Having wrapped its first month post-merger with Aussie, Lendi’s chief has given some insight into the company’s plans for the coming years.
Lendi’s merger with Aussie finalised at the beginning of May, forming what it reported as the largest retail mortgage brokerage.
The next phase is what he has described as “getting the Lendi platform ready”.
“The plan is to migrate the Aussie brokers onto our platform over the next couple of years. And as part of that, the team is really focused on doing all the things we need to do to get that ready,” Mr Hyman told The Adviser.
“It’s exciting times, because we are really passionate about creating a very different proposition for the market, whether you’re a customer or a broker, and we think we’re well on track to do that.”
The chief has envisioned a marriage of forces between the in-person retail experience, with Aussie’s 200-odd retail shopfronts and Lendi’s digital platform, backed by tens of millions of dollars in technology investment.
Customers who have dealt with in-person brokers may be able to use the platform to upload documents or complete forms as the next step, or to continue their engagement with the broker after the first appointment.
On the flip side, the Lendi platform may attract customers seeking information online, before compelling them to see a broker in-store.
“The strategy is bringing these two things together and ultimately rolling out our platform to the Aussie retail stores and all of the mobile brokers,” he said.
“The premise behind that is that we believe that for giving customers that digital experience in a retail capacity, we’ll be able to completely change the paradigm.”
In the past month, Aussie has opened new shopfronts across Coomera on the Gold Coast, NSW south coast town Vicentia, Baulkham Hills in Sydney, Blackwood in Adelaide and Dickson in Canberra.
Lendi has signalled that there will be more retail centres to come before the end of the year.
Mr Hyman also has seen the merger as the joining of two disruptive forces, calling Aussie the “original disrupter in the space”.
“Thirty years ago, John brought the business to market and challenged the banks in a way that ultimately gave birth to the mortgage broking market,” he said.
The Lendi platform reported record settlements in May, with a 14 per cent increase in settlement volumes from April (or a 29 per cent increase in settlement volumes year on year). Lodgements were up by 12 per cent from the previous month, and 24 per cent year-on-year.
Loan approvals were also boosted, rising by around 25 per cent from April.
Mr Hyman noted turnaround time issues with the banks, commenting: “We’re certainly not immune to that, but the investments we’ve made in technology, in the platform, have meant that we’ve been able to keep that approval flow really steadily cranking through – because the technology really helps in working out what’s the right lender and what are the credit conditions that need to be mitigated.
“So, while we still have to wait, we get those approvals through for our customers and our brokers.”
When asked what proportion of the flows came from brokers and the direct channel, Lendi told The Adviser the mix is hybrid, not split neatly as customers use a combination of the online platform and broker guidance.
Aussie, on the other hand, saw its highest month for settlements, at around $1.9 billion – surging by 33 per cent from April, and increasing by 6 per cent for the year to date. Lodgements were also up by 41 per cent year-on-year.
Lendi has maintained an optimistic outlook for the months ahead, with Mr Hyman saying it anticipates “continued strength in the economy”.
Despite affordability issues, first home buyers are expected to benefit from the government’s new deposit schemes from July.
Sarah Simpkins is the news editor across Mortgage Business and The Adviser.
Previously, she reported on banking, financial services and wealth management for InvestorDaily and ifa.
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