MPA 24.01

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How broker connections have lifted growth for mutuals RISING STARS

Australia’s top young brokers revealed SPECIALIST LENDING Flexible solutions for greater range of borrowers


Responding to brokers’ needs produces third win for Macquarie Bank

Wendy Brown Macquarie Bank
ANZ & BROKERS WORKING BETTER TOGETHER NOW THAT’S THE PERFECT BLEND Applications for credit subject to approval. T&Cs, fees and charges apply. Discounts subject to LVR . Not available on ANZ Plus home loans. Australian credit licence number 234527. Contact your ANZ RBM today. A DISCOUNTED HOME LOAN RATE PERSONALISED TO YOUR CUSTOMERS

MARCH 2024



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02 Editorial

Building success on genuine, trusted relationships

04 Statistics

The highs and lows in real estate



06 Opinion

The unique value proposition of customer-owned banks





MPA’s annual survey report highlights the impressive results of banks that prioritise collaborating with brokers to achieve success for their customers



Adapting to changing customer needs and forging strong broker partnerships has paid o for the mutual banks

26 Macquarie Bank takes top spot

Listening to brokers has resulted in the bank’s third consecutive victory in the Brokers on Banks survey

Kode Finance’s Anthony Chimirri makes finance fun for kids 12

SFG’s managing director looks back on a strong year for the aggregator, and to a future of innovations and growth


50 Committed to backing brokers

Retaining second spot in Brokers on Banks, Bankwest says it’s “going all in” for brokers as it strives to be the best

68 Communicating change



The agile, inclusive solutions o ered by non-banks to borrowers who don’t fit the traditional lending profile

Four steps to building employees’ trust with a focus on transparency


70 Brokerage insight

A diversity of products and services helps Infinity Finance Solutions meet clients’ needs

72 Other life



This year’s standout new-to-industry brokers are already making waves with their energy, passion and ambition to succeed



Our daily newsletter. Keep on top of property market trends, business strategy, and what industry leaders have to say. 1

Relationships the bedrock of success

Human beings have an innate need for connection with one another. It’s hardwired into us, and it’s why many people struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, when for long periods we had to cope with the social isolation of lockdowns. This lack of human contact with anyone outside our immediate families – or, for those who lived alone, often no contact at all – had a major impact on the mental health of many people that is still being felt post-pandemic.

The need to talk and connect with other people is also highly important in the world of mortgage brokers. It’s no secret that the most successful brokers are the ones who work hard at building genuine and trusted relationships with their customers and don’t just pay lip service to ‘customer service’.

To maintain a strong and steadfast client base might mean checking in frequently with customers to have a chat about their current loan and rate or what’s happening with the Reserve Bank cash rate; and about their property and finance goals or other finance needs they might have. It can also involve providing regular updates on the property and lending markets via social media or EDMs.

In a broking sector with more than 70% of all new residential loans written by

The most successful brokers work hard at building genuine and trusted relationships with their customers

brokers, there’s more competition between brokers than ever. It’s probably accurate to say that brokers are now competing more with each other than with the lenders.

This means brokers need to stand out from their competitors, and one way they can do this is by staying in close contact with customers, learning their life stories and anticipating and facilitating their financial needs and goals.

Brokers also need to cultivate and maintain close working relationships with lenders, to keep up to date with their products, policies and processes and be able to find the loan deal that’s in the best interests of their customers.

In this first edition of MPA for 2024, we examine how customer-owned banks have built strong partnerships with brokers, who they rely on heavily to source home loans. Third party leaders at customer-owned banks recently joined broker representatives at MPA’s annual roundtable to discuss these relationships and other industry issues.

We also look at how non-bank lenders provide specialist solutions to assist brokers whose clients have been rejected for loans by traditional banks.

Finally, we reveal the winners of MPA’s 2024 Brokers on Banks survey, as well as the top emerging young brokers in Rising Stars 2024.

Enjoy the March issue, and let’s hope that 2024 is a great year for everyone.

Antony Field, editor, MPA EDITOR’S LETTER EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES tel: +612 8437 4711 SUBSCRIPTION ENQUIRIES tel: +61 2 8311 5831 • fax: +61 2 8437 4753 ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Copyright is reserved throughout. No part of this publication can be reproduced in whole or part without the express permission of the editor. Contributions are invited, but copies of work should be kept, as the magazine can accept no responsibility for loss. EDITORIAL Editor Antony Field Writers Kim Champion, Mina Martin Contributor Leah Mether Lead Production Editor Roslyn Meredith ART & PRODUCTION Designer Cess Rodriguez Customer Success Manager Isabella Concepcion Customer Success Executive Shara Cruzat SALES & MARKETING Publisher Claire Tan CORPORATE Chief Executive Officer Mike Shipley Chief Operating Officer George Walmsley Chief Commercial Officer Justin Kennedy Chief Information Officer Colin Chan Chief Revenue Officer Dane Taylor Director – People and Culture Julia Bookallil KM Business Information Australia Pty Ltd tel: +61 2 8437 4700 • fax: +61 2 9439 4599 Australia, Canada, USA, UK, NZ and Asia MortgageProfessionalAustralia is part of an international family of B2B publications and websites for the mortgage industry AUSTRALIAN BROKER T +61 2 8437 4786 NZ ADVISER T +61 2 8437 4708 CANADIAN MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL T +1 416 644 8740 MORTGAGEBROKERNEWS.CA T +1 416 644 8740 MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL AMERICA T +1 720 316 7423 MORTGAGE INTRODUCER (UK) T +44 7525 456869 MARCH 2024

continues his journey with SFG for another 5 years!

Fabio De Castro Fabio De Castro




Total value of residential real estate at end December

The real estate market was subdued in December, with more than a 50% drop in new listings on compared to November – a decline that aligns with the typical year-end slowdown. Despite this, new listings activity showed a 0.4% increase year-onyear, PropTrack figures revealed.


Year's total number of housing sales nationally



41 days

Median time it took to sell a capital city home in Dec quarter

The property market rebounded strongly in 2023, with national home values jumping 5.52%, hitting a new peak, PropTrack reports. Both capital cities and regional areas experienced year-on-year growth. Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane excelled, avoiding downturns and consistently reaching new price highs. However, Hobart, Darwin, regional Victoria and the NT witnessed slight year-on-year declines.



National annual increase in rent values

Source: CoreLogic Monthly Housing Chart Pack, January 2024

Source: PropTrack

National Capital cities Regional areas
7.72% 10.45% 8.47% 10.89% 11.02% 14.75% 6.84% 1.05% 5.52% 6.44% 3.2% 1.9% 0.89% 0.25% -1.8% -3.5% -1.49% -3.16% -3.5% National Capital cities Regional areas Sydney Rest of NSW Melbourne Rest of Vic Brisbane Rest of Qld Adelaide Rest of SA Perth Rest of WA Hobart Rest of Tas Darwin Rest of NT ACT 0% 5% 10% 15% -18.6% -14.3% -27.4% NSW Qld SA WA Vic Tas NT ACT National Total -30% -25% -20% -15%


In 2023, AFCA recorded 100,000 complaints, jumping 23% from 2022. Chief Ombudsman David Locke noted an unsustainable rise, highlighting spikes of 95% in scam-related complaints and 29% in financial hardship complaints.

Number of complaints


CoreLogic’s Home Value Index reported a increase of 8.1% in 2023, bouncing back from a drop of 4.9% in 2022 but falling short of 2021’s surge. December saw a modest 0.4% increase, reflecting a typically softer year-end.

In the year to November 2023, new owner-occupier loan values for dwellings soared by 10.1%, with commitments up by 7.3%, the ABS reports. Mish Tan, ABS head of finance statistics, noted a monthly uptick of 0.1% and 1% in values and commitments, respectively. 5
Source: Australian Financial Complaints Authority Source: CoreLogic Home Value Index, 31 December 2023 Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics Source: PropTrack; listings, December 2023
Value of new owner-occupier dwelling commitments, trend Value of new owner-occupier dwelling commitments, seasonally adj.
GROWTH IN VALUE OF NEW OWNER-OCCUPIER DWELLING COMMITMENTS NATIONAL MEDIAN HOME VALUES BY CITY, DEC 2023 16,028 +64% +33% +39% +17% -8% 12,124 9,565 8,073 7,461 Personal transaction accounts Credit cards Comprehensive vehicle insurance Home building insurance Home loans TOP 5 PRODUCTS COMPLAINED ABOUT IN 2023 Capital cities Regional areas Sydney Melbourne Brisbane Adelaide Perth Hobart Darwin Canberra Combined capitals Nov 22 Dec 22 Jan 23 Feb 23 Mar 23 Apr 23 May 23 Jun 23 Jul 23 Aug 23 Sep 23 Oct 23 Nov 23 Combined regionals National 1,2000,000 1,0000,000 800,000 600,000 17.00 $bn 16.25 15.50 14.75 14.00 400,000 200,000 0 $1,128,322 $780,457 $787,217 $711,604 $660,754 $656,947 $496,309 $843,171 $832,193 $605,780 $757,746 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 17.4% 18.5% 1.9% 6.5% 6.8% 4.7% 0.4% -1% -0.6% -9.6% -7.2% -6.9% -10% -5% -0% 5% 10% 15% 20% -5.7% -2.2% -3.4% Change 15.01 15.08 14.43 14.19 14.03 14.49 15.28 14.71 14.69 15.04 15.32 16.51 16.53 14.64 14.33 14.23 14.27 14.38 14.50 14.65 14.85 15.14 15.50 15.90 16.25 14.61


Putting people before profit

Customer-owned banks o er more than just great rates to brokers and their clients, says COBA CEO Michael Lawrence

THIS YEAR and beyond presents an interesting landscape for both consumers and financial institutions. While inflation shows signs of abating, Australians continue to grapple with the higher cost of living, which demands greater security, transparency and authenticity from banks. We know banking customers will be looking closely at their banks for support and an alignment with their values.

It’s against this backdrop that customerowned banks emerge with a unique proposition for brokers and their clients, with a mission to always put people before profit. Because of the mutual ownership model, profits are not distributed to external shareholders. Instead, they are reinvested into extremely competitive products, better services and vital community initiatives.

This is great news for brokers with clients who want not just a great rate but to also feel satisfied about where they are banking and the values of the organisation. As expected, our research shows this is most customers, with 84% of people wanting a higher purpose out of their bank.

Additionally, customer-owned banks have a market-leading satisfaction rate of 91.6% according to Roy Morgan. And when looking at the sector, customer-owned banks collectively record a Net Trust Score higher than that of any individual bank in Australia.

What is central to all customer-owned banks is their commitment to putting their customers’ interests first, and this is an important fact to consider in light of the recent trend of mergers across the sector.

Mergers are a feature of the financial services landscape and aren’t just exclusive to

mutuals. But in our sector they are driven by the ability to better meet the shared values and objectives of both institutions while expanding an institution’s product range or geographic reach.

Any merger between customer-owned banks is carefully considered with a customerfirst lens, in the context of the broader market

the same high standards as every bank by the government and regulators, including APRA and ASIC; are backed by the Australian government’s $250,000 guarantee on deposits; and continue to digitally innovate and transform to provide even greater service to customers and industry suppliers.

Protecting customers from scams is an absolute priority for the Customer Owned Banking Association and our members this year. COBA has already joined forces with the Australian Banking Association to launch a new Scam-Safe Accord that includes a comprehensive set of anti-scam measures across the entire industry.

At the heart of the accord is a $100 million investment by the industry in a new confirmation-of-payee system to be rolled out across all banks. This will help reduce scams by ensuring people can confirm they are transferring money to the person they intend to.

Customer-owned banks collectively record a Net Trust Score higher than that of any individual bank in Australia

and in the interests of their members, who ultimately need to vote on whether a merger proceeds or not. It’s yet another example of how our sector ensures it delivers positive outcomes for its customers.

Brokers account for nearly 70% of the mortgage market* and have a powerful role to play in helping their clients find a bank that does more than just meet their financial needs. Whether a client cares about the environment, their local community or a special charitable organisation, brokers can find the perfect customer-owned bank for everyone.

Many customer-owned banks also serve specific professions, including police, teachers, nurses, and defence and military professionals. Each of these banks provides a unique understanding of the intricacies and challenges faced in these professions and o ers a tailored and personalised service to its customers that won’t be found elsewhere.

Our sector can be recommended with confidence too. Customer-owned banks are held to

With 15.4 billion transactions totalling $2.5 trillion in value occurring every year across the banking sector, the design and build of an industrywide confirmation-ofpayee system is a major undertaking. Design of the new system has already started and will be rolled out over 2024 and 2025.

Technology is evolving, and the banking landscape continues to change. But one thing remains constant: when a customer chooses a customer-owned bank, they will be treated as more than just a number. With competitive rates, best-in-market customer service and a genuine commitment to putting people first, you can be confident your clients will be in good hands with a customer-owned bank.


