CBA Home Loans
CBA Home Loans

CBA hits customers with new mortgage change

COMMONWEALTH Bank customer Leanne Schwabe is frustrated her lender has automatically dropped her mortgage repayments to the minimum amount without her consent.

The 48-year-old was paying an additional $400 per month on her owner occupier loan up until she was told by CBA in an email it would be lowering her repayments this month - a change she did not want.

She said it had stopped her goal to be mortgage-free in seven years.

"It seemed after the Royal Commission a sneaky thing to do - it's going to add years to people's loans and if they don't go in and change it back themselves it will end up costing them more," Ms Schwabe said.

"CBA shouldn't make detrimental choices on my behalf that is beneficial to them in the long run.

"They are treating us like we don't understand our own finances. There was no option to change this until after it had been done."

Commonwealth Bank customer Leanne Schwabe, 48, is annoyed that her bank automatically reduced her mortgage repayments to the minimum amount. Picture: Tim Carrafa.
Commonwealth Bank customer Leanne Schwabe, 48, is annoyed that her bank automatically reduced her mortgage repayments to the minimum amount. Picture: Tim Carrafa.

CBA is shifting 748,000 variable home loan customers making extra repayments to the minimum repayment over a five-day period ending on Tuesday.

More than 3300 complaints have been made to the bank about the change.

A CBA spokesman said the move was being done to release more cash into Australians' pockets during the COVID-19 pandemic, which had put financial pressures on many households.

"Over the past couple of months, and in particular since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, we have been contacted by hundreds of thousands of our customers seeking help and financial relief," he said.

"As a consequence, we have announced several measures to support our customers including moving nearly three-quarters of a million of home loan borrowers to the monthly minimum amounts."

They said this would be the equivalent of about $400 per month for affected customers.

The Commonwealth Bank said the automatic change for home loan customers to the minimum repayment amount was to help free up cash in borrowers’ pockets.
The Commonwealth Bank said the automatic change for home loan customers to the minimum repayment amount was to help free up cash in borrowers’ pockets.

In email correspondence sent to customers, CBA said it would be making the "one-off change to your home loan direct debit repayment".

"By paying the minimum, you'll have access to extra money should you need it," the email said.

People who don't want this to occur have to wait until this Wednesday to change it back in the bank's app or online, or they can phone CBA at any time.

 

 

Financial adviser Scott Haywood said the move to force customers onto the minimum amounts was "a disgrace".

"We've taken a lot of institutions on trust and now we've been burnt," he said.

Mr Haywood said many customers could easily miss an email notification from the bank informing them of the change.

"There is no way people could be in tune with what the Commonwealth Bank have done by simply sending an email to say there is going to be a change to minimum repayments," he said.

"They simply cannot rely on an email going out which could end up in the junk box."

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth

Originally published as CBA hits customers with new mortgage change


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