Karina Barrymore | Herald Sun | 25 May, 2012
http://www.news.com.au/money/banking/home-lender-to-dip-into-savings/story-e6frfmcr-1226366600908
Mortgage lender RAMS now has a foot in both sides of the money business after launching an online savings account.
The home loan specialist, owned by Westpac, yesterday said it would offer online savings accounts to new customers in a move that would help provide funding for its mortgage business.
It comes three weeks after Westpac chief Gail Kelly said the group would push more assertively into the deposit market, describing it as a “war zone”.
RAMS chief Melos Sulicich said the initiative was in response to customer requests to improve its services.
“We have listened to our customers, who have told us online savings accounts, transaction accounts and offset accounts are a big priority to help them to save money and pay off their home loan faster,” Mr Sulicich said.
It also sets up RAMS to have contact with its customers over a longer period.
The savings accounts are expected to attract first-home buyers and others saving for a mortgage deposit, who could then become borrowers.
Adam Beu, an analyst at financial research company Canstar, said potential customers should compare the terms and interest rates of the RAMS savings and transaction accounts with others in the market.
“It’s obviously a long-overdue approach by RAMS to generate some funding,” Mr Beu said.
“It’s another way to attract customers, especially new customers and first-home buyers, or those saving for a deposit”.
Mr Sulicich said about 70 per cent of RAMS home loans were generated online, with more and more Australians conducting financial transactions on the internet.
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