interest. Contact us below or find out more about us here.


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