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Firstmac completes auto bond issue for ‘eco-conscious’ borrowers

The non-bank lender completed a $457 million auto bond issue adding to its range of eco-conscious offerings for borrowers and investors.

Firstmac’s auto bond issue details the amount of CO2 emissions from each car it’s secured against. According to the non-bank lender, this issue has opened the opportunity for it to issue a “green” auto bond in the future that is only secured against low-emission vehicles (electric or hybrid), aimed at “eco-focused” institutional investors.

This is the first auto asset-backed security (ABS) issued by the non-bank lender, with the transaction being upsized from $300 million to $475 million due to strong investor demand.

This adds to Firstmac’s already existing range of eco-friendly offerings, such as the Green Home Loan, which offers a discount of up to 1.58 per cent for energy-efficient home builders along with a Green Car Discount, offering a 0.7 per cent discount for buyers of low-emission vehicles.

Earlier this year, Firstmac launched a variable-rate car loan to ramp up its vehicle finance presence, with the product offering an interest rate of 3.19 per cent for “green” vehicles.

The completion of the auto bond issue follows the non-bank lender welcoming its first national sales manager for auto lending, Tom Moody.

Mr Moody’s role with Firstmac is to grow the non-bank lender’s auto business by working with major aggregators and key accounts.

Firstmac CFO, James Austin, said the issue was “consistent with the company’s policy of minimising the impact of its business operations on the environment.”

“We are dedicated to playing our role in mitigating Climate Change and these emissions-transparent auto bonds will be a useful new tool in that battle,” Mr Austin said.

“We were very pleased with how the issue was received by investors, with strong support in the market enabling us to substantially upsize the issue and secure our funding for auto lending well into 2023.”

First female board member welcomed to Firstmac’s ranks

The non-bank lender recently appointed Sophie Mitchell, a non-executive director and former senior executive of stockbroker Morgans to its board as an independent director.

Ms Mitchell is the first female to join Firstmac’s board, succeeding long-serving board member, Andrew Kemp.

Firstmac managing director, Kim Cannon, noted at the time of the appointment that Ms Mitchell would be a “valuable addition” who would broaden the board’s diversity and expertise.

“Sophie is a highly-regarded professional who brings considerable experience in both finance and governance to Firstmac,” Mr Cannon said.

[RELATED: Firstmac welcomes 1st female board member]

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