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CUA to launch new $23m mortgage platform

Credit Union Australia will launch a new loan origination system in 2016 following a year of record home lending.

Announcing the group's half-yearly profit result last week, CUA chief executive Rob Goudswaard said the lender has budgeted $23 million over three years to build and implement a loan origination system, which is scheduled for launch in 2016.

“This will transform the customer experience with a new digital front-end for online applications and a simpler end-to-end process for all our products – personal loans, home loans and credit cards,” he said.

CUA Group posted a net profit after tax of $28.05 million for the six months to 31 December 2015, up 9 per cent on the corresponding period in 2014. Its banking business alone posted a profit of $30.85 million, up 12.5 per cent on the same period 12 months prior.

The mutual bank issued $1.5 billion in new loans during the six-month period and achieved above-system home loan growth of 9.2 per cent on an annualised basis, higher than the system-wide growth of 7.4 per cent.

CUA’s net interest income was up 5.7 per cent to $113.75 million, boosted by strong lending results in 2014-15, as well as new products and interest rate changes.

“CUA had a record year of new lending in 2014-15, with more than $3.35 billion in new loans, and the interest income from that additional lending is flowing through to 2015-16 revenue,” Mr Goudswaard said.

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“We also launched two new home loan products in July 2015, giving borrowers a greater choice of rates and features, depending on the size of their deposit and whether the customer is buying the property to live in or as an investment.

“In addition, we implemented different rates for investors across variable and fixed home loans in response to the regulators’ focus on managing growth in investor lending.

“Achieving this growth in a challenging regulatory and economic environment is a credit to our team.”

Mr Goudswaard said he was pleased with the continued high quality and low risk of CUA’s lending growth.

Home loans with a LVR above 90 per cent accounted for less than 8 per cent of CUA’s total home loan portfolio during the period, while impairment charges were down 9.6 per cent.

“CUA’s loan arrears are around half the rate being reported at industry level,” Mr Goudswaard said.

Look forward, Mr Goudswaard expects CUA to continue performing strongly during the second half of 2015-16 and realise a higher full-year profit compared to 2014-15.

He added that CUA was continuing to innovate and technology would remain a key focus for the group.

Since the mutual launched its updated mobile banking app in October, online banking has attracted 9,500 new mobile users, and the number of new registrations each month is up 46 per cent.

[Related: Direct channels help CUA post record loan growth]

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