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Branded mortgages help drive record profit for ING Direct

ING Direct Australia’s focus on growing its branded mortgage portfolio has helped the group achieve a record profit result for the bank in the 2015 calendar year.

The non-major posted a net profit after tax of $314.7 million for the 12 months to 31 December 2015 – a 6 per cent increase on the previous year.

ING Direct’s overall mortgage volumes grew by 2.6 per cent to $39.8 billion last year, with its branded mortgage volumes experiencing a 10.8 per cent increase.

Mark Woolnough, head of third-party distribution at ING Direct, attributed much of the mortgage growth to brokers.

“Mortgage brokers are absolutely critical to our business, responsible for nine out of every 10 ING Direct mortgages,” Mr Woolnough said.

“We’ve been working with brokers for more than 16 years, and we continue to nurture these relationships with great value-driven products and fair and transparent remuneration.”

ING Direct’s focus on diversifying its loan portfolio has also paid off, with the bank increasing its commercial portfolio by more than 17 per cent last year.

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“The appetite for commercial property is definitely growing and we see a huge opportunity not only for our business, but for investors and for brokers [by] diversifying risk and sustainably building business,” Mr Woolnough said.

ING Direct’s Orange Everyday payment account customer base grew by more than 47 per cent, with a third of the growth coming from existing customer recommendations, according to outgoing CEO Vaughn Richtor.

“It is particularly satisfying to see so many customers recommending ING Direct to family and friends,” Mr Richtor said.

“Having an Orange Everyday account increases our customers’ propensity to also have their savings account, a mortgage and superannuation with us.”

Mr Richtor said he was immensely proud of what ING Direct had achieved since its launch in 1999.

“Our business model challenged how banking was done and while some doubted we would succeed, the provision of value for money products and exceptional customer service has proved a winning formula,” he said.

“Creating the right culture in an organisation is the best way of ensuring the business does the right thing by the customer.”

[Related: ING Direct unveils new mobile banking technology]

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