Mike Lawrence is the CEO of the Customer Owned Banking Association, the industry body for Australia’s credit unions, building societies and mutual banks. GOT AN OPINION THAT COUNTS? Email


Despite rising rates and inflation, Specialist Finance Group enjoyed strong growth in 2023. MPA talks to MD William Lockett about the year’s highlights and challenges – and SFG’s big goals for 2024

IN A 2023 mortgage market heavily a ected by cash rate increases and a cost of living crisis, leading aggregator SFG adapted and continued to grow.

SFG managing director William Lockett has more than three decades of experience dealing with the highs and lows of the industry’s constantly evolving and complex financial landscape. He talks to MPA about how SFG achieved growth in 2023, the challenges the industry faces, and what’s on the


ever holiday away from work – a six-week European holiday with my beautiful family.

It was great to detach from running SFG and spend quality time away with the family, enjoying travelling through four countries and sharing some wonderful experiences.

It also showed me that I can take extended breaks away from the SFG business as we are fortunate to have an amazing SFG team covering my absence.

From a business perspective, we enjoyed

key highlight was SFG now having 1,300 finance brokers Australiawide,

which is a significant achievement for our group and one that we are very proud of”

horizon in terms of further innovations and development in 2024 for the aggregator’s broker members.

MPA: What were the main highlights for SFG, and you personally, in 2023? William Lockett: There were a number of business and personal highlights during 2023, and from a personal point of view the highlight was enjoying my longest-

another year of business growth, which resulted in our membership base growing by 22%, as well as maintaining our great brokerfocused relationships with all of our existing SFG members.

A key highlight was SFG now having 1,300 finance brokers Australiawide, which is a significant achievement for our group and one that we are very proud of.

We also rolled out our new commissions

platform SFGassist. This business achievement was probably one of the biggest tasks that we have ever undertaken, given we had to migrate 33 years of data into a new commissions platform.

We also had to ensure that all of our commission payment obligations were met and there was no disruption for any of our SFG members.

Another key milestone was having our very first SFG National Conference & Awards outside of our home city of Perth. We hosted our marquee event in the beautiful location of Port Douglas, Queensland.

Not only were we blessed to have an amazing location for our national conference and awards, but we also enjoyed stunning weather and had 350 SFG members and business partners in attendance.

MPA: What is the biggest challenge facing the mortgage industry?

WL: Certainly a major issue that our industry is facing is the current payroll tax matter that is being initiated by the O ce of State Revenue in New South Wales.

We acknowledge that this issue is also being dealt with by the courts. However, it’s disappointing that our industry has had to deal with this payroll tax matter given that it is our view, and the third party industry’s



Name: William Lockett

Title: Managing director

Company: Specialist Finance Group

Years in the industry: 33

Highlights of 2023:

• Achieving 1,300 SFG members

• Rollout of new commission platform SFGassist

• SFG National Conference in Port Douglas

• Family trip to Europe 9


view, that finance brokers are essentially independent business owners exercising their own business rights in running their individual business models.

It’s a major disappointment for our industry considering that finance broking has been going for some 34 years in Australia and during this time it has operated in all states and territories under both sides of political persuasion.

tion services for our SFG members and the commitments that we also have to our SFG business partners.

We again rea rmed our business mantra, which is: SFG is a private and family-owned business that is solely focused on being the best possible aggregating business partner.

We have a relationship-based approach to doing business. Trust and communication are at the forefront of all of our dealings with both

“We again rea rmed our business mantra, which is: SFG is a private and family-owned business that is solely focused on being the best possible aggregating business partner”

During this time, our industry has also worked with and engaged with not only state and federal governments but also other government departments such as ASIC and Treasury to make our industry better and stronger and deliver better outcomes for consumers wishing to not only utilise the services of a finance broker but also get the best possible finance option for their consideration.

To have this significant hurdle facing our industry after 34 years in operation is both unfair and, we say, has no relevance or substance in the way our industry and finance brokers operate.

MPA: What are SFG’s business goals for 2024?

WL: We’re excited this year to be opening our very first SFG Queensland office, which will provide greater support for our Queensland SFG team and our Queensland SFG members. We have managed to secure a wonderful location in Woolloongabba, and we look forward to opening this SFG Queensland o ce in March 2024.

One of our key goals for this year – which was part of our SFG strategy meeting in Sydney in January – was to concentrate on our core focus, which is our aggrega-

our members and business partners. We are empowered and agile, and we make decisions e ciently, with all issues being resolved both quickly and fairly.

Deploying the next upgrade of SFGconnect 2.0 will bring even greater e ciencies and synergies to our SFG members.

We get a lot of compliments – from both our existing members and opposition brokers from other aggregators – that our software programs are among the best in the industry. The upgrade in SFGconnect 2.0 will be like going from driving a Ferrari to driving Formula One.

MPA: With the RBA likely to cut interest rates some time in 2024, how will this affect broker activity?

WL: Any reduction of interest rates makes it easier and more a ordable for people to borrow funds; therefore it’s our belief that this will only increase broker activity. Lower interest rates make borrowing funds cheaper and more attractive, which will lead to increased demand for broker services.

This increased broker activity would also be across residential, commercial and personal finances both for owner-occupancy use and for investment.


Growing membership to 1,500

Implementing 5 weeks’ annual leave for SFG sta

Establishment of support and compliance team

Opening of SFG Queensland o ce Rollout of SFGconnect 2.0

As a 100% customer-owned bank, we always put the needs of our customers first. So, you can recommend Beyond Bank with confidence.

We take the same approach to maintaining mutually rewarding relationships with our broker partners.

• Our customer satisfaction score is 95% with our broker network.

• We offer genuine support, with open access to our Australian-based broker support team.

• Continuity of service is assured with our team owning each file from lodgement to settlement.

• Canstar Customer-Owned Bank Digital Bank of the year in 2023.

• Ranked in the top three in Australia for Forbes World’s Best Bank in 2023.

Beyond Bank is a certified B Corp bank, we use our business as a force for good to drive positive outcomes for our people, customers, communities and planet. We commit to balancing purpose with profit by meeting the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

Our broker support team will work for you and with you to help your customers with their lending needs. Chat the team on 1800 029 990 or email

Beyond Bank Australia Ltd ABN 15 087 651 143 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 237 856.


Expectations are shifting within the dynamic lending landscape, bringing the broker–bank relationship into heightened focus as the economic future remains uncertain

AUSTRALIA’S MORTGAGE brokers are going to bat for their clients, powered by a deep concern over the challenging interest rate environment that is expected to continue through at least the first half of the year.

MPA’s Brokers on Banks 2024 survey garnered marks from hundreds of brokers evaluating the performance of lenders across 10 metrics in the last 12 months, with those prioritising collaborative broker channel partnerships emerging victorious.

The best banks for brokers have established trust by forming strong alliances with their third party partners to ensure optimal outcomes for their mutual clients.

Brokers’ feedback reveals what they value most, underscoring how the leading banks are earning the business of these mortgage professionals, who wrote 71.5%

of new residential home loans between July and September 2023:

• “Competitive interest rates and BDMs who pick up the phone”

• “Good, simple products and no channel conflict”

• “No gimmicks, good service and broker loyalty”

• “Ability to workshop tricky deals”

• “Excellent turnaround times”

• “Providing good rate and service to the customers

• “Great credit policy, good pricing”

This year’s Brokers on Banks survey results indicate a dramatic change in what brokers expect from banks, illustrating a shift towards lenders that back up their competitive loan products with support

and credit policies that instil trust.

“Between the rate rises and spike in mortgage holders coming o the COVID fixed rates, there was a lot of consumer anxiety in 2023,” says Tanya Sale, CEO and co-founder of aggregator outsource Financial.

“Lenders really stepped up and supported the third party channel to provide education and strategies to help alleviate consumer panic.”

Mortgage Choice CEO Anthony Waldron adds, “There is always a healthy tension in the bank–broker relationship, but positive changes throughout the year helped this relationship, including a general improvement in bank service levels due to process simplification, investment in credit assessors, and other operational roles that increase capacity.”



Aged between 46 and 55

Years as a broker

Writes $20m–$40m worth of mortgages each year

Has been in the industry for > 15 years

Is most likely to live in Vic

What do brokers want from banks? 13
Gender Male Female
Less than 2 years 3–5 years 6–15 years Over 15 years Interest rates Brand trust Product range BDM support Credit policy Category rank 2024 Category rank 2023 1 10 2 9 2 3 4 6 5 8 6 2 7 5 8 1 9 4 10 6 79.3% 20.1% 0.6% 4.214 4.094 4.094 4.069 4.038 3.962 3.956 3.931 3.906 3.843 5.7% 23.3% 44.0% 27.0% Turnaround times Online platform & services Diversi
Prefer not to say
cation opportunities Commission structure Communications, training & development



As the a ordability chasm continued to widen, brokers chose bank interest rates as their number one priority, while 2023’s primary concern about diversification opportunities sank to eighth place

WITH THEIR fingers on the pulse of rising inflation and consumer demand for savings, brokers’ search for the best rate to help clients achieve their financing goals has eclipsed all criteria for them.

Interest rates soared to number one on brokers’ priority list from 10th place in 2023. This is unsurprising given the rapid rise in the RBA o cial cash rate and that a majority of brokers saw no change in products and pricing over the past year and more felt the banks had

worsened rather than improved. “Notably, this change in rank isn’t solely broker-driven,” says outsource Financial CEO Tanya Sale. “It reflects a broader trend influenced by consumers having to navigate a record number of interest hikes. That rate surge has prompted borrowers to actively seek opportunities to save in a bid to mitigate financial impact.”

A second-place tie for product range and brand trust suggests brokers are prone to recommending banks with a track record of

o ering competitive and relevant products aligned with current market conditions.

There was a noticeable decline in the importance of diversification opportunities, which, while still high at 3.931 out of 5, slipped to eighth place from top spot last year. But diversification remains important given brokers’ concerns about high interest rates:

• “It’s harder to bring in new clients due to servicing. This will mean a loss of business”


Credit policy Interest rates Diversification opportunities Product range 2024 2023 2024 2023 2024 2023 2024 2023 1st Bankwest CommBank Macquarie Bank CommBank Bankwest CommBank Bankwest CommBank 2nd CommBank Bankwest Bankwest Bankwest CommBank Bankwest Macquarie Bank Bankwest 3rd Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank CommBank NAB Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank Suncorp Macquarie Bank


• “It is di cult for many borrowers, and it has dampened some enquiry levels”

Macquarie Bank clinched a hat-trick of victories, achieving first-place wins overall for the third straight year. It continued to lead in turnaround times and ranked first for its interest rates and communications as well as training and development. It placed in the top three in every survey category.

Comments on Macquarie Bank included:

• “A bank that really supports the broker”

• “They have better deals”

• “Consistent turnaround times, credit policy, and decisions”

Bankwest, which placed second overall, recorded first-place wins for its credit policy, diversification opportunities and product range. Brokers praised Bankwest’s products and policies:

• “Self-employed policy is the best in the market, as well as improvements made over the last year for investors”

• “Credit policy, specifically alternative assessment. Good processes, and the BDM support is excellent”

• “Most clients I have placed in the last 12 months have fit really nicely with Bankwest’s complete variable product”

Credit policy remains vital to brokers, who elevated CommBank to second in the category


this year, citing its multiple o set accounts, internet banking platform and flexibility as di erentiators. The bank also placed third in interest rates and diversification. It’s the only big four bank that cracked these categories.

Suncorp earned third place in the overall ranking, including third for product range, with brokers praising its variable products and “common-sense policy application, good value and competitive rates”. 15
First home buyers CommBank NAB Bankwest 21.38% 20.13% 11.32% Commercial ANZ NAB Suncorp 26.42% 24.53% 7.55% Property investors Macquarie Bank Bankwest ANZ 34.59% 17.61% 10.06% 27.04% 44.03% 18.24% 5.03% 5.66% No di erence Worsened significantly Improved significantly Worsened Improved Foreign non-residents 11.32% 17.61% 9.43% CommBank ANZ Westpac


Brokers elevate brand trust as their top priority regarding the support banks provide

BRAND TRUST has long been highly valued by brokers, as evidenced by its consistent rating of at least four out of five on the importance scale.

However, the significant rise of brand trust to the number two spot from ninth place last year has trumped the other indicators that constitute broker support – commissions and communications – which fell to ninth and 10th place, respectively, from fourth and sixth last year.

This place shift reflects a consumer-driven change in priorities within the market, says outsource Financial’s Tanya Sale, where the natural inclination is to turn to well-known brands for a sense of safety when facing economic uncertainty.

But such unfamiliar times can put a strain on partnerships.

“The broker–bank relationship delicately balances on the line between being symbiotic and competitive, and a noticeable impact I saw

unbalance last year was the cashback fiasco, which I believe did not do anything good,” Sale adds.

