Direct channels help CUA post record loan growth

Australia's largest credit union says direct channels accounted for well over half of its mortgages settled during the 12 months to 30 June.

CUA recorded $3.35 billion in new loans during the 2015 financial year, up 54.9 per cent on lending for the previous year.

The lender yesterday announced a 10.7 per cent increase in its net profit after tax (NPAT) to $48.79 million, driven by CUA’s record year for new lending and continued growth in customer numbers to more than 430,000 banking customers.

The result was also reflected in strong balance sheet growth, with loans under management up 15.5 per cent to an all-time high of $10.39 billion. Retail deposits rose 14.7 per cent from a year earlier to $7.78 billion.

CUA chief executive Rob Goudswaard said the group’s home loan performance was a real highlight, with CUA achieving home loan balance growth of almost 2.5 times system for the year, driven primarily by growth in owner-occupier housing finance.

“There was strong growth in CUA’s organic channels including our 59 branches, CUA Direct call centres and digital channels, which together accounted for almost 60 per cent of CUA mortgages settled during the year,” Mr Goudswaard said.

“CUA has achieved very strong balance sheet growth and grew our customer numbers by more than 8,500 during the year.

“We’ve also achieved sustainable growth in income, while continuing to invest in CUA’s future capability. Total operating income for CUA’s banking business was up by $8.3 million for the year, including a $5.4 million increase in net interest income.”

The lender’s impairment charges fell substantially – from $5.8 million in the 2014 financial year to $3.0 million in the year to 30 June 2015.

Mr Goudswaard said CUA’s $60 million core banking platform had enabled the lender to deliver several successful new products over the 2015 financial year that contributed to its lending and deposit growth, including the Fresh Start Variable Home Loan, eSaver Plus online savings account and new everyday transaction accounts.

“I’m pleased to report that we have a robust balance sheet and over the next year, CUA will continue to expand and enhance the range of products and services we offer customers,” Mr Goudswaard said.

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