The alternative banking sector has reported a substantial growth in home-loan activity due to the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS), according the Customer-Owned Banking Association (COBA).

The sector posted a 1.32% home loan growth over the December quarter, higher than the average gain the whole banking system recorded at 0.57%.

"While negotiating the pandemic with operational resilience, customer-owned banking institutions have also continued to back Australians on home ownership," said Michael Lawrence, CEO of COBA.

According to COBA's figures, over 8,300 first-home buyers have now purchased a property with a loan from one of the 20 customer-owned banking institutions on the scheme’s panel of lenders.

"These banking institutions are helping customers take advantage of a low-interest-rate environment, including first-time buyers, and owner-occupiers refinancing to save money," Lawrence said. “The government is also reissuing around 1,800 unused FHLDS guarantees from the 2019-20 financial year, providing aspiring buyers with yet another reason to enquire with a participating lender.”

The following banking institutions are on the FHLDS panel of lenders:

  • Australian Military Bank
  • Bank Australia
  • Bank First
  • Bank of us
  • Beyond Bank Australia
  • Community First Credit Union
  • CUA
  • Defence Bank
  • Gateway Bank
  • G&C Mutual Bank
  • People’s Choice Credit Union
  • Police Bank (including the Border Bank and Bank of Heritage Isle)
  • P&N Bank
  • Queensland Country Bank
  • Regional Australia Bank
  • Sydney Mutual Bank and Endeavour Bank (divisions of Australian Mutual Bank Ltd)
  • Teachers Mutual Bank Limited (including Firefighters Mutual Bank, Health Professionals Bank, Teachers Mutual Bank and UniBank)
  • The Mutual Bank
  • WAW Credit Union