Australian brokers have been smashing records recently as more borrowers than ever turn to the channel for help with their loans. The Top 25 Brokerages ranking 2023, partnered by NAB, shows that new records are being set by Australia’s leading brokerages in both volume and number. We take a look at who the top brokerage brands in Australia are.
In today’s dynamic environment, the role of brokers has never been more relevant. High-performing brokerages build strong relationships and deliver exceptional service, while cutting complexity and helping customers navigate market changes.
As the bank behind the broker, NAB is proud to champion The Adviser’s Top 25 Brokerages, which have made outstanding contributions to facilitating the dreams of Australians whether they are buying a home or running a business. NAB remains firmly committed to the broker channel and continues to invest in providing simple and digital lending experiences backed with consistent and predictable service.
On behalf of NAB, I would like to congratulate the brokerages recognised this year for leading the way in supporting customers and raising the bar for the industry.
Phil Waugh, Executive, broker distribution, NAB
The Top 25 Brokerages ranking smashed records yet again this year. A record volume of loans was written by the top 25 broking businesses in the financial year 2022. More than $96 billion of loans were written by these 25 broking businesses in FY22 across a whopping 193,254 loans.
The new records are not only a sign of the strength of the broker market (which continued to gain market share in the residential mortgage, ended FY22 at around 68 per cent) but are also testament to the work that has gone into improving efficiencies and processes across the board. If you consider that there was a total of 3,438 brokers working at these top 25 brokerages in FY22, that averages out at more than one loan a week each — another record for this ranking.
In fact, the records just kept coming in the financial year between July 2021 and June 2022. Cast your mind back to when the financial year started, with record-low interest rates fuelling a home-buying frenzy. It continued for much of the year as more than $30 billion of mortgages were written every month in FY22, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the first time that has ever happened.
The boom times of home buying in the first nine months of the financial year were driven by the record-low interest rates (and funding costs), which also pushed house prices up exponentially. In fact, the rising level of household debt that was taken on as a result of these growing house prices led to some concerns at the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority that this could eventuate in systemic risk, so it stepped in to tell banks to raise the interest rate buffer they were using (from 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent).
But as the peak of the housing market hit in March/April 2022, things started to shift. Inflation reached its highest level since the early 1990s — exacerbated by both domestic issues (such as the flooding in the eastern seaboard over the first quarter of the 2022 calendar year) as well as international issues (such as the Ukrainian war and supply chain issues as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns in China). Prices for food, petrol, and housing were all hitching up quickly; bringing headline inflation to 6.1 per cent (seasonally adjusted) over the year ended June 2022.
This 30-year high in inflation led the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to lift rates from their emergency-low settings in May 2022, the first time it had done so for 12 years. It repeated its 50-bp hike again in June, closing FY22 with a cash rate of 0.85 per cent — the highest rate since September 2019.
Given the heady heights of mortgage lending in FY22 and the changing economic environment, it’s perhaps little wonder borrowers were heading to brokers in record numbers — first to help them get onto market as quickly as possible while the sun shone and then to consider their options as rates started to lift and inflation started to bite.
How the Top 25 Brokerages fared
Topping the ranking this year was Mortgage Choice, which has nearly doubled in size since last year. The majority of the growth came following Mortgage Choice’s subsumption of the Smartline brand in February 2022, which saw nearly 350 brokers move under the Mortgage Choice brand. The expanded brokerage brand is now the second-largest brokerage brand in the country, behind only Aussie. The major brokerage settled a whopping total of 64,276 loans in FY22; nearly 20,000 loans more than it achieved the year prior.
Two major brokerages rounded out the top three; Aussie came in second place (with its broker numbers also up at over 1,000 this year), while Loan Market brokers (those operating under the Loan Market brand) were the most productive of the three major brokerage brands, settling an average of $29 million each in FY22.
Sydney-based brokerage Shore Financial continues to dominate among the non-franchise brokerages (or ‘independent brokerages’), ranking fourth this year — an incredible achievement. Another independent brokerage, the Australian Lending & Investment Centre (ALIC), should also be commended for its high rank of seventh place, particularly as it had one of the highest broker efficiency numbers of the residential mortgage brokerages. ALIC may only have 11 active brokers, but they managed to settle a spectacular $1 billion in FY22. When averaged out, that means ALIC brokers settled just under $93 million in FY22 each!
Commercial brokerages also did very well this year — a result of the strong commercial property market in FY22, particularly in the industrial property space. Stamford Capital and Azura Financial both made the top 10 brokerages this year and both have a particular focus in commercial real estate.
The Top 25 Brokerages ranking 2023
Here is the full list for the Top 25 Brokerages ranking 2023:
How the Top 25 Brokerages ranking is compiled
The Top 25 Brokerages ranking is based on figures from FY22.
Each brokerage brand (a broking business operating under a single brand*) was asked to provide several business metrics from FY22 including volumes, number of loans written, years in business, overall book size, number of brokers, number of support staff, and more.
The information published is based solely on what was provided by brokerages and has not been manipulated in any way by The Adviser.
The final ranking was determined by scores in six key areas: total book size, total loans selected in FY22, total volume of loans settled in FY22, book size versus years in business, total number of brokers and average broker volumes for FY22 (i.e. volume numbers divided by actual number of brokers).
Each of the brokerages that entered was given a ranking score in each category from 1 to 25 (1 being the best).
The six scores were then added to give a final overall score. The lower the score, the better the ranking.
*Figures from broking groups that operate multiple models only include figures from their branded brokers. For example, Loan Market figures only include the figures from brokers who operate under the Loan Market brokerage brand (not those who operate under their own business name but aggregate under Loan Market).
Check out the Q&As with the leaders of the top five brokerages in the country, here.