Heritage going national with mortgage broker lending
Heritage Building Society will go national with its mortgage broker lending from early next year, adding further impetus in its drive for growth in its loans portfolio this year.
Heritage will start taking mortgage loan applications via brokers from every state in Australia from 1 February 2012.
That move will follow closely behind the organisation’s change of name to Heritage Bank, which takes place on 1 December this year. That will make Heritage Australia’s largest customer-owned bank.
General Manager Retail Services Paul Francis said both the broker lending expansion and the name change were about positioning Heritage for continued growth.
“Heritage has a fantastic reputation among its member base, thanks to the great range of mortgage products we offer at extremely competitive rates. That’s why we have had the highest customer satisfaction rating of any financial institution in Queensland for the last 18 months in a row, according to Roy Morgan Research.
“We are now giving people right across Australia the chance to experience the benefits of our fantastic People first philosophy.
“We are keen to grow our lending and improving our geographic reach through our broker channels will do that.
“We believe the change of name to Heritage Bank will also help to attract customers who may be unfamiliar with the building society name, particularly outside our Queensland heartland.”
Heritage has offered loans through mortgage brokers in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia for many years.
It will now broaden that reach to also lend to customers in Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory from February. There has been significant demand from those states, particularly Western Australia, from customers looking to take out a loan through Heritage. Extra staff will be brought on board to help Heritage manage that expansion.
Mr Francis said Heritage continued to place high importance on the broker channel.
“The high costs of funding during the GFC meant that a number of financial institutions abandoned the broker network,” he said.
“We faced the same situation, but Heritage decided to scale back rather than pull out entirely, because we recognised the importance of maintaining our broker relationships.
“We subsequently ramped up our broker channel offerings as soon as we could after the GFC, and we are now expanding our reach across the country.
“Heritage has stuck in there for the long haul and we look forward to continued escalation of our lending through the broker network.”
Mr Francis said another benefit that Heritage offered was that it had credit teams on the ground in its intermediary offices, not off-shore, to provide local knowledge and support.