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Former Westpac, ANZ CEOs launch non-bank lender

Two ex-big four executives have teamed up to launch a new non-bank lender, targeting older Australians who want to help their children enter the property market.

Former Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer and ex-ANZ boss Jenny Fagg have rolled out a five-year, fixed-rate product under their newly launched lender, 2Be.

The new Equity Advantage loan is targeting home owners between the ages of 55-75, offering up to $500,000 of home equity to help their children fund a deposit for their first home.

Mr Hartzer has taken the role of chair with 2Be, while Dr Fagg, who had also been chief risk officer with AMP, has assumed the position of CEO.

Mr Hartzer noted that their firm will aim to fill a gap in the market, with major banks overlooking older customers.

“We know that the major lenders generally don’t lend to people in this stage of life, despite the value of their home, if they’re semi-retired or working part-time and their income doesn’t meet strict lending requirements,” he said.

“However, many Australians over 55 have worked hard to own their own homes and we believe they deserve to access that equity, whether to help kids with their deposit, to fund major renovations, or to support their family’s aspirations. We knew there had to be a better way.”

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2Be has also promised loan decisions for applicants within two days.

“By using modern technology, we can give most customers a decision within 48 hours, with funds available soon after,” Dr Fagg said.

To quality, borrowers must own a property valued at $1 million or more with little or no debt against, at least $500,000 in additional assets such as another home, superannuation or shares (after deducting any debt) and a clear credit history.

The lender is currently only distributing directly to customers, with a spokesperson saying it “would welcome referrals”.

Mr Hartzer also became chair at buy now, pay later vendor Beforepay last year, joining another former Westpac executive, James Twiss.

Mr Twiss, who had been chief strategy officer and chief data officer at the big four bank, is now CEO at Beforepay.

Previously, Mr Hartzer had been CEO of Westpac until he stepped down amid a widely publicised scandal, where AUSTRAC revealed the bank had made 23 million alleged breaches of anti-money laundering laws.

The breaches ultimately resulted in the largest corporate penalty in Australia to date, totalling $1.3 billion.

Prior to Westpac, Mr Hartzer had held senior roles at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and at ANZ in a number of roles, including CEO, Australia.

Meanwhile Dr Fagg has been on the Bank of Queensland board since October last year.

She was chief risk officer at AMP for two years before that.

Previously, she had worked in the upper levels of ANZ for 10 years, with her last role being CEO and managing director for the National Bank in New Zealand.

She had also been a general manager for risk, credit cards and consumer finance marketing for Citi from 1989 to 1998.

[Related: Time taken to save a deposit hits record 11.4 years]

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