A marketplace lender has surpassed its target for loan origination through the broker channel, and is aiming to triple growth through the third-party channel in the next year.
Speaking to The Adviser, the CEO of personal loan provider SocietyOne, Mark Jones, reflected on the success of the brand over the 2018 calendar year, particularly referencing its renewed relationship with brokers.
In June of this year, the company established its first broker partnership and set itself a target of seeing up to $4 million of loans from the channel by the end of 2018.
However, Mr Jones outlined the strength of the third-party, noting that this channel’s originations had already surpassed $2 million a month.
The SocietyOne CEO told The Adviser: “Brokers are a key group channel for SocietyOne. As finance gets a bit harder to get, I think personal loans are becoming more of a product that is a key part of a broker's product suite.”
Mr Jones added that the current lending environment had made it harder and slower for some consumers to get a loan with a big four bank, “particularly in the mortgage process, which is putting people through lots and lots of hoops” and that brokers were helping borrowers navigate that.
“Brokers are probably becoming more important now because they need to help people figure out the best place to go to access credit and to help them through the process, because the process is getting a lot more difficult.
“So, in a sense, the broker is becoming more important today than they have ever been because credit is a little more difficult to access. Brokers can help steer the customer to the right lenders but they can also help steer them through the whole process which is now much more complex. So, I think brokers roles are more important today than they were even a year ago.”
Noting that the marketplace lender has relationships with aggregators and with brokers directly, he said that he believed the company is as popular with the broker channel for two major reasons.
“There are some brokers who focus on personal loans and for them we’ve been able to deliver a really simple, easy process that has an advantage over the big banks in a few ways. The first is that they can get a quote without touching their client’s credit file, the second is that the product is very simple and transparency, and the third is that the process is very easy.”
He added: “We rolled out our first broker partnership in June and within a few months we are writing $2 million a month in personal loans alone, so that is around 100 deals a month in the broker channel, which is fabulous.”
Mr Jones concluded that the company would continue to strengthen its broker relationships in the coming year, adding: “From a strategic point of view, SocietyOne is really focused on the broker channel so we’d like to see our broker channel go from 100 loans a month to 200 and then 300 loans a month during the course of 2019.
“We’d like to see the business triple over the next few months,” he said.
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Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.
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