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Brokers drive growth for Australia's biggest credit union

James Mitchell 4 minute read

Australia’s largest customer-owned financial institution has recorded home loan growth of more than 20 per cent in Western Australia for the six months to December 2014.

CUA's regional manager for Victoria and Western Australia, Brent Francis, told The Adviser that the lender is experiencing strong mortgage growth via brokers, with around 80 per cent of home lending in WA originated through the third-party channel.

Mr Francis said the result highlights the importance of that channel in regions with a limited branch footprint.

Western Australia is emerging as one of CUA’s fastest-growing home loan markets nationally, off the back of competitive rates and strong engagement with brokers, he said. 

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“Despite the sluggish property market in Western Australia, CUA’s home loan portfolio in Western Australia is growing much faster than the eastern states,” Mr Francis said.

Western Australia grew four times faster than the 5 per cent first-half balance growth in Queensland, where CUA has its largest home lending book as well as 27 retail branches.

Western Australia's lending growth was almost double the 12 per cent growth achieved in Victoria and New South Wales over the same period.

CUA increased its home loan balance in WA by $73.3 million over the six months to 31 December 2014, bringing the total value of the state’s CUA home loan portfolio to $443.9 million.

Mr Francis said the increased lending was also contributing to overall growth in WA's share of CUA’s loan book. The state’s share of CUA’s home loan portfolio jumped from 4.1 per cent to 4.5 per cent over the six month period – despite the lender having only one branch in the west.

Western Australia is CUA’s fourth largest market, sitting behind the more populated eastern states of Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

Perth branch manager Sharon Gunson said the branch had issued around $12.7 million in new home loans in the six months to 31 December.

“Perth has the largest lending and deposit book of CUA’s 59 branches across Australia,” Ms Gunson said.

“Western Australia is a key market for CUA. We’ve been successfully attracting new customers to CUA through the branch with our personalised customer service, strong local ties and our competitive products and interest rates.”

[Related: Rapid growth for CUA's loan volumes]

Brokers drive growth for Australia's biggest credit union
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