Smaller lenders under Suncorp’s eye

A non-major is watching the movements of both bigger and smaller lenders as “momentum” around major banks pushes a “range” of entrants into the market.

David Carter, CEO of banking and wealth at Suncorp, told Mortgage Business that the current momentum around the major banks “which isn’t all positive” has created opportunities in the market.

He explained: “The majors have an important role to play in the stability of our financial system and we need to recognise that as a country, so I do think there'll be opportunities created from that [momentum].

“Having said that, there's also [a] range of entrants coming to the market or in the market so as a smaller participant … you have to stay on your toes and make sure that you're looking at the people who are potentially smaller than you as much as you are looking at the people who are bigger than you today.”

His thoughts echo those of Charlton Nevis, general manager of third party and business banking at Auswide Bank.

Mr Nevis told Mortgage Business that Auswide Bank is not alone in targeting young adults and upgraders, and that lenders’ responsibility to grow loan books in a “measured way” has seen more lenders in the market.

“To a certain extent we're not alone in focusing on that [young adult and upgrader] market and I think the responsibility that all the ADIs [authorised deposit-taking institutions] have in terms of growing their balance sheets in a measured way means that there are more ADIs [and] more lenders in fact,” Mr Nevis said.

“What that focus does is it creates a lot of noise in the front-end distribution, which in our space is the brokers.”

CBA recently made headlines for its anti-money laundering compliance failures, while Westpac was accused of presenting bank lenders with performance targets that required them to complete six to nine home loan requests each week in order to receive performance bonuses.

Homeloans joint CEO Scott McWilliam has seen an “overwhelming shift” in consumers considering alternative lenders due to a “lot of movement and noise” in the market in terms of turnaround times, pricing and interest rate changes.

While marking a normalised FY17 net profit after tax of $18.7 million this week, Mr McWilliam said: “The market at the moment is obviously one that helps the non-bank or the non-major sector because customers want to look [at] and know about the alternatives in the market.”

[Related: Non-major sees lift in lending but struggles with tech]

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Lucy Dean

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