“All it did was start a cashback war leading to a trend of consumer lender-hopping. This, in turn, triggered broker clawbacks, creating a churning e ect. Brokers expressed a lot of frustration over the added volatility, and it created this ripple e ect of discord felt by consumers, brokers, banks and the industry.”

Bankwest is on an impressive upward


Brand trust Commission structure Communications, training and development 2024 2023 2024 2023 2024 2023 1st Bankwest Macquarie Bank Bankwest Bankwest Macquarie Bank CommBank 2nd ING Bankwest ANZ CommBank Bankwest Bankwest 3rd Macquarie Bank ING Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank CommBank Macquarie Bank


“It’s more that there has been a run on certain types of deals, leading us to position them towards a particular lender. First home buyers have been steered towards Westpac and NAB due to pricing, making their product so much more attractive than other participants in the scheme”

“Bankwest and Macquarie have had low rates, quick turnaround times and great BDMs to deal with”

“We have given Adelaide Bank more business in the past 12 months. The ability to discuss the proposed loan and, where and when possible, the BDM will endeavour to ensure the client’s needs are met. This is down to the skill of the BDM and the trust they have in us for proposing good, clean deals to them”

“UBank, Bankwest and Suncorp, all due to better proposition for clients at the time, including overall product, interest rates, flexibility, multiple o sets, and cashbacks”

“ANZ has taken most of our lending when considering the banks only. It comes down to policy and price combination being the best fit” YES NO

“I do not favour lenders; it’s about the client’s circumstances and providing them the lender options available. Usually, clients will choose the most competitive interest rate from their available lenders. When reviewing the past 12 months, I’ve written the majority of loans to Bank Australia and CBA”

“It’s a spread based on clients’ needs”

“Initially, the majority of my business went through ANZ as I was just starting and was familiar with its policies and products. Now, I am branching out to di erent banks”

“Not really, although Macquarie has received slightly more due to good rates and excellent turnaround times”

“Nope, I have shared the love around”

trajectory in the brand trust category, achieving gold this year after moving up from second last year and third the year before.

ING also moved up one place, attaining a silver win this year, while Macquarie Bank took bronze.

Brokers noted that consistency across a bank’s business model helped build trusted relationships, and they gave accolades to these top three lending champs, noting:

• Bankwest is “competitive and responsive”, o ering “good discounts and more financial facilities”

• ING “is doing well with keeping rates lower than the big four and really looking after their clients”

• Macquarie Bank is “easy to deal with and provides fast and e cient service”

Bankwest won gold for commission structure for the third year, while ANZ took silver and Macquarie Bank retained the bronze.

After dipping to third place last year, Macquarie Bank rebounded to the top spot for communications, training and development in 2024. Bankwest remained in second place, and CommBank grabbed the bronze.

A broker commented that Bankwest and ANZ had won a large portion of their brokerage’s business due to their willingness to provide additional training to its sta .

A perceived lack of backing from some banks has been the source of much criticism from brokers this year. Several said lacklustre service and little help navigating the loan process had caused them to rethink recommending certain banks to clients.

“I have reduced my use of all the big four as I find the smaller lenders more agile and willing to find a way to make deals work,” one broker said. 17


Brokers appreciate digital banking services and wish for more, yet the ability to speak to a BDM remains a deal clincher

AN EXCEPTIONAL BDM’s skills cannot be overstated. Brokers have elevated BDM support to their fourth priority, reflecting a consistent three-year upward trend emphasising their crucial role in enhancing positive client and broker experiences.

It was clear from brokers’ responses that a personalised approach makes or breaks a deal:

• “Quite often, there are multiple lenders where the deal can be placed. So, I take it to the one where I can get a hold of the BDM to run the scenario past them”

• “Bankwest has a BDM that is willing to work with you”

• “We have excellent BDM support (critical) from Macquarie”

• “Suncorp is just doing everything right, including BDM support”

For the second year, Bankwest took the gold in BDM support, Macquarie Bank retained its silver place, and Suncorp emerged a winner for the first time with bronze.

While turnaround times plummeted to sixth place from its all-important second

place last year, there is no denying a bank’s ability to quickly process a loan to settlement is an essential component of the broker-bank relationship.

It is one of the factors that is consistently mentioned by brokers as a reason to consider severing ties with a lender, particularly HSBC.

• “I stopped using them because, at 33 days turnaround for the past several months, I cannot with all good conscience put my clients’ applications with them”


BDM support Online platform and services Turnaround times 2024 2023 2024 2023 2024 2023 1st Bankwest Bankwest ING Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank 2nd Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank Macquarie Bank ING Bankwest CommBank 3rd Suncorp CommBank Adelaide Bank Bankwest ING/Suncorp Bankwest

For the banks on top of turnaround times, brokers were e usive in their appreciation:

• “Macquarie Bank has very quick turnarounds with purchases where time is of the essence. I would not hesitate to include them in my recommendations”

• “Suncorp o ers rapid turnaround times”

A smaller margin of brokers reported that turnaround times had improved or improved significantly, at 66% compared to 75% in 2023. Double the number of respondents this year said times had worsened over the year prior, at 12.58%.

Mortgage Choice CEO Waldron points out that the heightened cashback o ers at the start of 2023 adversely a ected turnaround times for many lenders, resulting in some SLAs being extended to more than 40 days.

“Brokers will set expectations with customers during the submission process, but delays outside of their control can cause uncertainty and worry for customers,” Waldron adds.

Macquarie Bank reigned at the top of this category again, with Bankwest moving up this year to clinch second, and ING and Suncorp taking bronze in a tie.

Digital bank ING achieved first place in the online platform and services category, with Macquarie Bank and Adelaide Bank taking second and third.

Some brokers praised Bankwest’s portal

for submitting supporting documents as “fast and easy”, while Macquarie Bank’s internet banking functionality impressed them. Others commented that updated broker platforms enhanced application submissions, automated valuation reports improved e ciency, and digital document

signing improved turnaround times. Still, more work needs to be done.

“More lenders are now o ering digital document signing for mortgage o er documents,” said a broker. “This is a big improvement. As soon as all lenders allow everything to be digitally signed the better.”


“Your Loans on CommBroker has been a godsend”

“DocuSign or other digital signing options on all onboarding forms; lenders not o ering this are falling behind”

“Enhanced application tracking in broker portals saves time on the telephone for status updates”

“I am using Quickli, which has improved my turnaround times. While this doesn’t necessarily assist lender turnaround times, it certainly benefits my clients as I can work smarter and not harder”

“Tech introduced into this industry is not done to improve turnaround times”

“Not really. Manual pre-credit review still required for approval in principle (AIP) assessment”

19.50% 51.57% 14.47% 12.58% 1.89% Improved Worsened significantly Improved significantly No di erence Worsened


2023 tested brokers’ resilience and adaptability as they grappled with an a ordability crisis and consumer anxiety. Here’s what brokers had to say about rates, green loans, channel conflict and lenders’ assessment of living expenses

THE RESERVE BANK in February 2024 left the cash rate target unchanged at 4.35%. While it noted inflation continued to ease, it remains high, and despite encouraging signs, the economic outlook is uncertain.

Many respondents were concerned about how the rate environment would a ect their business and their clients’ ability to service loans. Over the past 18 months it has made finding solutions for clients di cult as their borrowing capacity diminished and loan approvals became more challenging to secure. Some worried about a potential slowdown in the housing market within the next 12 months and the potential for a recession.


Despite these concerns, some brokers view the current situation as an opportunity, asserting that their services will continue to be valued by their clients.

The performance of banks in assessing a potential borrower’s basic living expenses varies considerably, depending on the broker’s experience. Many respondents took aim at the household expenditure measure.

• “Banks and lenders are requiring more explanation or mitigation regarding HEM figures which di er from baseline”

• “Living expenses are by their nature a moving target”

Just under half of brokers surveyed (44.65%) reported channel conflict as a minor problem, and a third said it was a major problem.

The highly competitive home loan market of 2023 led to increased channel conflict for brokers, with reports of banks’ retention teams offering better rates to existing customers despite informing the broker that they couldn’t offer the customer an improved deal, says Mortgage Choice’s Anthony Waldron.

“I’d like to see lenders have clearer rules of engagement for broker-introduced customers to avoid channel conflict.”

How worried are you about the present rate environment, and what impact do you expect it to have on your business?

Prize-winning comments

Johnnie Walker whiskey: “I’m slightly concerned/worried. We’ve been through these cycles before, but with household debt levels at all-time highs, I expect that some mortgage holders will be forced to sell their properties in the coming year or two. I expect enquiry levels to remain strong, but being able to place business will be harder, mainly due to servicing issues”

$100 VISA gift card: “I think that servicing will be a massive issue unless the banks can find solutions to allow customers to consolidate, and not just dollar-for-dollar refinances but also include general debt consolidation and the ability to easily revert to interest-only terms for a period”

$100 VISA gift card: “I’m worried for clients who are struggling, but don’t believe it will impact my business”


“As rates move, we become more important to our clients, and communication with our clients during these times is very important”

“Clients will always need advice. Whether upgrading, downsizing or managing their existing facilities, brokers support clients with strategy, and these brokers will continue to do well. Anyone who sold on rates or cashback, unfortunately, will be struggling very hard right now”



“Still hit and miss with lenders, but many are improving, requiring less need for account confirmation and scrutiny”

“Increased significantly, mostly in line with the actual cost of living increases”

“Quite acceptable. However, private health and private school fees should not be additional to HEM when, in fact, they are voluntary and can be ceased at any stage. Why these are considered an added liability is beyond the broker network”

“Some banks have applied common sense, others have done quite the opposite and, rather than apply common sense or ask questions, they annualise all expenses, even if they were one-o and you supplied commentary as to why they are one-o ”

“It’s painful, and there’s no consistency between lenders”

“Same as previous 12 months, although I do understand they will be increasing HEM to align with current overinflation”

“Haven’t had a single query raised by a lender on living expenses in the last 12 months. HEM values have increased dramatically, justifiably, I suppose”

“Much better than the previous few years. They are taking a more realistic view of discretionary spending than they have in the past”

“Unnecessarily di cult. This is the biggest frustration in our industry”


“No paper and wet signatures at all”

“We have zero client interest in these options”

“O er a discounted rate or fees package for specific property types or features”

“Green loan options are so restrictive and complicated that you could rarely put such products to the client as an o er”

“First, by being more transparent. Secondly, by refusing to transact with non-environmentally friendly businesses and employees of those businesses”

“Make the eligibility criteria easier and more accessible, and more user-friendly”

“Reduce home loan rates specifically for borrowers who install green systems, not just solar but worm farms, tanks, batteries, etc.”


“Haven’t deliberately stopped using any specific bank, but haven’t used much of Adelaide Bank or AMP, simply for credit policy or rate reasons”

“No, we haven’t purposely stopped using any bank. Each has a product or facility we measure against the client’s needs and requirements”

“We haven’t stopped dead, but CBA is way down as other banks have caught up with policy, and CBA has not been pricing as keenly”

“Suncorp, Macquarie and Bankwest, because of rates”

“HSBC, Bank of China due to turnaround times blown out”

“BankSA. Everything from application stage to settlement is very stressful ... The deal I did this month went eight days over the finance clause and not even the state manager could get a result”

“Not really but try to avoid St George. While they have best pricing, the credit process is terrible” 21
Major problem Not a problem Minor problem 33.96% 21.38% 44.65%



MPA presents the overall winners of the 2024 Brokers on Banks survey, showcasing the areas in which these banks soared and why brokers favoured them above their challengers


Position in 2023: 1st

Position in 2022: 1st

Macquarie Bank has again earned the trust and loyalty of brokers, who catapulted the leading lender into the top spot for the third straight year. It’s an extraordinary feat in a competitive market driven by the top bank’s reliable and consistently superior performance.

Across the 10 categories rated by brokers, Macquarie Bank took home an impressive medal haul of three golds, three silvers and four bronzes.

The bank reigned supreme in turnaround times for the fourth year, handily besting its nearest competitor. It also excelled in interest rates, brokers’ top priority this year, and communications, training and development, two areas in which it rebounded from fourth and third place, respectively.

The lender maintained its strong second place in BDM support but slipped to second from last year’s top spot in online platform and services. It came back fighting in the product range category, jumping into a tight second place from its third-place finish the year prior.

Macquarie Bank’s O set Home Loan Package snagged brokers’ top product pick this year, up from second place the year prior. It was also brokers’ top preferred bank for property investors by a sizeable margin.

In the past four years, the bank’s steadfast approach to continuous improvement and service excellence has left a lasting positive impression on brokers. It has firmly entrenched itself as an award-winning lender that values and nurtures the broker channel.

Macquarie Bank reigned supreme in the ever-important turnaround times category and excelled in communications, training and development as well as interest rates, brokers’ top priority


To generate the overall survey results, MPA took an average of the results across each category. Each category had an equal weighting in the final result.

