flagFounded: 1866 overseas, 1965 in Australia

businessOwned by: HSBC Group, listed on the London Stock Exchange

monetization_onFunded by: Retail deposits and wholesale capital markets

securityLMI Provider: Genworth

account_balanceLender type: International Bank

HSBC is the 5th largest bank in the world and has been a popular choice in Australia for people of Chinese descent and international borrowers.

They built up a large following using their partnership with mortgage brokers only to withdraw from the broker market and sell their customer’s loans to Firstmac in a surprise move in 2006.

They’ve predominantly targeted the Chinese community in Australia for home loans and overseas for investment loans, as they recognise the HSBC brand from Hong Kong where it has a much larger presence.

How do HSBC’s home loans compare?

They’re great at

But they’ve got some drawbacks…

But there’s a catch…

They don’t deal with many mortgage brokers, which means there isn’t someone on your side to keep the bank honest!

Will your HSBC lender call you up to let you know that your rate is no longer competitive? Of course not!

It’s almost certain that older HSBC home loans will be on a much higher interest rate than the home loans being offered to entice new customers.

If you choose to go with HSBC, then you need to check your interest rate every year to make sure that they haven’t played any games. We regularly check the rates of our customer’s loans and either renegotiate or refinance if their lender can’t give them what they are giving to new customers.

What are HSBC really good at?

We think HSBC is a market leader with their Market Linked Loan. This is a foreign currency loan that can be used by foreign investors or Australians who have an income in another currency.

Just say you are earning USD or HKD. If the Australian dollar goes up, you’re making much higher repayments on your Australian investment loan.

By putting the loan in the same currency as your income, you reduce this risk, and introduce a new one. Your home loan could end up being much larger than the value of your home if the Australian dollar falls.

Foreign currency loans typically have much lower interest rates than Australian loans, so they tempt a lot of people who really don’t know the risks or how exchange rates work.

HSBC’s standard home loans including their Variable Rate Loan, Home Value Loan and Home Smart Loan often have a low rate and at times they are comparable to the market leads. Their fixed rates are quite good and they tend to have one fixed rate term (e.g. 3 years) that is a market leader while the others are not as competitive.

Tip for applying with HSBC

Use HSBC’s home loan application form to prepare for your mortgage application.

Note: This is the latest application form as at November 2017. Please refer to HSBC for their most up-to-date document requirements.

Compare HSBC to other lenders

Not sure which lender is right for you? Our Home Loan Experts can help!

Talk to one of our mortgage brokers by calling us on 1300 889 743 or complete our free assessment form.

  • Stuart, C

    My family is chinese and they recommended HSBC to me but seems they won’t be a good match as I have a bit of a bad credit record. Can they still accept my home loan application? The record is a telco default of $450, now paid.

  • Hi Stuart, since that’s a non-financial institution debt default and that too under $1,000, it’s highly likely that HSBC can still accept your home loan application. You may need to provide plausible explanation to that and mention that it’s already been paid off.

  • Muramats

    How is Genworth LMI? May I please know what specifically they are great at?

  • Hey there,

    Genworth LMI are usually great at negotiating special policy and pricing for different lenders. They can also provide discounted LMI for first home buyers, require no genuine savings and can consider rural locations. Please check out our expert’s review on Genworth LMI if you’d like to learn more, such as their drawbacks. Here’s the link:

  • Daquan

    I’m Chinese and I’d like to go with HSBC but not sure because of recent investment policy changes in Australia. Can we still borrow and invest?

  • Yes, you can get a mortgage to buy real estate in Australia. You may be able to borrow up to 70% of the property value for loans up to $1 million. Please check out the mortgages for Chinese investors page for detailed information:

  • Dale Murray

    I applied for a simple refinance of my existing 196k mortgage with HSBC and they didnt even provide me the decency of a reply when I asked why it was rejected despite my credit rating being good, stable employment history, no credit defaults and I always pay more for my mortgage than the minimum. My guess is they woudnt profit enough because Im low risk/low reward for them. Its very discriminatory business practice that they cater to the asian demographic. Im kind of glad the refinance with them didn’t go through with customer service as bad as theirs

  • Hi Dale,
    Sorry to hear about that. Small loans are unprofitable to the banks and to mortgage brokers which is why there are often problems like this. It’s possible that there were other reasons that HSBC declined the loan however it’s hard to say if they don’t tell you!
    Best of luck sorting out your refinance with another lender.