Chinese backed non-bank to take on the majors

A new non-bank player has entered the Australian lending industry with a promise to provide a viable alternative to the majors.

Chifley Securities announced yesterday that it has entered the third-party channel with an initial lending pool of $480 million.

Finance veteran Dominic Lambrinos and the principals of Nationwide Capital – Domenic and Joe Morello – have established Chifley Securities to provide a viable commercial lending alternative to the major banks.

Mr Lambrinos, who has about 32 years of experience in finance and is also the managing director of EasyBiz Finance Pty Ltd, said the lender is now offering loans in the commercial property market from $2 million to $30 million.

“Unfortunately, the major banks are proving to be too difficult to work with, as their lending covenants and red tape is holding back the commercial property sector in Australia,” Mr Lambrinos said.

Chifely Securities co-owner Domenic Morello explained the new lender is funded by Australian and overseas investors.

“A majority of our funding is coming more from Australian private investors with the balance made up of European and Chinese investors, who we see as a major growth driver for property finance in the future,” he said.

Chifley Securities will work closely with an estimated 12,000 mortgage brokers across Australia.

The company is offering attractive commissions to brokers who bring deals to them, while financing costs will range from 8.5 per cent to 12 per cent a year.

FBAA chief executive Peter White welcomed Chifley Securities and expressed his anticipation that the lender will “shake up” the commercial property lending sector.

Chifley Securities will base its lending decisions on the existing asset values, risk profile and prospects of the commercial property projects.

“We have developed a strong track record of backing winners and our panel of private investors will issue funds on a single project basis, based on our filtering,” Mr Morello said.

Chifley Securities has developed a simplified single application process for financing commercial property loans, using its pool of investors to complete the loan.

“We have seen many solid business opportunities who have struggled to gain finance or re-finance because of minor compliance breaches; we look through these imposts and lend on the strength of the assets and the transaction,” Mr Morello said.

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