A marketplace lender has seen personal loan originations double in the second half of the financial year as it broadens its reach across the broker channel.
ASX-listed lender Wisr (formerly known as DirectMoney) has revealed that the overall value of loan originations in the second half of the 2018 financial year increased by 136 per cent compared to the first half, while the number of new customers rose by 118 per cent over the half.
Further, the lender achieved a 66 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth in loan origination value and 40 per cent QoQ growth in loan origination volume in Q4 FY2018. This is up from the 42 per cent QoQ growth in originated loans recorded in Q3 FY2018.
Wisr said that its average loan amount also rose by 17 per cent QoQ to $22,670 by the end of Q4 FY2018.
In an ASX disclosure, Wisr highlighted that alternative finance lenders in Australia grew at an average rate of 53 per cent in the 2017 financial year, as reported in the Asia Pacific Alternative Finance Industry Report by Cambridge University and Monash University.
“It is the second successive quarter that Wisr has achieved record loan origination growth,” the P2P lender wrote in its disclosure to the ASX.
Anthony Nantes, CEO at Wisr, said: “The company is continuing on its strong growth trajectory, supported by an ever-increasing number of Australians looking for a fairer, smarter and wiser way to borrow money...
“We are writing more loans, and higher-quality loans, than ever before as more Australians look for choice when accessing consumer finance.”
Mr Nantes added that it had continued to see growth in the broker channel, with more than 10,000 brokers now able to offer its products.
Personal finance on the rise
At the tail-end of May, Wisr bumped up its personal loan limit from $35,000 to $50,000, which it said was supported by “increased borrower demand, strong institutional lender support and continued improvement to loan evaluation”. This followed the P2P lender’s announcement that Bendigo and Adelaide Bank had agreed to provide a $25 million facility to fund existing and future loans.
The increase in Wisr’s volumes comes as personal finance rises across Australia.
Recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the value of total personal finance commitments rose by 2.0 per cent in April 2018 (on a seasonally adjusted basis) to $6.3 billion, while finder.com.au recently revealed that personal loan applications made through the site had risen by 77 per cent in the year to June, which it suggested was driven by an uptick in dissatisfied bank customers.
Several lenders have also been entering into the unsecured personal loan space, with ING most recently announcing a new unsecured personal loan that allows consumers to borrow up to $30,000 over a two- to five-year period.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) earlier this year also reported that the number of small- to medium-sized enterprises turning to marketplace lenders had increased more than six-fold from 33 in FY2016 to 201 in FY2017. The total amount SMEs borrowed in FY2017 was $47 million, up from the $26 million recorded in the previous financial year.
Consumers reportedly borrowed $252 million from marketplace lenders in FY2017, nearly double the $130 million recorded in FY2016, according to ASIC’s Survey of marketplace lending providers: 2016–17 report.
[Related: Lender launches financial wellness program]