Westpac/St George - Do You Think I Can Get out of a Home Loan Because They're Unethical/Criminal?

After hearing news that AUSTRAC found that Westpac had been facilitating the laundering of money for both terrorism as well as allowing money from a convicted pedophile to be transfered to the Philippines, I thought to myself that I don't really want the interest and fees I pay to St George (a subsidiary of Westpac) going towards such behaviour or supporting an organisation which seems to have no ethics.

Now I know that most banks are involved in questionable practices/investments, but what do you think the chances are of getting out of a fixed mortgage with St George to take my business elsewhere? Has anyone left a bank because of ethical reasons, and what was your experience?

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  • +11


  • +26

    What did St George say when you asked them?

    • +11

      I think we all should know the answer by now.

      At my work place it’s been adopted into official policy that when a client has a query we respond with “Have you asked OzBargain?”
      They usually just give an embarrassed chuffle and say “Sorry I haven’t. I’ll do that now.”

  • +2

    What's your fixed rate?

  • +8

    If you can leave your ethical objection (if real) will not negate the requirement to pay whatever breakage fees are required in the terms of your contract.

  • +1

    Look at your loan agreement, that is the entirety of the agreement between you and the bank, has Westpac breached any conditions?

  • +2

    In short, no.

  • +53

    opportunism veiled as virtue…

    • +1

      Yeah and I thought there's no such thing as a dumb question…

    • It's barely thinly veiled.

  • +24

    Short answer, no.

    Long answer, definitely no.

  • +1

    No. /thread

  • +3

    shakes magic 8 ball

    The future is unknown

  • +4

    Who is ethical?

    • Lets not forget its a publicly traded company… there isn't even a real "who"

      As far as I understand it…
      CEO exists solely to increase share price.
      BOD exists solely to choose a CEO to increase share price.

      What and why is ethical? Zoolander face

  • +1

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Until you break those shackles, they are free to do whatever they like with 'your' money.

    • +1

      I think you're a bit confused with who has whose money

  • You're not obligated to stay with your bank for the entire loan term, you can always refinance with another bank and pay any exit fees.

    When you say you have a "fixed mortgage", it doesn't mean that you are fixed to the bank/, it means you have a loan product where the interest rate remains the same through the term of the loan as opposed to an "adjustable/variable mortgage" product where the interest rate may change.

    -Former lender, current banker.

  • +3

    Yes you can leave, but are you prepared to pay break fees etc?

  • Hahahahaha.

  • +5

    Face it. You wanted to break your fixed mortgage anyhow.

  • Lol

  • which major bank that is ethical?
    they all have only one goal in mind.

  • +3

    Sounds like you want to get out of your fixed interest rates at a time when interest rates are dropping..

    Nice try though.

  • Absolutely Unrelated reason.

  • On face value that OP is really only focusing on the ethics reasoning, OP can make the choice.
    Many other consumers make similar choices (who to choose for energy providers, which clothes brands to buy, etc.).

    There is usually a premium / additional cost associated with those choices, but if OP feels strongly enough, go for it.

  • +7

    Pay your fees to leave and you can ride off into the sunset on your moral high horse.

  • None, what a stupid idea.

  • +6

    How do people like this survive in the real world

    • Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life.

    • +2

      Always remember that half the population is of below-average intelligence.

      (I know that technically it's below-median, but that sounds weird)

      • I was taught that there are three averages; mean average, modal average and median average. Commonly we just refer to mean or arithmetic average as average.

        • what about the geometric mean etc.

  • Getting out of a fixed rate? Dream big son! I reckon with a few choice words they might just let you out of paying the loan back at all! Don't tell anyone else about your life hack! The banks will go broke. :)

    I would predict that if the variable rate were higher than your fixed rate you would be able to overcome your "ethics" to stay with the evil bank!

  • +2

    lol @ thinking the other 3 banks aren't funding human trafficking right now.

  • +1

    It's also unethical to savers that RBA keep dropping interest rates and making your fixed rate decision a bigger regret.

    Surely you can use ethics to get out of a binding contract with no repercussions xD

  • Call up and let us know what the break fee is.

  • +1

    Fixed just means the interest rate is fixed at a specific rate for a period (part or all) of the loan, but it doesn't mean you cannot end the loan early. There will be fees to refinance with another lender, but many will provide incentives that help reduce or even more than cover those fees. Just ask around.

  • If everyone really truely cared about morals and ethics over money we wouldn’t have superannuation invested in coal mining. Money laundering is present in all lenders, even the tiny pay day loan companies fund Nigerian catfish scams. Unless you are going to live off grid in a commune who really cares?

    • +1

      You are correct; not everyone will care. But there are businesses that promote themselves as ethical; people have a choice.

      • Exactly, we all have a choice, it might not be financially profitable, but it’s there.

    • morals and ethics is also subjective….so if we really did care about it, then there would probably be a civil war on it….

  • Of course you can…. the govt has made it easier for customers to shop around.
    Speak to someone in the industry to find out more.

  • Bankers are [email protected], you are dreaming

  • +1

    You go where you get the best deal.
    All the banks are unethical.

  • +2

    Yep, you score a free house in this case.

  • You have a greater chance of success if Westpac is found to be criminally liable for the above offences,

  • +1

    'Westpac/St George - Do You Think I Can Get out of a Home Loan Because They're Unethical/Criminal?'


  • Find a new lender and ask them to pay any break fees. It's quite expensive to acquire a new customer you rocked up to them it's a win-win.
    Go refinance with a new place.

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