One big barney: Lachlan Harris defends One Big Switch after AFG attack

A heated battle is brewing between Lachlan Harris, founder of the One Big Switch mortgage campaign, and mortgage broker AFG.

AFG, which counts about 2,000 brokers on its books, has slammed the Choice-backed quasi-mortgage broking offering for not having any major lenders on board after email offers finally started reaching subscribers inboxes six weeks after the registration process closed.

Mark Hewitt, general manager for sales and operations at AFG, says it does not have a problem with “the concept of helping consumers get the best possible deal in the market” but says the problem for consumers is that “One Big Switch has failed to attract any major lenders to its panel”. 

“The proposition would be laughable if they weren’t putting people’s property on the line. And are they called One Big Switch or Big Bank Switch – judging from their own website, they don’t seem to know,” he adds. 

Harris has hit back strongly, telling Property Observer he stands behind the five non-bank lenders who have signed on to date and is “astounded” by the AFG attack.

“I cannot believe AFG think it’s their job to attack the quality of non-bank lenders in Australia,” he says. “They need to reflect and take a long and hard look at themselves.

“First people said it could not be done and now that we have done it, they are saying they don’t like our lenders.

“We have five lenders on board and we are very happy with who we have so far,” Harris says.

Property Observer can confirm lenders who have signed on include FirstMac, Resimac and MortgageEzy.

Discounted variable rate offers range from 6.69% to 6.85%, with the cheapest offering coming from Hemisphere Financial Solutions, a 0.25% discount for the life of the loan.

MortgagePort offering is a 0.24% discount off its three-year fixed-rate loan to 6.35% as well as $500 cash back.

The cheapest advertised variable rate product on mortgage comparison website is 6.58% from, the online brand of FirstMac, while the cheapest three-year fixed rate is 6.29% offered by AMP.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer


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