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Heritage and People’s Choice mortgage book exceeds $18bn

The freshly formed customer-owned bank's mortgage book grew beyond $18 billion four months on from its merger.

In an update 120 days on from its merger, customer-owned bank Heritage and People’s Choice has reported its combined residential mortgage book grew to $18.4 billion during this period, with the growth rate over this period annualised 8.12 per cent, according to the group's head of lending Nic Savage.

Mr Savage stated residential mortgages continue to be a strong focus following the merger.

Additionally, brokers accounted for 60 per cent of loans settled since the merger, with strong growth being achieved through good volumes across both branch and broker-originated lending, Mr Savage added.

“As continuing financial pressure builds for borrowers during this period of increasing interest rates and cost of living pressures, mutual banks like Heritage and People’s Choice provide a genuine alternative to the listed for-profit banks,” Mr Savage said.

Furthermore, Heritage and People’s Choice stated it had surpassed its goals for net lending growth at $534.9 million (122 per cent ahead of target), net member growth at 10,844 (48 per cent ahead) and net deposit growth at $435.8 million (64.7 per cent ahead).

Established 1 March 2023, Heritage and People’s Choice (formerly Heritage Bank and People’s Choice Credit Union) created a national member-owned banking organisation with 720,000 members, 1,900 employees, $23 billion in assets, and 95 branches across South Australia, Victoria, NSW, Queensland, and the Northern Territory.

Chief executive Peter Lock commented: “This is significant because the goals we set ourselves were not easy ones – they were deliberately challenging.

“In our planning ahead of the merger, a tremendous amount of work was done to ensure that our core business of supporting our members would not be affected, and I’m very proud to say that we’ve clearly achieved that by continuing to provide great products and services.

“Member growth means we’re offering Australians a compelling choice for their banking, and we’re confident that will only accelerate as we put in place more of the improvements we have planned.”

Prior to the merger, the bank’s first 120 days were identified as a “crucial period in bringing together both people and processes”.

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“Obviously, metrics such as member growth and loan growth are critical but they only tell part of the story,” Mr Lock added.

“While we’ve maintained an absolute focus on our members and their needs, we’ve simultaneously been carrying out the hard, detailed work of turning two organisations into one and realising the benefits which drove the merger in the first place.”

In addition, Heritage and People’s Choice put in place a number of “member-focused innovations” such as a fast refinancing option for home loans and priority call-centre support relating to scams and fraud.

“I want to thank everyone across Heritage and People’s Choice for their hard work, focus and support,” Mr Lock added.

“I also thank our members for their continued loyalty and for providing great feedback on how we can improve.”

[RELATED: 4 Australian mutuals become 2]

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