Credit union CUA has launched into the digital channel after joining the panel of online mortgage brokerage uno.
The credit union has now become the 22nd lenders on uno’s panel, which reportedly covers “94 per cent of the home loan lending market in Australia”.
CUA’s national manager for intermediaries, Natasha Kelso, commented: “CUA recognises that our members use a variety of channels to compare home loans, so it is important that CUA gives our members a choice of channels where they can access our loans or hear about CUA.
“uno enables members to compare options based on an extensive range of criteria or features that matter to them — it is not just about the rate, but finding the right loan that will best align with their needs and their own unique circumstances.”
uno CEO and founder Vincent Turner said: “CUA has an excellent reputation for providing Australians with competitive home loan deals and, as a member-owned organisation, for providing personalised service.
“The addition of CUA to our panel of lenders broadens uno’s coverage of Australian mortgage products and gives our customers more options than ever before.
“uno was founded on the premise that customers could get a better deal by having the ability to easily and effectively compare all their home loan options. The addition of CUA to our panel further strengthens our ability to deliver on this.”
CUA could break into business banking
The credit union has also revealed that it is considering entering the business banking space following a raft of reforms for mutual banks.
Last week, Treasurer Scott Morrison announced that the federal government will adopt all 11 recommendations of the inquiry into Reforms for Cooperatives, Mutuals and Member-owned Firms conducted by Greg Hammond OAM.
Mr Hammond’s recommendations include legislative and regulatory changes to improve access to capital, inserting the definition of a “mutual company” into the Corporations Act 2001 and changing tax laws to help mutual businesses raise capital.
CUA chief executive Rob Goudswaard welcomed the Treasurer’s announcement and congratulated him on recognising that mutuals and member-owned firms have a key role to play in contributing to competition and offering consumers choices in the financial services sector.
Mr Goudswaard said: “The government has sent a strong signal to our members that the mutual sector has an important role to play in financial services and that we should be better supported.
“Unlike listed companies, existing regulations do not enable mutuals to easily go out to market to raise Tier 1 capital to fund things like improved member services or to take advantage of potential growth opportunities.”
Mr Goudswaard said that potential reforms to the tax laws, for example, could open up opportunities for many mutuals, including CUA, to utilise their franking credits for the first time.
CUA is primarily a residential mortgage lender, but the group’s CEO noted that it could soon be “branching out into business banking”.
The lender may also look to invest in capital through technology upgrades and innovation by collaborating with other mutuals, start-ups and fintechs.
“CUA looks forward to further consultation on the Hammond recommendations and to working proactively with the federal government, ASIC, APRA and our industry bodies — COBA and BCCM — to implement these important reforms,” Mr Goudswaard said.
“The Treasurer has noted that he is hopeful new legislation could be in place by mid-2018, and I thank him for recognising the need to move quickly on implementing these reforms.”
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