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Best of the Non-Banks: Product of Choice

product of choice  product of choice
Annie Kane 14 minute read

While many non-bank lenders started as specialists servicing specific niches, they have been busy building on their successes and widening their reach. Annie Kane takes a look at the findings of the Product of Choice: Non-Banks survey to understand which non-banks brokers are turning to for particular products.

The results are in! Brokers have outlined which non-bank lenders they most favour for their clients over a range of product offerings.

The 2021 Product of Choice survey polled brokers from across the industry over February and March 2021, asking them to evaluate and rank non-bank lender products.

Given the increasing scope of non-bank products, this year’s survey asked brokers to rank non-bank lenders across 12 different product categories, one more than in last year’s Non-Bank Product of Choice survey due to the addition of ‘equipment and asset finance loans’.

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The categories of the 2021 Product of Choice: Non-Banks survey are:

  • Prime owner-occupied loans
  • Near-prime loans
  • Prime investor loans
  • Specialist loans
  • Personal loans
  • Short-term loans
  • SME loans over $250k
  • SME loans under $250k
  • SMSF loans
  • Commercial mortgages
  • Debtor finance loans
  • Equipment and asset finance loans.

The results for 2021 showed that non-banks have evolved from being just specialists of one particular area.

Indeed, many lenders were excelling in multiple product streams.

This year, Pepper was ranked particularly well by brokers, taking out the first position across four categories, doubling its accolades on last year.

Resimac held onto its top title as the non-bank lender with the best prime owner-occupied loans and prime investor loans once again, while Liberty Financial was named the non-bank with the best SME loans over $250,000 and best SMSF loans for the fourth year in a row.

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SME lender Grow Finance was a new entrant to the ranking this year, being ranked first for its debtor finance products. The lender has been on a growth path in the past 12 months, having acquired Australian Invoice Finance in July 2020.

As well as all the lenders that topped the 12 rankings, special mention should also go to La Trobe Financial, who ranked highly across multiple categories, coming in second place for SMSF loans and commercial mortgages.

In the following pages, we catch up with the top-ranked non-bank lenders from each category to find out what they believe makes their products so popular with brokers.

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Methodology

The Adviser’s Non-Bank Product of Choice survey was conducted by Momentum Intelligence via an online survey portal between 15 February and 4 March 2021.

Mortgage and finance brokers across The Adviser were invited to participate in the survey that asked them to select the lenders they believe provide the best products under each category.

In total, a data validation process resulted in a usable sample of 450 responses. Sample sizes per category vary due to the natural distribution of the types of loans that brokers write.

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Pepper Money

1st Place: Near-Prime Loans, Specialist Loans, Commercial Mortgages and Equipment and Asset Finance

Mario Rehayem, CEO of Pepper Money, outlines how Pepper has been working with brokers.

You’ve ranked first in four categories this year. What do you think makes your products so popular with brokers?

I think what makes these products popular is the consistency in our delivery of the product. We’ve been able to really focus on the underserved segments of the market. What that really allows us to stand out and really differentiate ourselves from others is, first and foremost, our speed of approval.

The other one is our consistency in our credit decisioning. We know that the one bugbear for brokers is that lenders consistently move the goalposts in their credit policies and fail to actually be transparent and advise them of those changes. We are very transparent with our credit, and everyone knows what they’re getting when they’re putting the deal in; there are no surprises in that area.

With all of Pepper’s products, we also have multiple credit risk profiles and credit policies attached to that simple application. So, when you deal with Pepper – whether it be for commercial, whether it be for home loans or car loans – you have a higher probability of conversion because we have three credit policies attached to that one application.

So, it really does ensure that the broker is going to get the best use of that customer’s time, and their time, to maximise their probability of getting that deal through.

What are the main benefits of these products for borrowers?

We like to offer a very competitive product for the needs of our customers. So, when you really are thinking about a customer-centric design to product, and not a lender-designed product, you tend to appeal to brokers and borrowers at the same time. It makes a broker’s job easier to discuss and offer the product, and it makes it easier for the borrower to digest that information, because it’s very transparent. The fees, the rate, it’s all upfront. There are no hidden surprises that you don’t have to wait until you get assessed to know the fee.

