The chairman of a regional bank says mortgage brokers will play a central role in its growth strategy as it re-shapes its business model.
Speaking at the Heritage Bank AGM last week, chairman Kerry Betros revealed that the lender had adopted a new corporate strategic plan that will help re-shape the business to the changing demands of the increasingly digital banking environment.
He said the strategy will also look to expand Heritage’s long-term commitment to the mortgage broker channel to grow its national footprint.
“Our strategic plan acknowledges our need to attract and grow new customers. It also commits us to respecting and deepening our relationship with existing customers, who have helped build us into the bank we are today,” Mr Betros said.
“We’re looking to more firmly establish our presence on the national stage as an alternative to the listed banks, especially via our mortgage broker partners.
“We’ve been operating in the mortgage broker market for 20 years and we will leverage that experience to achieve further growth around the country.”
The bank is currently on 14 aggregator panels and looking to grow its footprint across the third-party channel.
Heritage’s head of broker distribution Michael Trencher recently told The Adviser that the bank’s 61 branches are well aware of the significance of the broker channel to the group’s growth strategy, and that channel conflict is minimal compared to his experience working for majors like NAB and ANZ.
“All the onboarding of broker-introduced customers happens through our contacts centre,” he said. “We have 61 branches, but they are only in south-east Queensland, and I work very closely with the branch management team. The broker proposition is very well known to our branch staff, so if there’s ever a conflict, it gets sorted out pretty quickly.
“That’s one area I haven’t had many complaints about at all.”
Heritage Bank took the title of Rising Star in the 2016 Momentum Intelligence Third-Party Lending Report: Non-Major Banks, rising from 10th position last year to sixth position in 2016.
The lender had the highest year-on-year increase in its overall aggregate score across the 23 metrics.
[Related: 'Rising Star' bank launches new home loan]