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Liberty Financial last week reported a strong year of growth resulting in record profits. The non-bank said that in the last 12 months loan originations have more than doubled, total assets have grown 46 per cent and before-tax profits increased by 11 per cent.
Liberty’s chief operations officer James Boyle told Mortgage Business that two key segments have been responsible for a significant increase in investor lending over the year.
“One was mum and dad investors looking to borrow for an investment property, and the other was a segment of professional investors who might have multiple properties and invest through trusts and various other vehicles,” Mr Boyle explained.
“They are more focused on wealth creation. We have seen growth in both of those areas over the last 12 months and it really hasn’t abated. That’s definitely been part of our growth story over the last 12 months,” he said.
The non-bank sector has largely benefited from APRA’s regulatory efforts to curb investor lending, according to Mr Boyle.
“When those changes occurred it definitely created a platform for those lenders able to operate outside the banks and offer customers solutions for their needs. Because the needs didn’t change, but the banks’ appetites did. The non-banks were the beneficiary of that.”
Outside of lending to residential property investors, Liberty has managed to grow its loan portfolios across all asset classes including commercial and motor.
National sales manager John Mohnacheff said deal-flow figures from Liberty’s aggregator business partners show that the non-bank is now consistently in the top 10 lending groups in the country.
“For us it has always been about continued and sustainable growth. We reinvest our profits back into the business because it puts us in great shape to continue growing and supporting our valued business partners and customers,” Mr Mohnacheff said.
“We’ve invested heavily in bolstering our teams over the last 12 months, hiring additional underwriters, sales managers and customer service representatives to ensure we deliver the great service our business partners expect from us.”
[Related: Liberty appoints NZ executives]