Note: Scores go from 1 (very bad) to 5 (very good) Bank Overall score Macquarie Bank 3.86 Bankwest 3.85 Suncorp 3.53 4th CommBank 3.52 5th ING 3.51 6th ANZ 3.38 7th NAB 3.32 8th ME Bank 3.26 9th Adelaide Bank 3.23 10th UBank 3.15

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Position in 2023: 2nd Position in 2022: 2nd

A tiny margin of 0.01% separated Bankwest from the overall firstplace winner, Macquarie Bank. Bankwest took home more gold than any other competing bank in 2024, with the highest rating in six out of 10 categories. It maintained its top-notch reputation in commission structure, regarded as a core strength for the past five years.

Its gold triumph in BDM support was hard fought again, with a slim margin between Bankwest and Macquarie Bank. Bankwest also returned to a gold win for its product range, having slipped to second place last year. Brand trust, credit policy and diversification opportunities rounded out its first-place medals.

Three solid silver finishes capped Bankwest’s haul this year in communications, training and development, turnaround times and interest rates, a top broker priority in which it narrowly missed gold.

The Perth bank’s complete variable home loan package received the nod for brokers’ product pick again this year, and it retained its second place as the preferred bank for property investors, while slipping to third for first home buyers.


Position in 2023: 5th Position in 2022: 10th

Suncorp Bank continues its remarkable ascent to the top three of the best banks rated for performance by brokers in 2024. It cracked the top five last year, signifying an upward trajectory from 10th place in 2022.

The determined contender picked up three bronze medals in BDM support, product range and the all-important turnaround times for the first time, demonstrating its ability to compete with larger lenders.

It retained fourth place in online platform and services, and its adoption of AI drew accolades from many brokers, citing more streamlined services and ease of doing business.

Brokers lauded the bank for its competitive loan deals and the excellent value it provides to customers. It placed third in brokers’ preferred banks for commercial clients.

4th 5th


Position in 2023: 3rd Position in 2022: 3rd

CommBank finished fourth overall this year. While its medal haul is lighter than last year, brokers rea rmed Australia’s biggest bank as their top choice for first home buyers and foreign non-residents.

The bank delivered a solid performance in diversification opportunities and credit policy, earning two silver medals. But it was nudged out of the gold by rival Bankwest in these two areas.

CommBank also picked up two bronzes for its communications, training and development, and interest rates.

The bank’s overall score was negatively impacted by its ongoing underperformance in online platform and services. Despite this, brokers noted that it is leading the way in leveraging AI to streamline processes. They also expressed appreciation for CommBank’s updated broker and valuation portals.

Position in 2023: 6th

Position in 2022: 4th

This year, digital bank ING advanced one spot, moving from sixth place to fifth. It was separated from fourth by a razor-thin margin.

Its online platform and services earned the highest rating among brokers, garnering it gold in the category.

The lender also achieved silver and bronze for brand trust and turnaround times, respectively, two key metrics that brokers consider crucial.

ING is building a reputation for o ering the best loan deals to customers, with many brokers citing it among the top banks for competitive rates and customer satisfaction.

By harnessing technology to provide a seamless experience for brokers and their customers, ING is well positioned to ignite competition among Australia’s legacy lenders and banks of all sizes.



As well as ranking the banks in 10 categories, brokers were asked to name their favourite mortgage products of the last 12 months. Here are the top three


Offset Home Loan Package

Macquarie Bank and its enduring O set Home Loan Package are back in the top spot in 2024 after falling to third place last year from first in 2022.

Brokers emphasised the bank’s low rates and annual fees, credit policy and great BDM support. They also praised the bank for its commitment to excellent client service.

Other respondents appreciated the fast turnaround times and “no channel conflict”. Brokers highlighted the product and process as “simple, e cient and well-priced”.

“Good all-around option, good rates, good lender with good policy,” one broker said. Another respondent added, “Multiple o sets, great digital platform, a reputable lender.” Several respondents cited the package as among the most flexible loan structures, noting that clients can open up to 10 o set accounts.


Complete Variable Home Loan Package

Bankwest’s Complete Variable Home Loan Package and Macquarie Bank have traded places for the two top spots since 2021. This year, Macquarie Bank took the top spot, pushing Bankwest to second.

The product continues to be highly regarded for its features and policy, with brokers reporting that it had been a good fit for many of their clients in the last 12 months. With its multiple o sets, pricing and low-cost o set options, brokers don’t hesitate to recommend it.

Brokers cited an a nity for the bank’s BDMs and mentioned several by name, a testament to their outstanding customer service and broker support.

“Bankwest has a great mix of policies, making them a lender of choice for many scenarios,” a broker remarked.

Another commented, “Excellent policy. This product suits first home buyers, new home buyers, investors and all refinancers.”

Standard Variable Home Loan Package

ANZ’s Standard Variable Home Loan Package has emerged in third place, garnering a spot among brokers’ top picks for the first time.

Brokers appreciate its cost-saving features, reliable policy and exceptional support.

According to one broker, the product o ers “the best policy” among Australia’s big four banks, while another highlights the trustiness of the bank’s service level agreement. Additionally, the product’s competitive price with no annual fee; negotiated rates; and availability of o sets make it an attractive option for many clients. The bank’s responsive BDMs add to the overall positive experience.

ANZ finished in sixth place overall in the 2024 Brokers on Banks survey and picked up silver in the commission structure category. 25


Macquarie Bank’s efforts to work closely with brokers have been rewarded with the bank claiming the No. 1 spot in the Brokers on Banks survey for the third year in a row. MPA talks to head of broker sales Wendy Brown

AN UNWAVERING commitment to developing strong and enduring relationships with broker partners continues to pay dividends for Macquarie Bank.

The major bank has been named winner of MPA’s Brokers on Banks for 2024, the third consecutive year it has won the coveted title.

To gain an understanding of the findings of the Brokers on Banks report, the areas Macquarie Bank excelled in, how the bank responds to the needs of brokers, and its ongoing investment in technology, MPA caught up with Macquarie Bank head of broker sales Wendy Brown.

“Brokers are at the heart of our home loans business, so we’re incredibly proud to be named the winner of the Brokers on Banks award for the third year running,” says Brown.

“As a committed partner to the broker industry, this award is wonderful recognition of all our teams that work hard to deliver a best-in-class service and experience to brokers and their clients.”

Brown says Macquarie Bank’s teams spend a lot of time listening to feedback and getting to the heart of what brokers tell them they need, including where they can enhance their offering.

“To receive this award for the third year in a row is a great testament to those teams, and

we’re delighted that our offering continues to resonate with the broker community across Australia.”

More than 90% of Macquarie Bank’s home loans were sourced via brokers over the last 12 months.

“This channel is extremely important to our business,” says Brown. “We take a relationship-focused approach, meaning our market-facing teams are committed to building deep and lasting connections with

through direct conversations with Macquarie’s BDM teams.”

The feedback is captured and shared internally and is essential to prioritising what the bank works on next, ensuring that “we’re acting on what brokers tell us matters most to them and their clients”.

As an example, Brown says brokers have told Macquarie that giving support staff access to the Broker Portal would significantly improve the running of their busi-

“Brokers are at the heart of our home loans business, so we’re incredibly proud to be named the winner of the Brokers on Banks award for the third year running”

brokers, understanding what matters most to their businesses.”

Broker feedback is fundamental to how Macquarie Bank reviews and evolves its offering, says Brown. “We take an ‘alwayson’ approach to the feedback that brokers have about their engagement and experience with Macquarie. We do this in a number of ways, such as via surveys and

nesses. “So we’ve evolved our portal to include access for support teams, which is driving meaningful efficiencies for broker businesses across Australia.

“In addition, we’ve also combined our broker channels across home, commercial and car loans as one team, which allows us to diversify our offerings to meet more client needs and drive efficiencies.”



Name: Wendy Brown

Title: Head of broker sales  Company: Macquarie Bank

Years in the industry: 24

What’s the best part about winning Brokers on Banks 2024? “The award recognition is especially important to us as it’s voted for by brokers we work with every day and further solidi es our position as a committed partner and tier-one lender.” 27


Brown says Macquarie Bank BDMs are also highly experienced and knowledgeable, providing brokers with confidence and guidance every step of the way.

In this year’s Brokers on Banks survey, the bank ranked first in three categories: communications, training and development; interest rates; and turnaround times.

Macquarie Bank’s strong feedback mechanism for brokers has been instrumental to “how we do business and to our ability to innovate”, Brown says.

“We also use a range of data insights to gain a deeper understanding of our clients and brokers, delving into their needs and wants.

“We communicate regularly with brokers and their support staff in a variety of ways to provide them with regular updates, news, and give them the confidence that they have everything they need to support their clients.”

To further support broker partners, Macquarie Bank offers:

• direct access to specialised support teams (BDMs, Broker Support, credit team, etc)

• BDMs who are credit specialists who can help brokers through any scenario to find the fit for their clients

• a clear and transparent rates and credit policy

• weekly SLAs – consistent and transparent messaging across the business

• proactive communication on product, service and business changes

Brown says Macquarie Bank recognises that control, transparency and confidence are fundamental throughout the home loan application journey for both brokers and their clients.

“We know this from the conversations we’ve with brokers day in and day out, and we apply this understanding to all of our touchpoints across our home loan offering.”

Brokers are given information on a weekly basis, including current turnaround times, updates to credit policy and interest rates, and details on new features and functionality.


Communications, training and development

Macquarie Bank communicates with brokers and their support teams regularly, sharing important information in a timely and effective way

Effective and regular communication builds trust and deeper, more transparent relationships

The bank runs regular training and development sessions with its broker partners

BDM teams have a deep understanding of products, platforms and processes

Turnaround times

Significant investment in technology means that Macquarie Bank consistently delivers market-leading turnaround times, providing greater confidence and clarity throughout the application process

Brown says effective and regular communication with broker partners and their support teams builds trust and deeper, more transparent relationships.

Macquarie Bank runs regular training and development sessions with brokers.

Its BDM teams have a deep understanding of the products, platforms and processes the bank offers, as well as broader marketplace trends.

“They are supported by the wider Macquarie home loan ecosystem, which includes our operational and support functions which we’ve continued to invest in and grow,” says Brown.

Credit teams also work closely with BDMs to share updates and changes on credit policies to ensure brokers have easy access to the information they need.

Brown says turnaround times are one of the most important factors for brokers and their clients. “Because of the significant

investments we’ve made over several years in our technology platforms, we consistently deliver market-leading turnaround times. This provides greater confidence and clarity throughout the application process.”

Brokers also voted Macquarie Bank the No. 1 preferred bank for property investors. Browns says its lending products and banking solutions have been engineered to support investors.

Within a single Macquarie Bank loan facility, she says customers can set up multiple loan accounts, and each of those accounts can have different repayment types and interest types.

“For example, within a single facility you may decide to have one loan account that’s got a fixed rate principal and interest repayment, and another loan account that has a variable rate interest-only repayment.”

Technology and innovation are a key focus at Macquarie Bank. Brown says empowering brokers and clients with faster, simpler and more secure technology gives them the tools to carry out their work.

“Often, we find it’s the everyday improvements that our brokers respond best to. For example, our portal allows brokers to see their clients’ loan details, interest rates, fixed rate loan expiration and much more, all at their fingertips.”

Brown says this helps brokers navigate discussions and questions from their clients quickly and easily and support clients through crucial moments.

“These enhancements were brought to light through broker feedback.”

In 2024, Macquarie Bank has a range of new and exciting initiatives underway to improve efficiency, productivity and, “most of all, improve brokers’ experience with us”, Brown says.

“We are working on some enhanced security features, real-time platform support, in addition to continuing to improve the functionality within Broker Portal even more, and we look forward to communicating these enhancements with our brokers throughout the year.”


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During a tougher economic period in 2023, customer-owned banks held their own, working closely with brokers to retain home loan clients. Now they are looking forward to interest rate cuts, improving their loan processing technology and highlighting their environmental and ethical frameworks





IT’S BEEN another challenging year for the mutual banking sector, but once again the banks’ ability to adapt to changing customer needs and build on strong partnerships with brokers has paid off.

Despite aggressive competition from the major banks, which pursued new customers through cashbacks, customer-owned banks outperformed their bigger rivals.

The KPMG Mutuals Industry Review 2023 report revealed loan portfolio growth of 6.1% for the sector, compared to 4.8% for the major banks and 4.2% for all banks.

Customer-owned banks worked hard, in conjunction with their broker partners, to assist customers struggling with higher interest rates and inflation, offering the best rates possible to those rolling off fixed rates onto variable loans.

Staying close to their customers and broker partners and being responsive and upfront about their value proposition assisted with customer retention and maintaining market

share. Other factors, such as green lending, ethical investment and ESG, also attracted new business.

