Teachers Mutual Bank CEO Steve James has credited brokers for helping the bank achieve strong lending growth and improve its presence across Australia.
Mr James told The Adviser that brokers played an integral role in growing Teachers Mutual’s residential loan book by 12.32 per cent to $3.8 billion over the 12 months to 30 June 2015.
“The third-party channel is a growing market that you certainly can’t avoid, and the experience we’ve had working with brokers over the last 18 months has been sensational. They’ve helped generate good results for us and they’re great to work with,” he said.
According to Mr James, approximately 20 per cent of Teachers Mutual’s loan book for the last financial year was broker-originated, and he expects this figure to increase.
“We expect to continue to grow our broker-originated loan book because we're continuing to put on more brokers around Australia. We’ve got approximately 1,200 brokers accredited with us right now, and we plan to have over 2,000 by late next year,” he said.
Mr James said brokers have also been “amazing” as brand ambassadors for the bank by helping increase consumer awareness on a national scale.
“Although in the past we’ve always been a national brand, our focus in the past was on NSW, the ACT, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, but through the broker channel we’ve had some great results in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, so it’s a more national image they’re bringing, and with that we’re picking up brand new members,” he said.
Mr James admitted that Teachers Mutual is under the same pressure as the big banks to curb investor lending growth, having announced a “three-pronged approach” in August to address the issue.
“We’re working closely with the regulators, and if the three-pronged attack doesn’t work, then we’ll look at other measures,” he added.
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