Homeloans Limited increased its branded loan settlements by 11.5 per cent to $487 million for the second half of 2014.
The group’s branded loans under management increased 2.3 per cent to $3.1 billion at 31 December 2014 while the non-branded loan portfolio reduced slightly to $4.3 billion, with the total portfolio remaining steady at $7.6 billion.
Homeloans’ CEO Scott McWilliam said the company continues to pursue the expansion of its broker and direct retail distribution footprint.
“Our recently announced acquisition of Barnes Home Loans (Barnes Mortgage Management Pty Ltd) is an example of how we are successfully implementing this strategy to grow settlement volumes, particularly of our own branded loan products,” Mr McWilliam said.
He noted that the result was positive given intense competition in the market and relatively high levels of refinance activities being undertaken by borrowers seeking to take advantage of historically low interest rates.
“To date in HY2015, we have continued to focus on growing lending volumes and building on the positive momentum from the second half of FY2014,” Mr McWilliam said.
“We were especially buoyed by strong settlements in the pre-Christmas period of 2014. However, market pressures continue to impact on margins, which, in turn, has marginally reduced profit levels compared to previous periods,” he said.
“With the broader residential lending market remaining stable in HY2015, the reduction in cash rates in February 2015 will likely assist in supporting settlement volumes for the remainder of the financial year.”
Mr McWilliam said the lender is particularly pleased to have grown settlements through the broker and retail channels by 13 per cent and 6 per cent respectively during the six months to 31 December 2014.
Stronger settlements volume in the December quarter of 2014 would indicate current market conditions will continue into the current first half of 2015, he said.