ING DIRECT has announced plans to rapidly grow its existing commercial business, with the lender committing to a strong refocus on commercial lending through the broker channel.
At its recent Broker Roadshow in Sydney, the bank’s chief executive Don Koch said he’s keen to double the bank’s existing portfolio in the next three years.
ING DIRECT head of broker distribution Mark Woolnough said while the lender is well known for having a competitive residential loan offering, many brokers may not know that the bank has also offered a suite of commercial products since 2003.
“Brokers only need the one accreditation with ING DIRECT to sell both residential and commercial loans, and we utilise the same application form and serviceability calculator as residential lending. So brokers who already deal with ING DIRECT will see similarities in the process,” Mr Woolnough said.
Identifying what he believes to be a ‘sweet spot’ in the market, Mr Woolnough said the commercial lending in the $250k - $2 million loan bracket is where a lot of opportunity lies.
"Many brokers don’t realise the commercial possibilities which may exist within their own portfolio and it may be as simple as looking at existing borrowers who are also business owners looking to expand, for example,” he said.
Mr Woolnough said its commercial offer fits within the bank’s broader philosophy of simplicity and fairness to both brokers and customers.
“Our commercial offering is generally ‘set and forget’ with no annual reviews for loans under $2 million dollars that are performing well. This offers a certainty to customers as we know that when some of our competitors review commercial mortgages, it may result in changes to the loan such as the structure, fees and interest rate.
“As a result, many small business customers may not currently be getting a fair deal on commercial property loans.”