The big four bank has announced that it has invested a further $5 million in a Sydney-based mortgage fintech, bringing its total investment to $26.5 million.
Westpac first invested in uno Home Loans in 2016, starting off with a $16.5 million strategic investment in September that year, just a few months after the fintech had launched.
The most recent investment brings Westpac’s total financial investment in the platform to $26.5 million and comes as uno closes its first full financial year.
Uno CEO and founder Vincent Turner said that the latest tranche would help “continue enhancing the technology behind [the] platform and to grow [the] team of home loan advisers who assist customers seven days a week and in evenings over the phone, text, chat, video and email”.
Touching on the performance of the self-service mortgage platform, which is backed by home loan advisers, Mr Turner revealed that it had advised customers on more than $1.3 billion in mortgages, doubled its number of frontline staff, had six times more monthly applications than last year and had 21 brands on its panel.
He said that the growth was a “testament to the effectiveness of [uno’s] ‘technology plus service’ model”, which aims to provide consumers with “a better deal on their home loan by having access to the same technology and information as banks and brokers”.
Mr Turner commented: “We have found that giving customers the technology to calculate the best home loans deals on our digital platform, coupled with advice and support from home loan advisers, has proven [to be] an optimal mix of convenience, service and advocacy. Around 60 percent of uno’s customers receive advice from our home loan advisers prior to starting an online application.
“The continued support of Westpac — one of Australia’s largest financial institutions — is a strong vote of confidence in this model.”
Gary Thursby, group executive – strategy & enterprise services at Westpac, commented: “Vincent and the team have done an impressive job [in] building, in a short period of time, a business that provides an effortless experience for customers looking for a mortgage.
“The combination of a strong technology capability and ease of use for customers will mean that uno will continue to change the way more Australians get a mortgage.”
Mr Turner concluded: “The funding from our investors enables us to continue improving and expanding our offering so that uno can continue redefining the way Australians secure property finance.”
[Related: Broker sees value in cosy bank relations]
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser magazine, Australia’s leading magazine for mortgage brokers. As well as writing news and features on the Australian mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending market – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker podcast and regulator contributor to the Mortgage Business Uncut podcast.
Before joining The Adviser team at Momentum Media in 2016, Annie wrote for a range of business and consumer titles, including The Guardian (Australia), BBC Music Magazine, Elle (Australia), BBC Countryfile, BBC Homes & Antiques, and Resource magazine.
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