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Resimac

1st Place: Prime Owner-Occupied Loans and Prime Investor Loans

Resimac’s general manager, distribution, Daniel Carde, lays out why he thinks brokers value Resimac products.

Why do you think your products are so popular with brokers?

Our comprehensive range of products suit most borrower types, spanning true prime loans that go toe-to-toe with the major banks through to specialist home loans 
for borrowers that don’t fit typical 
lending guidelines.

We also take a human approach to lending; rather than use credit scoring, we look at the borrower’s individual circumstances. Often, this can result in a successful outcome where the borrower has otherwise been rejected by other lenders.

Furthermore, our SLAs continue to be some of the best in the industry, providing brokers with confidence that their customers will have a positive experience when referring our products.

What are the main benefits of these products for borrowers?

We are one of the only lenders that determine rates based on the security used for the loan rather than the loan’s purpose. For example, if a borrower uses their home as security to fund an investment property or other investment-related purchase, they can take advantage of our lower owner-occupied rates.

As mentioned previously, we also conduct our own credit assessments, which means borrowers can be assured that we’ll review their loan application on its individual merits and work with them to find a solution that suits their circumstances.

We also have a particularly strong offering when it comes to self-employed borrowers, who can often be behind on paperwork but have a better financial story to tell over the last few months rather than the last two years. For these kinds of borrowers, we accept an accountant’s letter, six months BAS or three months of bank statements to verify their income.

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Liberty

1st Place: SME Loans over $250k and SMSF Loans

According to Liberty’s group sales manager, John Mohnacheff, Liberty’s tailor-made product and service offering to even the most complex scenarios are what set it apart.

Why do you think your SME and SMSF products are so popular with brokers?

We understand the unique needs of business owners, which is why Liberty loans are tailored to provide solutions to complex scenarios. We’ve provided consistent and reliable support to brokers throughout the pandemic, which no doubt plays a part in the popularity of our products.

Businesses showed incredible resilience throughout the pandemic, but we know that they’re not out of the woods. With a range of flexible options, our free-thinking SME loans and fast turnaround times can help Australian businesses secure the finance they need.

We have remained dedicated to SMSF lending when the major banks pulled out of this area of lending, committed to supporting brokers to help customers interested in investing. With no minimum contributions or SMSF size limits, our SMSF SuperCredit loan option supports customers leverage the power of their self-managed super fund with loan terms up to 30 years.

What are the main benefits of these products for customers?

We offer a range of business solutions to help borrowers in a variety of situations access the funds they need. As well as competitive LVRs, we offer flexibility, with options to suit all kinds of borrowers.

Whether a borrower is lacking financials, cannot provide mortgage security or would prefer a line of credit to a traditional loan – we can help. We assess applications on a case-by-case basis, taking time to understand the needs of each customer. It is the flexibility of our solutions that really benefits business borrowers.

 

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Latitude

1st Place: Personal Loans

Personal lender Latitude Financial Services topped the ranking for personal loans again this year. Latitude’s national partnerships leader, broker, Torri Martin, outlines why she thinks the product is so popular in the third-party space.

Why do you think Latitude’s personal loans are so popular with the broker channel?

It’s all about trust and simplicity. We’re here to help our aggregation and broker partners navigate the changing compliance landscape and give them confidence they are partnered with a trusted lender that can help them grow. And we have one of the largest BDM teams in Australia, so we can provide tailored support and really deliver.

A good example of our close working relationship is our Soft Quote tool, which we launched last year after consulting with our brokers. Now brokers can get an interest rate quote before submitting an application, making the process less complicated and providing transparency upfront.

What are the main benefits of this product for borrowers?

Our personal loans are flexible so they can meet customer’s specific needs, which can be everything from paying for home renovations, medical and dental costs, motor vehicle, debt consolidation or covering stamp duty and other fees associated with buying a home.