While processing and turnaround times continue to be a challenge, customer-owned banks are determined to lift their game in this area, investing in new technology.

In 2023, Greater Bank and Newcastle Permanent merged to create Newcastle Greater Mutual Group, while Heritage Bank and the People’s Choice Credit Union also merged, with the brands to be unified under the name People First Bank.

To discuss these and other issues, third party leaders from top customer-owned banks Bank Australia, BankVic, Beyond Bank, Gateway Bank, Heritage Bank, Newcastle Permanent, P&N Bank and BCU Bank and Teachers Mutual Bank Limited attended MPA’ s annual industry roundtable, held at Woodcut Restaurant in Sydney. Also taking part in the discussion were mortgage brokers Jennifer Lemme

In a year of rising interest rates, higher inflation and reduced borrowing capacity, how have customer-owned banks and their broker partners risen to these and other challenges?

Zeb Drummond, chief operating officer at Gateway Bank, said brokers and lenders in partnership had done a really good job of bringing customers through this challenging experience, “something that they likely haven’t faced before”.

“You list off all the pressures, and brokers at the coalface are trying to manage expectations of customers and trying to, in some instances, get them into market in an environment where historically it’s been running away from people,” Drummond said.

In a higher interest rate environment with loan buffers, “it runs away even faster”.

Kaine Adamson General manager broker, P&N Bank and BCU Bank Simon Burt Head of digital product development. Newcastle Permanent Zeb Drummond Chief operating officer, Gateway Bank Jay Farrell Head of distribution channels, BankVic Darren McLeod Head of third party, Beyond Bank Mark Middleton Head of third party distribution, Teachers Mutual Bank Limited Stewart Saunders Head of broker and business banking, Heritage Bank Jennifer Lemme Adviser, Liberty Network Services Matthew Wood National manager broker, Bank Australia Mandy Hill Mortgage broker, Mortgage Managed from Liberty Network Services and Mandy Hill of Mortgage Managed.

Drummond said for customers this meant loan approvals ‘in principle’ that were expiring; reassessments; and potentially reduced borrowing capacity.

“That person’s dream right in front of your eyes slips away. For us, it’s been about acknowledging that and trying to support brokers managing those customers’ expectations and trying to meet them.”

This involved listening to what customers and brokers were saying and honouring, wherever possible, “what we said we were good for”, Drummond said.

“Let’s find a way to continue to honour

to be able to educate their borrowers about a BankVic home loan.

“The key for us has been working with our brokers to make sure they are comfortable with our product mix, how we work and the assessment criteria we require. We want to make sure that they are comfortable with our end-to-end process and who BankVic is – so it’s not just about the rate.”

Farrell said BankVic had just come out of testing with one aggregator and now had a national broker offering.

“It’s been a slow burn for us because we want to make sure we get it right”

“As a customer-owned bank, one of our core values is putting people before profits. Instead of dividends for third party shareholders, profits are reinvested to benefit our customers through competitive interest rates for the life of the loan”
Kaine Adamson, P&N Bank and BCU Bank

that approval in principle so that we’re not snatching that dream away from people.”

Drummond said this approach was well received by brokers.

“It’s what I would like to have happen if I was a consumer. Just appreciate that it’s me trying to buy a house for my family, not just a number on a piece of paper. See that I’m good for it; help me do it.”

BankVic head of distribution channels

Jay Farrell said the bank was new to the broker channel, “so navigating the differences between working directly with members and via brokers has been a great learning experience”.

Echoing Drummond’s comments, Farrell said BankVic was focusing on building its relationships with brokers in order for them

Mark Middleton, head of third party distribution at Teachers Mutual Bank Limited, said it had been a “really interesting year of two halves for both banks and brokers”.

He said at the beginning of 2023 a lot of loans went to banks offering cashbacks, particularly the majors.

“That would be hard for those brokers, as well as the banks, when you’ve got someone sitting in front of you – where do you direct the right solution for those customers?

“We’ve found that as cashbacks came off during the year, [loan] flows went up substantially during that period, and then it’s trying to manage those flows from an SLA perspective.”

Middleton said it had been difficult for TMBL to manage the expectations of brokers 33
Source: KPMGMutualsIndustryReview2023
HIGHLIGHTS Operating profit before tax increased by 27.0% to $769.3m (2022: $605.7m) 27.0% Lending grew by 6.1% to $129.4bn (2022: $121.9bn) 6.1% Non-interest income decreased by 17.0% to $317.1m (2022: $381.8m) 17.0% Cost-to-income ratio decreased by 749bps to 73.7% (2022: 81.2%) Increase in credit provisions of $23.6m (2022: write-back of credit provisions of $10.8m) $23.6m 2 mergers completed (2022: 2) 2 Net interest margin increased 18bps to 2.00% (2022: 1.82%) 18bps Average capital adequacy ratio increased by 204bps to 18.25% (2022: 16.21%) 204bps Deposits grew by 4.4% to $131.1bn (2022: $125.6bn) 4.4% 749bps


as the focus went more towards refinances, and turnaround times rose.

“We had to be honest and tell brokers, if you’ve got a purchase it’s going to make it really hard – we don’t have that queueing system of purchase versus refinances, and our flows went up 300%,” Middleton said.

TMBL also had to cope with high customer demand for the Home Guarantee Scheme.

“We’ve changed our focus away from fixed rate products to variable rate products. This has rebalanced our portfolio for the future and produced better margins.”

Middleton said all customer-owned banks appreciated working with brokers – a core part of their businesses.

Newcastle Permanent head of digital product development Simon Burt agreed with Middleton about 2023 being a year of contrasts and banks needing to understand how they should position themselves in the market.

“Last year in this forum we were talking about the fixed rate cli ,” Burt said. “Part of that was the shift away from the majority of new business as fixed into a much more variable mix.

“We all have this challenge of trying to find

that balance between the right level of pricing to drive our first party business, and broker.”

Burt said the broker sector had performed strongly for Newcastle Permanent over the year. “We’ve also had a lot of success in that retention space. We wrote a lot of those

have the best options presented to them at roll time for their situation.”

Burt said that in terms of broker partnerships, one of the challenges for customers had been borrowing capacity as rates rose and capacity reduced.

“The broker sector has performed strongly for Newcastle Permanent. We also worked hard to retain customers when their fixed rates rolled o , ensuring they have the best options presented to them at roll time”
Simon Burt, Newcastle Permanent

customers on fixed rate loans to brokers, and new customers to the bank.”

Burt said the bank had worked hard to retain customers when their fixed rates rolled o onto variable rates.

“We’ve done really well in that space, looking after our customers, ensuring they

“We continue to get feedback from our broker partners. Staying close to them through our BDMs is really critical, and making adjustments to policies, process and products to continually evolve.”

Darren McLeod, head of third party at Beyond Bank, said the bank had enjoyed a


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record year of third party lending, with 50% of total volume.

“We only started dealing with brokers seven years ago, and that volume is not bad in that short space of time,” McLeod said. Brokers enjoyed more than 70% share of the residential home loan market.

“We had a record year, so our focus has been on making sure we’ve got competitive prices, products and features,” McLeod said. “The results speak for themselves. As a smaller lender, you’ve just got to make sure you take your opportunities when they come.

“We had some good pricing and products for the last 12 months. Our first half of the year was a lot of first home buyers through the NHFIC scheme.”

McLeod said that in the second half, when Beyond Bank wrote most of its volume, cashbacks dissipated, “so our refinances really increased”.

“We’re also quite aggressive on investment, because our book was a bit skewed towards owner-occupied, so in the last six months we’ve written lot of investment [loans] as well.”

Beyond Bank’s biggest challenge had been keeping up with service and turnaround times, McLeod said.

“2024 is the year of improvement for us. We’re investing heavily in technology, structure, processing, etc, so we can still have these competitive products and pricing and turn them around as brokers expect.”

Heritage Bank head of broker and business banking Stewart Saunders said that from a customer perspective, “it’s been an incredibly challenging year with increasing costs across the board”.

“Homeownership is the largest component in most households’ cost base, and that’s increased significantly over the year,” he said. “Low fixed rates coming o has been really challenging for many households with significant increases in repayments.”

Saunders said customer-owned banks had remained competitive on pricing and by supporting customers coming o fixed rates.

“Brokers are so instrumental to how mutual banks really do work to support those

“For brokers facing clawback, our team call them and say, ‘Do you realise that your customers are refinancing? If it’s going to another broker or it’s going to another lender, we need you to know’ ”
Zeb Drummond, Gateway Bank

customers. You see it coming to the fore now. It’s coming through in the growth numbers for all of the mutual banks.”

Saunders said banks were working with brokers to help first home buyers, refinancers and investors, and existing customers facing servicing issues.

“Working with brokers and customers to get better rates and options has really helped all of us and means that fewer people are facing hardships. This is where mutual banks and brokers are so fundamentally aligned, because we’ve all got the customer’s best interests at the heart of what we do.

“As a mutual bank, our members are our

owners. That’s why we always have our customer’s best interests as our top priority, just as brokers do under best interests duty.”

Saunders said customer-owned banks didn’t have the challenge of trying to maximise profits for investors. “This is not about the best price for one customer; it’s about the best price for all of our members.”

Broker support was shifting to the mutuals, and brokers were o ering them as a competitive option for their borrowers.

“We’ve now passed five million mutual bank customers across the sector,” said Saunders. “One in five households are now banking with a mutual, which is great to see.”



Saunders said customer-owned banks had more than 720 branches across the country, which was 18% of the total branch footprint. Of all the banks represented at the roundtable, 52% of staff from mutual banks worked in non-metro areas.

“It’s the overall service offering that mutuals provide which has really been recognised by customers,” he said.

Bank Australia had also grown considerably over the last year, said national manager broker Matthew Wood.

“Our annualised growth rate is currently at about 22%; and 70%, from a settlement perspective has been attributed to brokers,” said Wood.

“Brokers have really stood up in the last year. Their communication and their strategies – talking well in advance to those clients coming off fixed rates, to me was quite impressive.”

Wood said Bank Australia had worked extensively with brokers throughout the year, and “we’re getting the benefit of it”.

More time and resources had gone into ensuring that customers’ financial wellbeing “was being looked after, between us and the broker”.

“I think in the 2023 financial year, we only had 0.3% in financial hardship within our portfolio. The brokers are looking after their clients, and we’re emulating that as well.”


pressure, consumers wanted to turn to banks they could trust for support.

“I believe that as part of the customerowned sector, putting people before profits is a fundamental value shared by everyone

“The key for us has been working with our brokers to make sure they are comfortable with our product mix, how we work and the assessment criteria we require”
Jay Farrell, BankVic

Kaine Adamson, general manager broker at P&N Bank and BCU Bank, said that in a challenging economic environment with household budgets already under increased

at this table,” Adamson said. “As a customerowned bank we’re not focused on delivering dividends for shareholders, instead passing our profits back to our customers through competitive interest rates for the life of the loan.”

Adamson said that with a number of customers coming off fixed rate mortgages, it was natural to see increased concern about repayment shock.

“Our brokers were telling us they were spending a lot of time repricing their existing customers, diverting their focus from generating new business. We asked ourselves –what’s a way that we can solve that?”

So P&N Bank launched a new revert product for all new and existing customers to roll onto once their fixed rate matured, with a rate that matched its competitively priced advertised rates.

Adamson said that across the industry, fixed-rate customers typically transitioned to a standard variable rate product, which often carried an interest rate between 1% and 3% higher than advertised rates for new borrowers.

“Not only was this a way to reward the loyalty of our existing customers, but it has also alleviated some of the strain borrowers have been experiencing and has saved our brokers countless hours of having to negotiate

Source: KPMGMutualsIndustryReview2023
Gross loans ($) – 2023 Heritage and People’s Choice 5% 2% 7% 2% 10% 9% 14% 7% 7% 18% Newcastle Greater Mutual Group
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better rates on behalf of their clients. It’s good for our customers, it’s supported retention, and we believe it’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

Servicing was also getting tighter, and brokers were struggling to find out where a deal would fit, Adamson said. In response, P&N Bank partnered with Quickli, getting the bank’s servicing calculator onto the platform, saving brokers more than 30 minutes per deal.

Broker Mandy Hill said customer-owned banks really looked after customers, and she used them on a regular basis.

“You’ve really come to the market with your retention rates, offering great interest rates right off the bat,” she said. “With other lenders I have to really fight for that, which takes up a lot of our time. It just creates a better customer experience because they feel like you’re showing loyalty to them.”

Hill also praised the retention rates, some of which were better than what was advertised. “I’ve definitely felt very supported by the customer-owned banks in that space over the last 12 months,” she said.

Mortgage adviser Jennifer Lemme said she was a big believer in supporting local small

businesses. She was referring more clients to customer-owned banks, and they were easier to get in touch with.

“You can reach out to assessors; you can have a discussion. It’s just not a decline; you can talk things through,” said Lemme. “Especially with servicing calculators and

more supportive of brokers than other lenders, and the customer service was more personalised.

