Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

Non-banks winning prime mortgages as majors tighten

mortgage house mortgage house
James Mitchell 6 minute read

A credit crackdown among the big four banks has been a blessing for the non-ADI sector, with lenders seeing a significant boost in prime mortgage flows.

Credit has been tightening since 2014 and a raft of measures have been introduced to stem the flow of investor loans, interest-only mortgages and foreign buyers.

“A lot of that is narrowing what is prime credit for a bank,” Fitch Ratings’ head of APAC, Ben McCarthy, told the group’s 2018 Credit Insights Conference in Sydney on Wednesday.

“As the bank prime market gets smaller, things that were prime last year will end up in the non-bank space.


“Talking to some of the issuers just recently, some of them have commented on the potential outcomes for them as an individual lender. Non-banks are telling me that their volumes are increasing, but not in the areas that you might think. Interest-only volumes are falling and investor loans are relatively stable.”

Australia’s RMBS market is dominated by the non-banks, which rely on securitisation and warehouse funding to grow their books and continue lending.

In 2017, securitisation issuance was at its highest since the GFC. Last year saw $36.9 billion of RMBS issuance, of which $14.7 billion came from the non-banks. Only $8 billion of issuance was made up of non-conforming loans.

The strength of the non-bank sector has attracted US investors. Last year, KKR snapped up the Pepper Group, Blackrock purchased an 80 per cent stake in La Trobe Financial and private investment firm Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. acquired the APAC arm of Bluestone Mortgages.

With a bolstered balance sheet, Bluestone was recently able to edge closer to the prime mortgage space by lopping up to 225 basis points off its rates.


Last month, the non-bank lender entered the near-prime space and made significant rate cuts to the Crystal Blue portfolio, which comprises full and alt doc products geared to support established self-employed borrowers (with greater than 24 months trading history) and PAYG borrowers.

Speaking of the move, Royden D’Vaz, head of sales and marketing at Bluestone Mortgages, said: “The recent acquisition of the Bluestone’s Asia Pacific operations by Cerberus Capital Management has enabled a number of immediate opportunities to be realised — most notably the assessment of our full range of products and to ensure they fully address market demands.

“We’re now in an ideal position to aggressively sharpen our rates based on the new line of funding and pass on the considerable net benefit to brokers and end users alike.”

With many anticipating a significant slowdown in bank credit growth, driven by the evidence given during the Hayne royal commission, non-banks look well positioned to capture a greater slice of the prime and near-prime markets.

“Non-banks are becoming a bigger part of the market,” Fitch Ratings’ Mr McCarthy said. “That trend will increase.”

[Related: Bluestone enters near-prime market]

Non-banks winning prime mortgages as majors tighten
mortgage house
TheAdviser logo

If you have ever considered how you could better service your SME clients but lack the knowledge or confidence to do this beyond referring them on, this is a must-attend event for you. Don't miss SME Broker Bootcamp, a jam-packed, free-to-attend, practical workshop. Register today and secure your place at this interactive, flexible, must-attend event.

mortgage house
James Mitchell

James Mitchell

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.



more from the adviser
Finsure rebrand

Breaking News

Finsure sale clears regulatory approval

APRA has given the green light to BNK offloading its mortgage agg...

house sold

Breaking News

Hot Property: The biggest property headlines from the week 17-21 January

The weekly round-up of the biggest news stories from across Momen...

mortgage growth

Breaking News

AFG broker lodgements hit new record

Brokers aggregating under the group wrote a record $92 billion of...