Amy Beattie: On how a small green bank can make a big difference (and save you money)

Quick Chat

Amy Beattie, founder Good Green Home Loans

Amy Beattie of Good Green Home Loans says it would take just 15,000 loans moving away from the Big Four for ethical reasons for them to take notice, she tells The Green List how.

Hi, Amy.


Let’s kick off with your business’ elevator pitch.

Alright. Good Green Home Loans is a service that gives people access and support in finding the home loan that is right for them and with a bank that doesn’t invest or lend to the fossil fuel industry.

Is that why you started the business? Did you see this as a gap in the market?

In part, yes – at the time I was looking to refinance my own home loan, and even though it was my area of expertise finding a good fit was difficult.

It’s also that we’re in such a tight-credit environment these days, and the Big Four banks are a lot tougher than they used to be in assessing applications. With my business I can look to 15 banks in the ethical space, and if one doesn’t fit, then there’s certainly another that will.

Why do people come to you, what do you think the Big Four aren’t doing right?

I think the big banks have relied for too long on people’s loyalty. They have that old-school mentality of relying on people’s inaction and assuming people will trust in the brand because they’ve known for a long time, or their parents recommended it.

But the younger generations have more information at their fingertips. They’re asking questions that their parents didn’t, and they’re completely okay with putting their trust in something that’s new and upcoming if it’s better [for them and the environment].

And the Big Four aren’t adapting?

I think they are… a little. At least my old employer has really spruced up that part of their product line. It looked at what the Barefoot Investor was saying about offering basic home loan products with low rates, low features, low bells and whistles.

What about their attitudes towards fossil fuels and sustainability?

Yeah, look [laughs].

I’m certainly not an economist, and I might not be across what it takes to keep a big business of that scale profitable while balancing making the right decisions… But my view is that they are underestimating how important it is.

See, one thing that I learned when I was establishing my business and getting to know the market was that 8 out of 10 people are with a big bank for their home loan.

For me that was pretty shocking, and I just think that that’s a number we have to change if we expect the banks to change. They won’t if we just keep going to them in droves.

What would make the big banks change?

I figure it would take just 15,000 average home loans moving from the big banks to somewhere else for ethical reasons for them to take notice.

Why should people switch? Are green loans generally cheaper?


Why’s that?

Because they’re with second tier banks, and any bank that isn’t a Big Four can offer cheaper products.

So even for people who don’t have the environment as their first priority, they can still get a really competitive, if not cheaper, product.

And what are you up to after this interview?

I wear all the hats of the business, being a one person band, and the next thing I’ll be doing is to process a number of home loan applications for clients that are house hunters.

Lots of first home buyers in the market at the moment, and that seems to be the trend at this time of year for me. That’s the hat I’ll be donning next.