Renewed interest in first home saver accounts
ME Bank has had a 10 per cent spike in inflows into its first home saver account since the government announced changes to the FHSA scheme in the Federal Budget. The pickup in business since May surprised executives at ME Bank, which claims to be the biggest provider in the FHSA market.
According to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the 19 deposit-taking institutions offering FHSAs had an aggregate balance of $75.7 million at the end of March, up from $60 million in the December quarter.
Now the government will allow people to buy a home and then put the money saved in the FHSA into the mortgage after the four year qualifying period has ended. Other FHSA providers, including Teachers Credit Union and AMP Banking, said they had not experienced any increase in inflow. ME Bank has by far the highest interest rate in the FHSA market, at 6.25 per cent.