“I think the after-loan customer care is great. If there’s an issue, they can ring up. A lot of clients with the majors, they get someone overseas or they never get back to them.”

“We’ve got a new loan origination platform, with the aim of quick turnaround times. We also want to be auto-approving more loans, doing more electronic valuations and using tools like eSign”
Darren McLeod, Beyond Bank

borrowing capacity – anything they could possibly do just to get a deal over the line.

“They’re just nice. They get back to you straight away. You don’t tend to have that touchy-feely experience with the majors.”

Lemme said customer-owned banks were

Hill said customer-owned banks were a long-term solution for clients because of their retention policies.

“When I’m offering that long-term solution, it’s a win-win situation for everyone. It’s a win for Heritage Bank, for example, because you retain the business. It’s a win for Mortgage Managed because I’ll retain the business. It’s a win for my client because they’re still getting a really attractive offer.”

Middleton said the difference for brokers compared to dealing with a big bank was that “we know who you are”.

“You get to know from looking at the flows coming through which brokers are supporting you.”

Due to the mortgage cliff, all customerowned banks had made a concerted effort on retention, Middleton said.

“How do we protect our portfolio?

The difference probably to an ANZ or a CommBank is they’ll go right through the process, [say] here’s your best price, and at the last minute they change their mind and give you a better price.”

Unlike the big banks, Middleton said TMBL was upfront about the retention rates


it could offer brokers, which were below the published rate. “We really do want to look after the customers you’ve got, [rather] than trying to bring on a new one.”

Hill said this was a massive point of difference for brokers and a time-saver.

Burt said all the mutuals had a similar approach, which had built a lot of trust with brokers.

McLeod said Beyond Bank had always been transparent and upfront about its rate sheet, with no “trickery” involved.

Hill said she just wanted banks to tell her their best price. Giving an example of a rate pricing from a major bank, she said she went through the pricing tool and “then they gave me the best choice, I escalated it, and they still didn’t come back with a very competitive offer. I went to my relationship manager, and I said, ‘Surely you can do better here; either that or I’ve got to take them elsewhere, because it’s not the right thing by the client’.”

Hill was told to ring the retention team “as if they [the customer] is leaving”.

“So, I’ve done a pricing request, I’ve done an escalation, I’ve contacted my relationship

manager, and then I have phoned the 1300 number to speak to the retention team as if they’re leaving – and then they dropped the rate.”

Hill labelled this process as “absolutely ridiculous”. With mutual banks, it was one email or phone call, “and then I get a result and I can move on”.

Saunders said this trust between brokers and banks was fundamental. A Roy Morgan report focusing on trust and distrust revealed that the customer-owned banks collectively scored better than any bank in Australia in terms of positive trust.

In a highly competitive home loan market, how have you maintained or grown market share? What role have brokers played in this growth?

Wood said Bank Australia had experienced excellent growth in the last 12 months, with 70% of its settled loans coming via brokers in the current financial year to date.

“What we’re hearing from brokers and customers is that people are wanting to deal with an ethical bank, and we expect that our

reputation as a for-purpose bank, in addition to our competitive products and high-quality services, will help us to continue growing strongly,” he said.

“That’s a big driver for us – 50% of our new clients are coming through our socially aware target market; that’s who we’re targeting.”

Surveys of new customers had shown that being socially aware was what had attracted them to Bank Australia, Wood said.

Brokers were also becoming more aware of what Bank Australia could offer when it came to clients wanting a green loan or who wanted to know where the bank placed its investments.

“We call it clean money because of what we invest in. We won’t invest in fossil fuels or gambling or the tobacco industry. We are investing in renewable energy projects, notfor-profit organisations, housing for people with a disability, and people are wanting to be a part of that.”

Wood said clean money “for the force of good” was drawing clients in.

“The next 12 months will be interesting. BID has a bit to play out. At the moment, 41
Source: KPMGMutualsIndustryReview2023
All ADIs Major banks Mutual banks 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% 2020 2019 2021 2022 2023 6.1% 4.8% 4.2%


best interests duty is still very closely aligned to rate and service.”

But Wood said BID could be expanded to include environmental and ethical factors.

“Is putting a client to a major really what they want? Is that in their best interest, or is it being socially aware and wanting to support a company that won’t invest in fossil fuels, for example? Should that be part of BID?

“If we go down that path and see that grow further, I think that’ll tie in nicely with what this group of mutuals have to o er.”

Wood said being socially aware was a good di erentiator for the bank in such a commoditised market. “Di erentiating on price will result in margin compression.”

Bank Australia had historically always been funded from “within”, through deposits, but due to its large growth it had to go to the markets for funding, further eroding margins, Wood said.

“Writing volume for the sake of volume is probably not the answer for us. We’re looking at writing smarter volume, leveraging the green element or the ethical play to attract new clients at improved profitability.”

Drummond said the environmental focus was very interesting.

“Broader than our industry, corporations and organisations have been held to account for their green impact, or their environmental impact through things like ESG,” he said. “When it comes to our

industry, we’re going to start to be monitored and managed on what the impacts are of our mortgages, what our security is and how that performs.”

Drummond agreed with Wood’s point about BID.

“The narrative or the conversation does need to shift, because it’s going to have to shift for us as well. I’d love to think that

have a business without broker.”

Drummond said customer-owned banks needed to focus on ensuring brokers understood the environmental responsibilities of both banks and consumers.

“Otherwise, we’re all going to be sitting in limbo waiting for something to happen, and we’ll be told what needs to happen as opposed to us driving the change. You know

“We’re having brokers contact us because of our credentials. Teachers Mutual Bank Limited leads in the ethical space. We’ve won a number of ethical awards over the last 10 years”
Mark Middleton, Teachers Mutual Bank Limited

consumers were aware enough for it to be a buying factor in their decision-making, but I think it also has to be driven by us a little bit to increase the awareness.”

Drummond said Gateway Bank was “smoothly aligned” in this area and relied heavily on brokers to impart its message to the end consumer “before we even have the opportunity to talk to them”.

“As an industry we’re getting close to 70% from a broker distribution perspective; Gateway’s business is close to 80%. I don’t

the old saying, ‘do or be done’? We certainly don’t want ‘to be done to’. So we need to make some changes.”

Adamson described the home loan market as one of the most competitive channels in banking, with competition among brokers and lenders at an all-time high.

“For any organisation to stay relevant and grow, you have to listen to your customers,” he said.

Adamson said broker feedback was important to P&N Bank, with improvements to

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processes “made as a direct result of what brokers have told us”.

“We take our brokers’ feedback seriously and believe that investing in their suggestions is key to providing them with a faster and more consistent experience that retains the all-important personal connection,” Adamson said.

“Pleasingly, these investments have resulted in a notable increase in market share, with our retail loan book growing by 13%, while the value of broker loans grew by 24%.”

Middleton said more clients and brokers were starting to look at TMBL’s ethical stance and B-Corp Certification status.

“We’re having brokers contact us because of our credentials,” he said. “Bank Australia certainly leads a lot of that in the green

“Working with brokers and customers to get better rates and options has helped all of us and means fewer people are facing hardships. This is where mutual banks and brokers are so fundamentally aligned”
Stewart Saunders, Heritage Bank

space; Teachers Mutual Bank Limited leads in the ethical space. We’ve won a number of ethical awards over the last 10 years.”

Consumers were becoming more socially aware and wanted to align with ethical banks, Middleton said. “This is a big thing that we’re starting to see from our brokers too.”

Wood said many brokers aligned themselves with those values, so “it’s a pretty easy sell”.

Middleton said that over the last six months as servicing got tighter, more business had come through from service workers. This required an understanding of their income streams and allowances, and the development of policies to suit that sector.

“The investment market’s becoming really tight. A lot of people will be out there doing

80% lends for rental income. Do you really need to be at 80% when vacancy rates are at 90%, 95%? Why are you needing to be at that level of 80%?”

Middleton said TMBL, like other banks, was looking at this and realising it needed to be nimbler on credit policy.

“With us having a new CEO at TMBL, he’s starting to challenge this: why is the policy that way? I’m confident you will see change.”

Saunders said there was another element that hadn’t been mentioned.

“If you look at mutual banks, historically we’ve been much smaller organisations [and] regionally based, [with] a lot of direct lending, not particularly in the broker market,” he said.

Saunders said Heritage Bank had been in the market for 25 years and was one of the first to operate in the broker sector. “We’ve experienced that growth. But banking is really a scale business. We’re seeing mutual bank mergers now providing organisations that are larger and can deal with more brokers and support their needs.”

Mergers had built a foundation for more mutual banks in the broker market, and lending growth rates were soaring.

“We’ve seen some large mergers over the last 12 months, which are creating now national organisations, which can support brokers in the market.”

Saunders said strong growth in the mutual bank sector would continue, driven by ongoing broker growth, customer choice and the service brokers provided.

Broker question from Mandy Hill: Customer banks are leaders in strong customer service and retention pricing. But processing could improve – it’s unnecessarily painful for brokers and clients compared to others, and service times can be an issue. Is there anything in the pipeline to improve in these areas?

“Absolutely,” McLeod said. “That’s probably




one of our main issues – we’ve got great products, great people, but it’s processing where we need to work on.”

He said this would be a big focus for Beyond Bank in 2024. “We’ve got a whole new loan origination platform, with the ultimate aim of producing quick turnaround times. In conjunction with that, we want to be auto-approving a lot more loans. We are working on a project now that will see a significant increase in the amount of loans auto-approved in 2024.”

McLeod said the bank also wanted to increase its number of electronic valuations to assist in quicker turnaround times. “We have made some policy changes which will significantly improve the amount of desktop valuations we do.”

The focus was on better technology, especially for the easier loans, which should be processed quickly. “It’s the more difficult ones that need more time,” McLeod said.

“That’s our focus. Everything you’re saying is correct. We realise that, and we’re working on it. We’ve got eSign for all documents now. We have also partnered with

FMS to digitise and simplify our mortgage fulfilment process with a view to get to straight-through processing.”

Farrell said BankVic had also made digital transformation a key focus of its broker strategy. He said identification had previously been a pain point for members, requiring them to meet ID requirements up to three times in the loan process.

“We’ve now implemented NextGen ID, which means only one ID verification. It’s been a game-changer for us,” Farrell said.

“One of our pain points was living expenses. We continue to improve the process to fit in with our risk profile while improving our time to ‘yes’. This means a better user experience for our members.

“Because of our size, we’re able to be agile and adjust to the market more quickly than the bigger banks.”

Burt said one of the things Newcastle Permanent wanted to explore in the broker space was digital data capture to pre-populate applications. “What we’ve learned is using digital data capture is a highly efficient

way to capture the data for an application if you’re pulling in someone’s income, expenses and liabilities straight off their bank statements rather than both brokers and our teams manually reviewing statements.

“There is a downside in that you get all of their one-off expenses as well, but we’ve learned from our experiences how to navigate that without creating unnecessary rework.”

Broker question from Jennifer Lemme: One of the key challenges is the issue of customers moving between lenders during refinancing, particularly in the first two years and [with] associated clawback. To benefit all parties, what products, incentives or strategies can lenders provide to assist brokers in retaining these customers?

Lemme said she was finding it difficult to get better rates for those coming off fixed loans. “For some reason, a lot of lenders don’t really look after their existing customers. Our customers are coming to us and asking,

Better product pricing 76% Customer centricity and offering new/ tailored products 54% Better customer service 49%
Source: KPMGMutualsIndustryReview2023

‘Can you get a better rate?’ If they are a new customer to a lender, they’ll get a better rate than an existing customer. They’re not being rewarded for being that existing customer.”

Farrell said BankVic had dropped its SVR and BVR, with members reverting straight back to its best variable rate in the market.

“Also, for our other members coming off the fixed rate cliff, we actually extended the

“If it’s going to another broker or it’s going to another lender direct, we need you to know. Maybe you want to call your customer and reconnect, because they have the hearts and minds of our customers as well as we do. Brokers can broach that conversation much easier than we can.”

Lemme said she was upfront with customers. “I always say, if you’re thinking

“What we’re hearing from brokers and customers is that people want to deal with an ethical bank. That’s a big driver: 50% of our clients are coming through our socially aware target market”
Matthew Wood, Bank Australia

$10,000 maximum fix for six months and let them pay down as much as they could during that period of being on that lower rate.

“We want to make sure our members coming off fixed rates are in the best possible position,” Farrell said.

Lemme said there were a lot of people refinancing to reduce their balance and payments. “It’s a big thing – they could be saving a couple of hundred dollars a month, which in this economy with inflation that’s just hit the roof is a big deal for families.”

Drummond said everyone around the table had taken action on revert rates, and this was where “we can add value for our membership”.

“I think an increased revert rate is a trap for a lot of people. It doesn’t align with the customer-owned banking mantra at all.”

