Westpac joins CommBank and NAB in the major lender panel of the federal government’s Home Guarantee Scheme.

The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) commenced a request for proposal (RFP) process in July, which opened the door for either ANZ or Westpac to join the lender panel.

Westpac’s sister brands, RAMS, St. George, Bank of Melbourne, and BankSA will also join the lender panel of the scheme.

According to NHFIC, the scheme is currently available to two major banks and 30 non-major lenders. Westpac will start offering the guarantee on 1 July 2023 along with RAMS. The rest of the affiliated brands will offer the scheme in the latter part of 2023.

Westpac group chief executive for consumer and business banking Chris de Bruin said the bank is looking forward to working alongside the government and NHFIC in helping aspiring homeowners through the HGS.

“The expense of saving a home loan deposit remains a top barrier to entering the property market, and the Scheme-backed loans provide a bridge for buyers with a smaller deposit to purchase their home sooner and potentially save thousands of dollars,” he said.

“In particular, eligible first-home buyers, single parents, and borrowers in regional communities utilising the scheme can benefit from improved access to finance and competitive products.”

Westpac will be offering all the support programs under the scheme, including the First Home Guarantee (FHBG), the Family Home Guarantee (FHG) and the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee (RFHBG).

The introduction of the RFHBG on 1 October 2022 increases the total number of HGS places to 50,000 this financial year.