National Australia Bank could be just days away from acquiring GE Money’s Wizard Home Loans, The Australian reported today.
Rumour of a Wizard sale has been rife over the last few months.
GE Money's decision last week to only pass on a 0.8 rate cut to clients of the franchise lender further fuelled speculation that a deal may be close.
According to the daily, “informed sources” said the acquisition was scheduled to be announced next week at the latest.
If NAB secures the deal it would join the ranks of Westpac and CBA who recently secured a leg in the third-party distribution chain via their respective acquisition of RAMS Home Loans and one third investment in Aussie Home Loans.
Whether NAB would purchase the whole operation including the $12 billion loan book or just the brand and the estimated 170 branches remains to be seen.
Speaking at NAB Broker’s bi-annual broker roundtable yesterday, Matt Lawler, NAB Broker regional general manager, gave further weight to the possibility of NAB purchasing the lender.
Mr Lawler said competition would re-emerge in the mortgage sector in a different form in this new era of lending, with “more of the smaller brands and households operating off bigger brands’ balance sheets”.
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