The marketplace lender stated that its “rapid response” to COVID-19 conditions, combined with its largely “prime customer base” and “low exposure to high-risk sectors” are to thank for its return to normal levels of loan origination and hardship assistance requests.
The company outlined that it took “deliberate steps” in order to moderate loans through Q4FY20 by tightening its credit policy in Q3FY20.
Despite its tightened credit policy, Wisr wrote $23.1 million in new loans across April and May, with $9.3 million in loans originated in April, and $13.8 million in May - a 48 per cent increase month-on-month.
According to Wisr, the May loan origination results have seen the company return to pre-COVID levels of loan originations.
Further, during the period of 1 March to 31 May 2020, Wisr granted 395 customers with COVID-19 related relief packages, consisting of a three-month payment deferral with interest capitalised.
As at 31 May, $10.3 million, equal to 6.7 per cent of Wisr’s total portfolio loan balances, were on a COVID-19 related repayment deferral period, coming in below industry-wide averages for residential mortgages (around 10 per cent) and SME business loans (14 per cent).
With two hardship requests made to-date in June, Wisr has also revealed that financial hardship cases have also returned to their pre-COVID level, and 52 per cent of those provided with COVID-19 relief packages have opted to return to their normal repayment schedule by the end of the provided assistance period, or earlier.
Anthony Nantes, chief executive officer, Wisr said, “In May, we achieved the milestone of the highest weekly settled loan volume in the Company’s history and have now surpassed pre-COVID-19 origination levels.”
“By rapidly responding to COVID-19 economic conditions in Q3FY20, and taking a prudent approach to loan origination in Q4FY20, we have continued to responsibly lend to our customers to help them consolidate, refinance, purchase, and fulfil their needs through the Wisr Ecosystem in these uncertain times,” Mr Nantes added.
The CEO noted that Wisr was anticipating a “period of heightened customer hardship” in light of COVID-19, however the company fared well due to its prime, low-risk customer base.
“[This] impact has been very manageable in light of the Company’s very small balance sheet loan exposure, prime customer base and exceptionally low exposure to high risk sectors. We are now back to pre-COVID-19 levels for customer support requests,” he said.
“Throughout this time, the Company has worked closely with our Wisr Warehouse funders who are very supportive of Wisr providing customers with COVID-19 relief, including agreeing for arrears triggers to not be impacted by such relief provision. Wisr appreciates the significant support provided by its funders during the COVID-19 disruption.”
Ms Nates concluded: “Our purpose-led and agile fintech business model has Wisr well-positioned for growth through COVID-19 disruptions and post-recovery, setting the Company up for a strong revenue growth trajectory over the coming quarters.”
[Related: Wisr raises $33.5m to fund expansion]
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Hannah Dowling is a journalist for mortgage business, the leading source of news, opinion and strategy for professionals working in the mortgage industry.
Prior to joining the team at Mortgage Business, Hannah worked as a content producer for a podcast catering to property investors. She also spent 6 years working in the real estate sector at a local agency.
Hannah graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Media and Journalism.