Big four bank boosts mobile lending network

A major Australian bank has bolstered its network of mobile loan writers and grown mortgage lending above system for the fifth consecutive year.

ANZ Bank noted in a recent ASX update that over the year to March, its team of mobile loan writers had grown by 43 per cent.

In NSW, ANZ increased its number of mobile lenders by 50 per cent over the period.

In the 12 months to the half year 2015, the major bank recorded a 28.4 per cent increase in home loan growth from $6.7 billion to $8.6 billion.

Unlike its closest competitors, CBA, NAB and Westpac, ANZ has chosen not to acquire mortgage broker businesses as part of its strategy, instead focusing on building a network of accredited loan writers.

As at March 2015, home loans make up 69 per cent of ANZ’s Australian credit exposure, with corporate and commercial loans accounting for 24 per cent, consumer cards 6 per cent and personal loans 1 per cent.

Victoria remains the bank’s key mortgage market with 29.4 per cent of home loans compared with 27 per cent for NSW and ACT; 17.7 per cent in Queensland; 16.2 per cent in WA and 9.7 per cent in all other states and territories.

Moving forward, ANZ chief executive Mike Smith said that the bank is looking to target areas that will boost profitability.

“This includes a focus on key segments such as home lending and commercial banking in geographies and segments where we are underweight such as New South Wales,” Mr Smith said.

“New Zealand has again performed well following the business simplification program and brand merger, entrenching our position as New Zealand’s leading bank.”

In Australia, ANZ recorded an eight per cent profit increase over the year to March, primarily driven by a $225 million (seven per cent) increase in net interest income on the back of strong volume growth and “disciplined deposit pricing” in home loans, cards and small business banking, the group said, adding that this was partially offset by a five per cent increase in operating expenses.

The group posted a cash profit of $3.7 billion, up five per cent from the first half 2014.

Looking to the future, Mr Smith said the group will be operating in a lower growth environment in which there will continue to be “occasional volatility and shocks”.

Nevertheless, the outlook for credit quality remains relatively benign supported by low interest rates, the stimulus of a low oil price and an appreciating US Dollar, he said.

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