He said the banks needed to be better partners to brokers by helping them manage their loan portfolios.

“For brokers facing clawback, our team calls the broker and says, ‘Do you realise that your customer’s refinancing? If you’re doing it, that’s great, we’re happy for you to do it, you’re doing the right thing.

about moving, please give me the opportunity. I tell them, “If you do this [refinance] within two years, I have to pay commission back. And they go, ‘What?’ They don’t know. So it’s educating clients around the clawback.”

What is your strategy when it comes to adopting AI and automation in your credit decisioning, loan systems and processes? How can this improve efficiency, speed and broker partnerships?

Burt said technology was something “we all need to be lookinig at”.

“How can we can leverage AI to streamline processing to get simple loans through faster?” he said.

Lemme asked if the customer-owned banks thought AI would cause more issues.

Saunders said it was a hugely exciting time to be a broker. “You’ll look back on these days as the dark ages,” he said. “We’re on the precipice, and the foundations are being put in place at the moment.”

He said all the banks had a huge amount of work to do. “As mutuals, with smaller budgets, the challenge is how do we partner with technology providers to be able to help us deliver?”

The Consumer Data Right and open banking had provided a platform for significant changes in the sector, he said.

“The technology that we can use to efficiently provide a significantly different 47


experience for brokers and their customers is very close,” Saunders said. Heritage Bank was working on how to include open banking and change policies accordingly, so “we don’t have to ask for three months’ bank statements and validations”.

“The challenge is how do we get there quickly when we don’t have the investment envelopes that the large banks do.”

Saunders said Heritage’s technology partners were keen to provide support.

“It’s a big challenge for us, but I think a really exciting one to face into. There’s lots of work being done.”

Farrell said all the customer-owned banks were investing in technology. “A lot of the transformation takes place behind the scenes, so members won’t necessarily see these changes immediately, but it all goes towards improving the overall BankVic member experience across channels.”

McLeod said brokers would “ultimately make the decision because, if we don’t fix it, you’ll soon get sick of it and go elsewhere”.

of what is AI and its applications… we can go around the table, and everyone will say something different.”

He said the opportunity lay in working with tech partners to develop what AI could actually do.

“This is where mutual banking and smaller organisations really add value in their spaces,” Drummond said. “We are nimble; we’re not as big. There’s not this giant ship of a major bank that has to turn to adopt to technology changes.

“We can be the testing ground for a lot of these things. We can flesh out, does it work? Does it add value? Is it right? Is it wrong? We know we’re close to our brokers, we’re close to our customers. Is it working? Yes or no.”

McLeod said Beyond Bank worked with tech firm Elula on customer retention using AI.

“Elula’s retention product Sticky enables us to identify customers who may be looking to leave or may be unhappy with the service

“Customer-owned banks are offering really good retention rates right off the bat. With other lenders I have to really fight for that, which takes up a lot of our time”
Mandy Hill, Mortgage Managed

“You’re the litmus test because you’ll stop using us if it becomes such an issue. It’s up to us to get with the program.”

Burt said that when it came to artificial intelligence, it was important to focus on using the data first because “AI is really good when it comes to data”.

“AI continually learns how to do that better and better. But I think we’ve got to get over that data hurdle first.”

Drummond said, “AI is not there yet. It’s so infantile, and everyone’s understanding

they receive and proactively engage these customers. “This delivers better outcomes for customers and maintains a strong ongoing relationship and reinforces the broker’s initial recommendation to put us as an option for their home loan.”

Middleton said TMBL hadn’t gone down the AI path too far but was using bots in some processes to try to speed them up.

“It’s early days. We’ve even tried to use the bots for our accreditation process and make it instantaneous, but it fails at certain points because not everything is the same.”

Bots were used once the loan application was completed through ApplyOnline, Middleton said. The data was placed into the loan origination system and bots audited the documents.

“So we’re starting to try and look at making our processes a bit smarter. I think everyone over the next 12 months to two years will be looking at process.

“Our new CEO is customer focused and is working hard to identify how we can improve our processes to make it really quick.”

What are you expecting to happen with interest rates and the home loan and property markets in 2024? How are you preparing for this?

Adamson said that when it came to the stress customers faced with cost of living pressures and rising interest rates, P&N Bank wanted to be consistent in what it offered them “to ensure we’re always putting our best foot forward”.

“Irrespective of what happens with the RBA, we aim to align our lending practices with current economic conditions to ensure we operate a sustainable bank that caters to the needs of our customers both today and in the future.

“We don’t want customers for two years; we want them to stay with us for 30 years because we look after them.”

Wood said that interest rates had definitely stabilised, and inflation was starting to pare back.

“The RBA have done a lot of heavy lifting, so they won’t be in a hurry to reduce the cash rate,” he said. “I think the second half of this calendar year that will start to happen.”

Wood said he believed that while interest rate stability would give some vendors the confidence to list their properties, real estate stocks would remain low, and demand would outweigh supply. Housing affordability would also continue to be a problem until the cash rate started reducing.

“It will be an interesting period,” Wood said. “Growth will likely be moderate in

“You can reach out to customer-owned bank assessors, you can talk things through. They get back to you straight away. You don’t tend to have that touchy-feely experience with the majors”
Jennifer Lemme, Liberty Network Services

terms of house prices overall; however, supply and demand in particular areas could see stronger growth.”

Wood said Bank Australia was preparing to launch a new origination platform in July. “That’ll see a large improvement in what the brokers experience when dealing with Bank Australia.”

Most banks this year would also start focusing on margin repair, he said.

“There will definitely be a switch. A lot of the special offers, they’re gone. I don’t think you’ll see them come back. I don’t think

you’ll see cashbacks re-established. It’ll be about the margin repair in 2024,” Wood said. Middleton agreed with Wood’s comments about interest rates.

“I think cuts will probably occur in the back end of the second half, probably around August, September, depending on the inflationary rate controls we have. What will be interesting is, will borrowers still be stressed at that point? Will they start making decisions? If they bought at the property peak, do some of those investment properties then start getting offloaded to ease their situation?”

Middleton said this might create an opportunity for buyers to enter the market and ease the rental crisis.

“I’m not saying it will definitely happen, but it might.”

Saunders said the economic environment would continue to be a challenge for customers.

“While interest rates will come off, property prices will still continue to increase,” he said. “They’ve continued to increase in an increasing rate environment. They’re not coming off any time soon.

“What I think we’ll see is that good brokers that look after their customers, that are doing annual reviews, that are supporting them through challenging times, will do really well in the year ahead.”

Saunders said the brokers who were focused on refinancing and not on supporting and servicing their existing book would struggle.

“For those that have a really customercentred business, and they’re looking after their customers, I think it’s going to be a really positive year.” 49

Backing brokers now and into the future

It’s onwards and upwards for Bankwest, again voted one of the top performers in MPA’s Brokers on Banks survey. Bankwest plans to ramp up its service and technology in its quest to become Australia’s best bank for brokers

IT’S A point of pride for the team at Bankwest that the non-major bank continues to enjoy such a high status among its broker partners, ranking second in the 2024 Brokers on Banks survey.

It’s the third year in a row that Bankwest has achieved the No. 2 spot in the annual awards, and there’s no doubt about the importance the bank places on brokers, given that the majority of its home loans are sourced via the third party channel.

Ian Rakhit, general manager third party banking at Bankwest, discussed the bank’s performance in Brokers on Banks 2024 and

the continuous improvements it’s making to technology, policies, services and processes to enhance the broker experience.

“Bankwest strives to be the best bank for brokers in the country, reflecting the significance of our critical broker network by embedding brokers in Bankwest’s strategy,” Rakhit says.

“We are pleased to continue to rank so highly, and I think the consistency in feedback from brokers suggests we are delivering, which is important as we strive to be Australia’s best bank for brokers.”

Rakhit says Bankwest has worked hard

to establish a collaborative and mutually respectful relationship with brokers, and that has resulted in more than 80% of the bank’s home loan customers originating through the broker channel.

The relationship with brokers ensures “we’re hearing directly from the people our third party team exists to support”.

“This enables us to understand their needs and expectations and deliver the tools and services that help them provide the best possible experience for customers.”

Rakhit says Bankwest’s third party colleagues are passionate and committed to supporting brokers, and he’s tremendously proud of the service they provide. “But this year’s result, while certainly still positive, also highlights the importance of embracing a continual-improvement mindset and identifying ways in which we can better meet the needs of brokers.”

Bankwest is “going all in on brokers” in 2024, says Rakhit. This increased investment will provide greater opportunities to innovate and deliver more tools and services that brokers need and want, further improving the Bankwest Broker Portal that has become critical for brokers.

Top rankings in Brokers on Banks  Bankwest ranked No 1. in six categories of the Brokers on Banks survey: BDM support, brand trust, commission structure, credit policy, diversification and product range.


Rakhit says it’s important to back the aim of being the best broker bank with action.

“Our collaborative relationship with brokers and understanding their pain points and expectations also enables us to co-design solutions and deliver tools and services tailored to brokers’ needs, as opposed to us developing and delivering a tool based on our idea of what it should be.

finish of an application, and there are policy settings that simplify the lending process for a variety of customers, such as the self-employed.

Skilled BDMs and broker support managers (BSMs) are complemented by a WA-based business operations team, which already supports and trains brokers and their support sta on new digital tools and technology.

“We are pleased to continue to rank so highly. The consistency in feedback from brokers suggests we are delivering … as we strive to be Australia’s best bank for brokers”
Ian Rakhit, Bankwest

“For example, we listened to broker feedback on our credit policy, and over the past year we made changes to both our investor and self-employed criteria, resulting in growth of 20% in investors and 30% in the number of self-employed customers choosing Bankwest.”

Rakhit says these changes enhanced Bankwest’s diversification and credit policy o ering for brokers, complemented by growth in the bank’s credit coaches service. “This provided every broker with access to a state-specific coach who is available to support them with more complex deals.”

He says Bankwest’s commission system continues to be commended by leaders in the broker industry as the fairest in the market, with a tiered clawback policy alongside a flexible approach to making net-ofo set payments.

But underpinning technology enhancements is our people, says Rakhit. Bankwest’s third party colleagues are passionate about delivering the support brokers need. This includes a case ownership model that strengthens brokers’ trust: they know who they are supported by from start to

Rakhit says these sta are also now supported by multiple new delivery crews in the broker channel.

Bankwest has also invested in its sta by o ering a career framework that supports

targeted development in portfolio management and credit knowledge.

“We have also engaged an external party to support with a self-awareness tool to help growth,” Rakhit says.

Improved technology and the impact of broker feedback

Technology is critical to Bankwest’s future and to meeting the rapidly changing needs and expectations of customers, says Rakhit, given that 97% of all Bankwest customer transactions are now conducted digitally.

“Bankwest has one of WA’s largest technology teams, who are plugged into CBA’s advanced tech experience and platforms, ensuring Bankwest customers and our critical broker network are safe and secure, and are delivered cutting-edge innovations.”

Brokers are provided with a world-class Bankwest Broker Portal that enables them to self-serve and, in many cases, get instant access to information and answers, fostering trust and transparency.

“This enables brokers to provide a more e cient and simple experience for their customers, who might be looking to make

Sponsored by
BDM support Brand trust Credit policy Diversification Product range Commission structure


one of the most important financial decisions of their lives,” Rakhit says.

“DocBox, our bespoke document-sharing tool, is the perfect example of our collaboration with brokers in co-designing solutions, creating an e cient service that links brokers directly to their customers’ applications in the Bankwest system.”

Rakhit says Bankwest wants to grow nationwide as a WA-based, world-class bank, underpinned by strong digital and broker o erings. “By prioritising investment in the channels customers are choosing, we can o er enhanced products and digital services in the future.”

Working collaboratively with brokers to co-create solutions is an integral part of

Connect series providing invaluable education and upskilling opportunities.”

Rakhit says feedback from brokers on the bank’s instant repricing tool for new and existing customers has been overwhelmingly positive.

“It provides a fast, e ective solution that enables brokers to self-serve one of their most common customer requests, providing certainty for customers quickly and freeing up time for more complex conversations.”

Future tech improvements

Bankwest is making significant investments in the digital channels its customers are increasingly preferring.

“The digital identification project is going

“DocBox is the perfect example of our collaboration with brokers in co-designing solutions, creating an e cient service that links brokers directly to their customers’ applications in the Bankwest system”
Ian Rakhit, Bankwest

delivering the tools and services brokers need to best serve their customers, Rahkit says.

“We’re preparing to deliver further innovations, such as digital identification for a simple, easy onboarding experience.”

Advantages of the broker portal

The world-class Bankwest Broker Portal is built on allowing brokers to get on with the job of supporting their customers, says Rakhit. “It’s designed to provide brokers with a simple, easy one-stop shop packed with the self-service tools and services that provide clarity, transparency and the best possible experience for customers.

