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Finsure loan book grows, new partnership announced

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Malavika Santhebennur 6 minute read

Finsure’s loan book rose 19 per cent in FY20 to $45.4 billion, with record settlement volumes in the June quarter and growth in broker recruitment, according to the aggregation group.

Mortgage aggregator Finsure, part of the BNK Group, has recorded settlement volumes worth $4.5 billion in the fourth quarter of the financial year 2020, up 37 per cent against Q4 2019.

Finsure settled $15.6 billion in loans during FY20, bringing the total aggregation loan book to $45.4 billion.

It recorded settlement volumes of $1.4 billion in May and $1.7 billion in June, which was up 15 per cent month-on-month. June’s settlement record was up 50 per cent year-on-year.

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Finsure broker numbers increased by 66 year-on-year, totalling 1,740 broker members at the end of June.

Commenting on the results, Finsure managing director John Kolenda said: “Despite COVID-19, Finsure’s growth continues to be a standout, with record settlement volumes and strong broker recruitment anticipated.”

“Finsure’s settlement volumes and loan book grew 23 per cent and 19 per cent year-on-year, respectively, despite difficult market conditions. This growing scale is now driving sustainable profit growth in its own right and creating increased margin opportunities within the banking and wholesale units.

“Finsure’s market share continues to grow through the year, recording an all-time monthly record of $1.71 billion in settlements during June 2020, a run rate of approximately $20 billion. This was the second consecutive record month for Finsure.”

According to Finsure, the implementation of cloud-based broker CRM platform Infynity in October 2019 will also allow it to refocus on broker recruitment in FY21.

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Finsure partners with SmartMe

Following the release of its results, Finsure also announced that it is partnering with digital bill comparison provider SmartMe to form an integrated referral service within Infynity.

Simon Bednar, Finsure’s general manager, aggregation, said SmartMe offers a services connection platform that will pay brokers commission for their customer’s connection of gas, electricity and broadband.

Mr Bednar said SmartMe will be white labelled as Smart Select on the Infynity CRM platform.

“We are very pleased to have this additional service provided to Finsure brokers so they can offer diversified services to their customers, particularly given the current difficult environment as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Bednar said.

“Not only does Smart Select allow brokers to diversify revenue, it will also help them to provide further value to their clients beyond just arranging finances. One of the key offerings from Smart Select is a broker can receive ongoing revenue from a returning customer’s account.”

The Finsure call centre provides a concierge service for a broker’s customer to assist with any enquiries about Smart Select, according to the aggregator.

SmartMe CEO Brian Tapp said he is pleased to partner with Finsure to deliver what he said is the industry-first service to their brokers.

He added that the ongoing bill management services could increase touchpoints and therefore customer retention for brokers.

“Helping customers compare or connect their services is just the start,” Mr Tapp said.

“Providing an ongoing service that enables them to easily access their latest bills, receive market offers for numerous utility services and permanently stay on top of their bills, constantly reaffirms the value their broker is providing.”

BNK FY20 update

While Finsure reported growth, Better Choice Home Loans reported a year-on-year slump, due in part to COVID-19.

According to an update from its parent company, BNK Banking Corp Ltd (BNK), Better Choice recorded a 23 per cent year-on-year slump, settling $447 million of loans over FY20, and ending the period with a $2.3 billion loan book, which was flat for the period.

“[This] reflected a shift to higher-margin on-balance sheet loans as well as a slowdown in Q4 FY20 due to COVID-19,” BNK said in an ASX update.

In its interim trading update for April and May, BNK reported that Better Choice settled $70 million of loans over the two months, and ended the period with a $2.3 billion loan book as well, also flat for the period.

The bank’s wholesale distribution network grew to a potential 6,500 brokers after joining the lending panel of PLAN Australia on 4 June.

According to BNK interim CEO Don Koch, BNK’s dual funding model has allowed it to use a mix of off-balance sheet facilities to “intentionally conserve regulatory capital”.

“However, BNK remains well capitalised, is maintaining a strong liquidity position and has restarted lending in June 2020,” Mr Koch told The Adviser.

Overall, BNK settled $129 million in FY20, up 73 per cent year-on-year, and closed FY20 with $285 million of on-balance sheet loans, up 33 per cent year-on-year.

“As previously advised, BNK took steps to deliberately moderate loan originations through Q4 FY20 as a prudent response to the uncertainty around the COVID-19 disruption,” the BNK Group said in its update.

“BNK has slowly reactivated loan originations from June onwards. The loan origination pipeline has already started to grow with additional lending products planned for FY21.”

As at 30 June, 5.2 per cent of BNK customers (by value) were provided with COVID-related relief packages consisting of short-term (three to six months) payment deferrals.

This is down from the 5.6 per cent recorded at 31 May due to customers now returning to regular payments.

According to BNK, it intends to offer a new range of products under the BNK brand later this financial year. The company is also looking to develop its digital banking platform to enable it to deliver a broad range of banking product directly to customers, as well as through third-party intermediaries.

[Related: Finsure reports volume spike, launches new CRM]

Finsure loan book grows, new partnership announced
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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.

 

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