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Westpac outlines initiatives to boost childcare sector and help women into home ownership

19 June 2022


Westpac has introduced new lending changes to help make it easier for childcare businesses to access finance to expand, supporting Government plans to grow the childcare sector.

In addition, Westpac will increase its female workforce across home and business lending and has expanded eligibility for its existing Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) Waiver to include more health professions.

The initiatives include:

1. Improving access to finance for childcare centre operators

Introducing more flexible lending criteria and priority service for childcare centre operators, including reduced equity requirements and competitive lending rates and establishment fees. Westpac also has dedicated business bankers to support childcare businesses looking to expand.

2. Expanding LMI Waiver eligibility

Westpac has recently updated the criteria for its LMI Waiver to include eight further allied health professions, which have strong female workforce representation. Eligible customers can access a Loan-to-Value Ratio (LVR) of up to 90% without the additional cost of LMI.

3. Increasing our female lending workforce

Employees will have access to a development and upskilling program to transition to home and business lending roles, with a goal to increase female participation within Westpac’s home and business lending workforce. Up to 100 roles will be made available to employees and external applicants.

“The New South Wales Government recently announced a $5 billion childcare growth plan and other Governments are pursuing similar policy objectives. Providing access to fast and competitive finance will be essential to support growth in the childcare sector,” said Chris de Bruin, Westpac Chief Executive Consumer & Business Banking.

“When Government policy and corporate sector commitment are aligned, change can be driven quickly. We know that access to finance is a key barrier to expansion, so we’re making it easier for childcare businesses to get the funding they need to grow.

“Home ownership is still one of the most common paths to wealth accumulation in Australia but saving the traditional 20 per cent of the value of a property purchase price can take prospective buyers years to achieve.

“We have recently expanded our LMI Waiver to include additional health professions, like speech pathologists and occupational therapists, where women make-up most of the workforce. This will enable more women to purchase their home sooner with a reduced deposit and without the expense of mortgage insurance.

“To complement our new childcare sector lending growth plan, we will also be lifting women’s participation across our own lending workforce, where females have historically been underrepresented in lending roles,” Mr de Bruin said.

Customers can speak to their branch, lender, or mortgage broker for more information on the LMI waiver for eligible allied health professionals.

Business customers interested in expanding their childcare businesses can speak to their Relationship Manager, with more information to be made available over the coming weeks. 

Notes to the editor:

LMI Waiver: The recently expanded LMI Waiver eligibility for medical professionals in Westpac’s allied health policies, subject to meeting the minimum income threshold, includes:

  • Audiologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Osteopaths
  • Podiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Radiographers
  • Sonographers
  • Speech Pathologists

Lenders Mortgage Insurance:  LMI is generally needed when you have less than a 20% deposit. This is an insurance cover that protects the bank from encountering any loss if you can’t repay your home loan. It’s a one-off payment based on the amount borrowed and the size of your deposit.

Generally, a family home with a property value of $650,000 means a buyer would also be looking at a one-off payment of $8,000 for the cost of LMI if they had less than a 20% deposit.

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