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Brokers help bolster Liberty’s bottom line

by Charbel Kadib6 minute read
Liberty Financial

The non-bank has released its results for the 2019 financial year, reporting a $2.5-billion increase in its loan portfolio, supported by the “power of Liberty’s distribution capability”.

Non-bank lender Liberty Financial has published its full-year results for the 2019 financial year (FY19), posting a before-tax profit of $94.1 million, up 12 per cent from $83.9 million in FY18.  

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The improvement in the non-bank’s underlying earnings was underpinned by a 24 per cent increase in its loan portfolio, which grew from $10.2 billion to $12.7 billion.

Over the course of FY19, Liberty issued $4.7 billion in asset-backed and senior unsecured securities.

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According to Liberty’s chief financial officer, Peter Riedel, residential mortgages make up approximately 70 per cent of Liberty’s loan book, 90 per cent of which are prime home loans and two-thirds of which are for owner-occupiers.

Liberty CEO James Boyle said the FY19 results reflected the “power of Liberty’s distribution capability and networks”.

“In a testing year for the industry, we have continued to back the broker channel, providing stability and support amid the uncertainty that followed the royal commission and the federal election,” he said.

“We are listening carefully to the needs of mortgage brokers and customers. The feedback has helped us to improve the application experience for brokers and customers and guided the development of new lending solutions.

“As an agile business that is continually innovating to help customers, we recently responded to demand for greater access to small business finance.”

Mr Boyle said the non-bank’s efforts to diversify its product offerings, which included the introduction of a small-business product that does not require real estate as mortgage security, also helped drive growth. 

The Liberty CEO added that the non-bank was looking to further enhance its product range to provide brokers with more solutions for their clients, making particular reference to its investment in subsidiary MoneyPlace.

“We continue to support MoneyPlace to engage the mortgage broker channel for personal loans. We have seen exceptional business partner take-up of the MoneyPlace product,” he said.

“This not only means customers have better access to finance options, it also strengthens business for brokers.”

Looking ahead, Mr Boyle told The Adviser that Liberty would continue to support the broker channel as the industry navigates through regulatory reforms.

“We will continue to stand side-by-side with brokers and make the case that the broking service is a very positive thing for consumers of financial services in Australia and that brokers by and large have done very good things for their customers,” he said.

“I think brokers have been vindicated in the time since the royal commission with regards to the positions of legislators and regulators pertaining to brokers.”

Mr Boyle concluded by stating that Liberty remains committed to supporting financial wellbeing, pointing to the non-bank’s membership of the Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) program, overseen by Good Shepherd Microfinance.

“We help people from all walks of life access credit and have long supported the important goal of improving financial inclusion among Australians. It’s for this reason that we are pleased to join FIAP,” he said.

“It will enable us to contribute in an even more considered and measurable way.”  

 [Related: Non-banks doubled commercial settlements in FY20]

Brokers help bolster Liberty’s bottom line
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Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

AUTHOR

Charbel Kadib is the news editor on The Adviser and Mortgage Business.

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