Our loans can be secured or unsecured; we can tailor fixed rates; there are no early termination fees in the second half of the loan term, and customers can pay down faster and save on interest.

Our mobile app also means our customers can stay up to date and view balances, loan terms, interest rates and 
more at their convenience.

***

Prospa

1st Place: Short-Term Loans

Greg Moshal, CEO and co-founder of Prospa, details what makes the SME lender’s short-term loan products the top choice for brokers.

Why do you think your products are so popular with brokers?

We offer flexible funding with market-leading customer service. We go the extra mile to get to know their customer, understand the business needs, and find the right solution.

The past 14 months have shown just how vital it is for SMEs to access fast and flexible funding, not just to manage cash flow but to capitalise on those short-term growth opportunities.

In the words of one of our customers recently referred by a broker: “It was less about, ‘Throw your numbers on the table’; it was more about, ‘OK, how can we help you achieve your dreams?’ Accessing those funds has allowed us to build a state-of-the-art kitchen and employ four new staff members.”

That’s the experience brokers want for their customers.

What are the main benefits of this product for borrowers?

Ultimately, we put the customer at the heart of everything we do. We have an NPS score over +77 and are ranked No. 1 in the Non-Bank Financial Services Category on TrustPilot. We combine personalised service with smart technology to deliver a seamless customer experience.

We know that growth opportunities for SMEs are often short-term, so we won’t keep customers waiting when they need to make their next move.

Our solutions are also flexible because we understand small-business pain points. We can provide early repayment options, the ability to adjust repayment frequency, and upfront repayment deferral periods for some extra breathing space.

***

Grow Finance

1st Place: Debtor Finance Loans

A new entrant in the ranking this year, SME lender Grow Finance was ranked first for its debtor finance products. Greg Woszczalski, executive director of Grow Finance, outlines what makes their product a hit with brokers.

Why do you think your debtor finance product is so popular with brokers?

Clarity is king; we believe a quick ‘no’ is as powerful as our usual ‘yes’! We make the process very simple.

Debtor finance is often complicated, so we try to take as much of the unknown out of the credit approval process in the first instance. Management and credit sit adjacent to the sales and operations team. 
If a deal comes in that is complex or unusual, it is workshopped with all parties, including credit, internally, so we can go back to our brokers with our appetite before going into a lengthy application process. This way, all parties – broker, BDM, credit and operations – are all up to speed on the project prior to it commencing.

What are the main benefits of this product for borrowers?

Same-day funding, limit increases on request and approved within 48 hours, interest only payable on drawn funds, dedicated client account manager for each borrower, 85 per cent advance rate, can be linked to any of our other products – supply chain/trade finance, asset finance, insurance premium funding or business loans, simple client portal for borrowers to manage their account online, and market-leading rates.

***

GetCapital

1st Place: SME Loans under $250K

Jamie Osborn, CEO of GetCapital, provides his thoughts on why the lender is top choice for brokers when it comes to larger SME loans.

Why do you think your products are so popular with brokers?

We’re honoured to be first in this category for the second year in a row. The consistent feedback from brokers has been our strong focus on product innovation and the support they receive from our BDMs who understand their needs and those of their clients.

Speed to market – accelerated by our existing technology foundations – has also been important, particularly 
during COVID.

We were the only lender to include an overdraft product as part of the SME Guarantee Loan Scheme, which was critical in uncertain times when businesses preferred the flexibility of revolving facilities.

What are the main benefits of this product for borrowers?

At GetCapital, we’re technology-driven problem-solvers by nature. We’re continuously evolving as a business and improving the experience around simplicity, certainty and flexibility.

For us, it’s not just about quick approvals; more importantly, it’s about convenience and enhancing the broker and customer experience. We solve our customers’ problems while saving them time and effort. If we can deliver on this in every experience across every touchpoint, we believe we will go a long way in building long-term relationships with brokers. 

 

 

Best of the Non-Banks: Product of Choice
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Annie Kane

Annie Kane

Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.

As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts. 

Email Annie at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

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