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Take out a mortgage with a conscience – Beyond Bank review

Does your bank hurt or help people and the planet? Make sure your home loan helps by checking our reviews.
Credit: Thiago Cerqueira, Unsplash

Banks often claim that you’ll get your “bang for your buck”. For many of us, the real bang would be our buck going towards people and the planet, not just the pockets of self-serving banks. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we can change how we live for the benefit of others, ourselves, and the future of our planet. Why should financial institutions lag behind?

We’ve been reviewing the home loans of the Australian banks that claim to be mindful. That means they benefit the community and planet. Beyond Bank claims to manage their carbon footprint and invest in the community and the environment. Read on for a closer look at Beyond Bank’s:

Beyond Bank cares about people and the planet. Talk to us about taking out a home loan with them.

For-profit, people and planet

The Banking Royal Commission showed that banks need to be more accountable and transparent to be trusted. Beyond Bank is a certified B Corp. This means they pay B Lab to give them a report card on their supply chain, social and environmental impact, and legal transparency and accountability. However, the B Corp certification has garnered increasing scepticism due to its lack of legal enforcement. That said, it does show the bank is willing to go the extra measure to prove their commitment to corporate social responsibility.

B Corp aside, Beyond Bank has consistently put their money where their mouth is. The bank has stated that it invests 9% of its net profits into their community partnerships and programs. Their Community Reward program donates to not-for-profit organisations based on their number of supporters indicated by Community Savings accounts, totalling to over $640K in donations each year. The charities they partner with work in improving aged care, support services for people with disabilities and affordable housing. Beyond Bank employees are also entitled to two paid days a year of volunteering.

Beyond Bank is also one of the banks working to benefit the environment (second to Bank Australia). They have their own committee working to reduce the carbon footprints of the bank branches and move the bank towards paperless offices. Their employees’ volunteering hours are often spent on rejuvenating the bush and planting trees.

What’s more, their customers are also rewarded for reducing their carbon footprint. The “green loan” offers borrowers a 0.25% p.a. discount on loans for eco-friendly upgrades to your home or car, such as improving your household’s water efficiency.

Interest rates and offers

Beyond Bank has relatively competitive home loans. We’ve broken it down as follows:

Pros
  • Variable and fixed rate loans, for owner occupiers, investors and homemakers.
  • Extra repayments allowed on both variable and fixed rate loans
  • Redraw facilities available on most of their loans (gives you access to extra repayments you've made on your loan, for extra flexibility. This is useful for dealing with uncertain cash flow.)
  • 100% full offset account available (an offset account is linked to your home loan. If you hold money in this account over time, the amount of interest charged will be reduced over time.)
  • No upfront fees
  • Low deposit options, such as guarantor loans
  • Investors can borrow up to 90% of the value of their security property (90% Loan to Value Ratio)
  • They will consider borrowers, such as customers that are nearing retirement or self-employed. If this is your situation, talk to us for further guidance.
Cons
  • Ongoing fee
  • Discharge fee
  • Limited branch access (but you can make payments online or over the phone)
  • Approval process and customer service can be slow due to limited resources, as a smaller bank. As mortgage brokers, we deal with the bank directly so you don't have to, cutting the lag time. Talk to us for faster approval.

The right lender for you?

You shouldn’t have to choose between an ethical bank and a good deal on your mortgage. Beyond Bank might not offer the best deal for your situation. We have reviewed several banks that are socially conscious, such as Bank Australia and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (check them out here).

Choosing the right home loan can be hard on your own. A mortgage should give you options, not limit them. This is where we come in. As ex-bankers and experts in home loans, we can make sure you’re not paying more than you have to be. That may be with Beyond Bank or somewhere else.

With us, you can give back to people and the planet. We call ourselves ethical brokers because we invest up to half of our upfront commission with one of our charity partners. This is made as a tax-deductible donation on your behalf.

You shouldn’t be trapped by your mortgage, or taken advantage of by a bank. Talk to us today so your mortgage can make the world a better place.

Disclaimer: The information provided is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice. Please speak to us for recommendations on your individual circumstance and requirements.