Mortgage Choice has announced adding a non-bank lender to its panel at a time when the banks are particularly cautious about lending.
Under a new partnership, non-bank lender Bluestone will be offering products to Mortgage Choice borrowers who don’t qualify for loans under mainstream lending criteria.
Speaking of the partnership, Susan Mitchell, CEO of Mortgage Choice, said: “Our partnership with Bluestone aligns with our strategy to broaden our panel of lenders and cater to our creditworthy customers’ ever-evolving needs.
“Bluestone’s product set also adds greater depth of choice to our near-prime residential lending offering at a time when mainstream lenders are tightening their appetite for lending.”
The specialist lender said that the partnership would enable it to expand its reach through more than 500 Mortgage Choice brokers across Australia.
Bluestone’s head of sales and marketing, Royden D’Vaz, said: “At Bluestone, we understand that some borrowers, such as the self-employed or those in regional Australia, have more complex financial structures and are unable to find a financial solution with mainstream banking.
“By working together with Mortgage Choice, we will be able to help a much wider range of Australian customers with their borrowing needs while significantly growing our distribution footprint.”
In Mortgage Choice’s full-year 2018 financial results, the broking franchise had reported a 7 per cent fall in broker settlements, from $12.3 billion in FY17 to $11.5 billion in FY18. Its statutory net profit after tax had also dropped by 80.9 per cent, from $22.2 million in FY17 to $4.2 million in FY18.
The broking franchise partly attributed the fall to a $7.1 million “positive adjustment” for “changes in run-off and other adjustments”, and non-cash adjustment of $28.5 million due to the introduction of the group’s new broker remuneration model.
“The new remuneration model and changes we have implemented have provided a platform for sustainable growth. It will allow Mortgage Choice brokers to invest in their businesses while attracting new, high-quality brokers to the network,” Ms Mitchell previously said.
“We are confident that this will see us return to growing settlement volumes and market share over the medium term.”
Between April and July 2018, the lender’s Australian business had seen a 96 per cent increase in application volume and a 153 per cent increase in settlements.
[Related: Non-bank lender posts record settlements]