An ASX-listed aggregator with over 2,650 brokers is looking to significantly ramp up its commercial offering following a new partnership with a US-based SME lending giant.
AFG managing director Brett McKeon told The Adviser that the group’s commercial broking business “is growing at twice the rate of our residential business”.
“We have invested in a JV with Biz2Credit, America’s biggest fintech in the commercial space. We probably have a bigger commitment to commercial than any of our peers in terms of what we are going to spend over the next year or two. We are going to make it easier for brokers to work in that space,” he said.
Earlier this month AFG signed off on a strategic alliance with leading international fintech company Biz2Credit Inc. The exclusive agreement will provide access to Biz2Credit’s patented analytics and financial services technology to allow small business borrowers access to a broad range of options and will deliver faster access to capital.
“This new platform is a first for Australia and will not only enable existing lenders to reach their target audience in the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) market faster, but will also open the door to more choice for consumers,” Mr McKeon said.
AFG’s commercial loan book grew 12.1 per cent over the year to 30 June to $5.67 billion.
“Our commercial loan book grew very well during the year as more small-to-medium sized businesses recognized the value a commercial broker can deliver,” Mr McKeon said, adding that commercial settlements grew by 15 per cent year-on-year to reach $2.76 billion, exceeding the prospectus FY16 target of $2.45 billion.
“We expect this trend to continue, predominately in asset lending,” he said.
[Related: Investors turn to commercial property]
James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.
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