Kiwibank award stuns loan broker
Kiwibank has again been named the best bank for first-home buyers, but at least one industry player has called the little green bank's crown into question.
Banking researcher Canstar's First Home Buyer Award was judged on the overall experience banks offered to first buyers, not just on which had the juiciest deal.
The evaluation of 36 loans offered by nine lenders reviewed the educational material available, the process involved, access to a real person and the products and features on offer.
The depth of products and services tailored to first timers made the bank a convincing winner, Canstar national manager Derek Bonner said.
Canstar was particularly impressed by Kiwibank's personal finance management service and its easy access to mobile home- loan specialists nationwide.
However, not everyone was singing the state-owned bank's praises.
"You've got to be kidding me," Roost mortgage broker Darin Neeley said. "We're constantly re-financing people out of Kiwibank because they're sick and tired of not getting any service."
Neeley said in his experience, Kiwibank had often been difficult to deal with and slow to respond.
While it had once offered the cheapest rates, that no longer held true in the increasingly competitive lending environment.
He also pointed out that fees associated with low-equity loans – which applied especially to first timers – varied from bank to bank, with Kiwibank at the higher end.
- © Fairfax NZ News