Heritage ‘heavily dependent’ on brokers

Heritage Bank CEO Peter Lock says the mutual is ready to ramp up its offering through the third-party channel on the back of solid half-yearly results.

The mutual bank revealed this week that its loan book grew by $21 million to $6.82 billion in the six months to 31 December 2015, while loan approvals rose by 2.2 per cent on the corresponding period in 2014 to $810.50 million.

Approximately 94 per cent of the $810.50 million in approvals were mortgage-related, with around 37 per cent of this portion generated through brokers.

Furthermore, mortgage arrears greater than 30 days were at 0.37 per cent of Heritage’s overall mortgage portfolio as of 31 December 2015.

Speaking to The Adviser, Mr Lock said that Heritage’s focus going forward is “heavily dependent” on the third-party channel.

“Heritage is a national brand, but it doesn’t think and act like one, and we really need to change that because we need to demonstrate that we are Australia’s largest mutual bank,” he said.

“We do need a lot more volume coming through our third-party channels, particularly through Victoria and New South Wales, as well as our home state of Queensland. There’s a tremendous opportunity in those eastern states.”

Mr Lock said Heritage will be conducting a number of broker roadshows in every state over the coming months to gather feedback on its products and services.

“We’ve got to display confidence to brokers that when they’re dealing with us, they are going to get the answers they expect and they will be able to give a strong proposition to their clients,” he said.

[Related: Heritage confirms SMSF lending changes]

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