“It’s also built to support them with operating the most successful and e cient business, with the Learning Library and Broker

to be a game changer in solving what can be a particularly frustrating pain point of the onboarding process and will enable brokers and customers to verify identification instantly through digital channels,” Rakhit says.

Bankwest’s broker network has been central to enabling the development of this technology, with a group of brokers supporting the bank in piloting the program.

Other initiatives that have been rolled out to make customers’ digital lives simpler include changes to the Real Time Gross Settlement process. This no longer requires manual forms and can be performed instantly (provided the request is approved and made before the cut-o time), eliminating the need to attend a branch to obtain a bank cheque for large-sum transfers.


Investment and funding: Increasing investment in broker and customer technology

The right people and teams: Skilled BDMs training brokers on new digital tools and tech; broker support managers and the WA business operations team; new delivery ‘crews’ to support the broker channel

Insights and co-design: Using broker research, insights and real broker user testing, such as with DocBox, to deliver bespoke broker innovation

A world-class portal: Using research, insights, pain points and feedback to create a continuous improvement mindset within the Broker Portal

Enabling brilliant customer experiences

“Another innovation we’re bringing online centres around speech analytics, which enables our technology to analyse in real time customer interactions that come into our 24/7 Australia-based contact centre,” says Rakhit.

“This allows us to quickly identify trends and respond with rapid redeployment of colleagues to support customers when and where they need us the most.”

Bankwest is also planning to introduce digital cashout from participating EFTPOS merchants, meaning customers would no longer need to present a physical card to withdraw money and could instead use the card stored in their digital wallet.

“These are just a few of the exciting innovations we have coming down the line, with our increased investment and focus on our digital and broker channels ensuring there will be many more to follow.”

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Non-banks offer agile, inclusive solutions

Brokers wanting to help customers who don’t fit the typical mould for bank loans are being encouraged to consider specialist lending options provided by non-banks

IF THERE’S one word that sums up why brokers should include specialist lending in their customer offering, it’s ‘flexibility’.

Unlike prime lending, which accounts for the bulk of mainstream lenders’ home loan customer bases and relies on conforming PAYG clients, specialist loans are flexible enough to cover a wide range of customers and income types.

This flexibility is even more important now as Australians face a major squeeze on their household budgets due to higher interest rates and inflation. Many are struggling with the rising costs of mortgages,

groceries and other household expenses.

For borrowers who are self-employed or in short-term employment, such as contractors or those working in the gig economy, or who might have a credit impairment holding them back, specialist loans from non-bank lenders can provide a worthwhile solution when the banks have shut them out.

In this sector focus, MPA explores the benefits of specialist loans and how non-bank lenders Pepper Money, Rate Money and Resimac are working with their broker partners in this space.

Specialist lending defined

While there’s no single, accepted definition of specialist lending, Rodney Cottam, regional sales manager NSW, ACT and Queensland at Resimac, says specialist lending is designed for customers who fall outside of the traditional lending profile.

“It’s a product that isn’t offered by mainstream lenders due to the additional time and risk required to service these customers,” Cottam says.

“As it’s solutions-based, specialist lending takes into account each borrower’s individual situation in a way that isn’t possible


with prime lending. It’s suited for those who may have credit impairments or interrupted repayment history due to a number of reasons, such as illness, marital separation and certain life events.”

Cottam says there’s a common misconception that specialist lending is purely for borrowers with credit issues.

“It’s actually useful for borrowers who may not have credit issues but nevertheless don’t meet the requirements for prime lending – they may have short-term employment or receive different types of income, for instance – and/or have greater requirements that aren’t accommodated by the prime products, such as needing to consolidate ATO debt.”

Ryan Gair, CEO of self-employed lending specialist Rate Money, says specialist lending originated as a means to provide mortgage products tailored to borrowers who might not meet the conventional criteria established by traditional lenders.

are all just different ways to describe borrowers’ circumstances that don’t fit the banks’ criteria.

“Specialist loans are special in that they are designed to provide options for borrowers who just don’t tick the ‘typical’ bank boxes,” Saoud says.

“There are many reasons a borrower may not meet the lending requirements set out by traditional lenders. For some it may be a case of not meeting credit-scoring conditions; for others it may be down to previous missed payments or because they can’t provide certain income verification documents.”

Income type is a good example of this, with many people now earning money in non-traditional ways, “from the self-employed to shift workers, casual workers, people with more than one job, people with income from benefits, and so on”.

Saoud says non-banks such as Pepper Money have the flexibility to make lending

“Specialist loans mean borrowers don’t have to miss out on opportunities to improve their financial position, such as by purchasing a property or consolidating debts”

“The core value of specialist lending is its flexibility and its dedication to offering solutions for those typically underserved by standard mortgage offerings,” Gair says.

“The landscape of specialist lending has significantly evolved, leading to the emergence of organisations dedicated entirely to niche markets such as medico loans or SMSF funding. Despite this diversification, the primary focus remains on serving the self-employed sector.”

Barry Saoud, general manager mortgage and commercial lending at Pepper Money, says whether you call it non-conforming, alternative or specialist lending, these

Rodney Cottam, Resimac

for these real-life situations possible.

“We understand the needs of different types of borrowers, and we intimately understand risk. That allows us to develop real options that meet these needs and fill the gaps.”

Opportunities for brokers

For brokers, Rate Money’s referral model is designed to be highly rewarding, says Gair. “Straight away you are dealing with an expert in specialist lending, ensuring that the speed to ‘yes’ drastically increases, which is what everyone is looking for these days.”

Gair says this means that brokers are not

only in a position to ensure their clients are receiving first-rate advice but they can also feel comfortable knowing they are paired with the right product – including no application and no valuation fees, no risk fees and a competitive interest rate.

“Rest assured, this product is positioned to excel as a leading choice among competitors. You’ll also receive the benefit of upfront commissions without the fear of clawbacks.”

Brokers working in specialist lending can extend their offerings to a wider range of clients, Gair says. “This approach not only enhances your professional reputation but also ensures that your clients receive the best possible support in their journey to homeownership.”

Gair says Rate Money’s comprehensive broker support empowers the non-bank to navigate specialist lending with confidence, “whilst your clients benefit from our competitive and cost-effective lending solutions with nil risk fees”.

Saoud points out that brokers are aware of the growing cohort of borrowers that require a specialist loan, but there are common misconceptions about non-bank lending to demystify:

1 Non-bank specialist loans are not just a short-term fix

“It’s just not the case,” Saoud says. “We can and do work with brokers to reassess their clients’ rate and overall position as their situation changes to give them options across a lifetime of lending needs.”

2 Non-bank specialist lending is not just residential

Saoud says there’s a need to build awareness of the non-bank opportunity for brokers beyond residential lending.

“Commercial property lending is on the rise, and the demand is strong.”

3 Non-bank specialist lending has evolved

“It’s crucial to keep up to date,” says Saoud. “Pepper Money recently removed 55


clawbacks on commercial property loans, is expanding the funding of commercial properties across Australia, including in non-metropolitan and regional areas, and we have simplified our fees and reduced legal charges.”

4 Specialist lending is not hard work

Some brokers may perceive specialist lending as too hard because it requires a di erent approach, says Saoud, but the reality is that it’s not harder to do than a bank loan. “We arm the broker with tech that doesn’t require them to know our product options, credit policy or rate card – this is all automated for a quick and e cient ‘yes’, often when the bank has said ‘no’. ”

Pepper Money has developed a simple and user-friendly pre-application tool – the Pepper Product Selector (PPS) – which allows a broker to quickly and easily understand if the non-bank has an option for their client with an indicative rate and repayment.

Cottam says specialist lending enables borrowers to act now instead of waiting until they’re eligible for a prime loan.

“There’s an opportunity cost that borrowers have to consider when navigating their home loan options. Specialist loans mean borrowers don’t have to miss out on opportunities to improve their financial position, such as by purchasing a property or consolidating debts.”

Brokers who o er their clients a specialist lending solution can say yes to more customers, leading to a better overall experience, Cottam says.

“As a leading non-bank lender, Resimac’s specialist lending products cater for a vast majority of borrowers, including self-employed customers who want to pay out ATO debts, provide funds for working capital in their business, or have only been in business for six months.”

Resimac supports brokers through its highly experienced national team of business development managers and relationship

management team, “who are on call to workshop scenarios and work closely with the underwriters to help get deals over the line”.

“Our BDMs are also on the road every day to provide education and training to help brokers better understand our products, policies and processes,” Cottam says.

the disposable income position of most Aussie households, this means mortgage, credit card, personal and car loan borrowers could have a higher probability of missing payments across the next six to 12 months.

“If this is the case, I think we’ll see a significant increase in the number of borrowers

“Our referral model is designed to be highly rewarding. You’re dealing with an expert in specialist lending, ensuring that the speed to ‘yes’ drastically increases” Ryan Gair, Rate Money

“Where possible, we also get our credit assessors to discuss applications they’re evaluating with the broker to help reach a favourable outcome.”

Market trends

Saoud says the needs of many borrowers are evolving in a shifting and volatile environment, and demand for specialist lending options will grow more than ever.

“With interest rates and inflation impacting

that will no longer qualify for a traditional bank ‘prime’ loan.”

Saoud says with CCR data capturing 24 months of repayment history and the firm serviceability buffers in place, traditional lenders will have even greater visibility and control of who they lend to and how much.

“As a result, we can expect that more borrowers are likely going to fall out of the bank’s credit and policy requirements. But non-banks like us with specialist options allow


As at December 2023, the value of new loan commitments:

• for total housing fell 4.1% to $26.3bn, after a rise of 0.7% in November, but was 11.7% higher year-on-year

• for owner-occupier housing fell 5.6% to $16.8bn but was 7.4% higher year-on-year

• for investor housing fell 1.3% to $9.5bn but was 20.4% higher year-on-year

• fell 2.4% for personal fixed term loans

• rose 3.3% for business construction and rose 0.9% in trend terms

• rose 1.0% for business purchase of property but was flat in trend terms

Source: ABS Lending Indicators, December 2023


these borrowers the chance to consolidate their debts and consider the whole picture.”

Cottam says the specialist lending market is always growing, and he “anticipates that it will continue to grow due to the challenges of the current economy”.

“In a tightening cycle with the increased cost of living, borrowers with several high-interest debts like credit cards, car loans and personal loans could be finding it di cult to stay on top of their repayments and other bills. This can lead to defaults, mortgage arrears and, in the worst-case scenario, bankruptcy.”

Banks typically won’t lend to borrowers who have more than a couple of small paid defaults, so specialist lending solutions such as those o ered by Resimac can help put borrowers into a better financial position.

Cottam says by refi nancing their home loan into a specialist lending solution, customers can consolidate an unlimited number of debts (at up to 90% LVR for Full Doc and up to 85% LVR for Alt Doc) into a single repayment at the lower mortgage-based rate, reducing overall monthly commitments.

“We arm the broker with tech that doesn’t require them to know our product options, credit policy or rate card – this is all automated for a quick and e cient ‘yes’, often when the bank has said ‘no’ ” Barry Saoud, Pepper Money

Borrowers need to be diligent about paying these debts o over the original term of each loan rather than capitalising them over the remaining term of the mortgage.

“A notable difference for Resimac compared to other non-bank lenders is that customers can have a di erent o set for each loan portion,” says Cottam.

Gair says the current specialist lending market is on a notable upswing, particularly after navigating through a challenging first half of 2023. Initially, the sector faced headwinds due to rising interest rates and aggressive cashback o ers from banks.

“However, from August last year, we’ve

observed a marked shift back to the non-bank sector, with our own business witnessing substantial growth, culminating in our best performance in the last few months since June 2022.”

Gair says this resurgence is driven by several key factors:

1 Serviceability and credit tightening

– the tightening of lending criteria by traditional banks has made Rate Money o erings more attractive

2 Interest rate stabilisation – with interest rates stabilising, the initial preference for big banks is waning, and customers are increasingly exploring “what we o er as a compelling alternative”

3 Market confidence – despite economic challenges, the stabilisation of rates and inflation, along with a resilient property market, is bolstering borrower confidence

Looking ahead to the next 12 months, Gair says the sector is positioned for further growth, fuelled by innovation, and this is why Rate Money has rolled out new products designed to meet the diverse needs of the self-employed.

“Our introduction of simplifi ed full-doc loans and the continuous enhancement of our low-doc o ering – both boasting no clawbacks – underscore our adaptability and dedication to serving our clients’ unique financial situations.

“Never has there been a better time to consider entering the world of specialised lending.”

NON-BANKS’ SHARE OF HOUSING AND BUSINESS CREDIT Source: RBA Financial Stability Review – October 2023 % 20 0 % 10 5 0 % 20 0 % 10 5 0 Housing growth: Six-month annualised Non-bank share of housing credit 2011 2017 2023 2011 2017 2023 Non-bank share of business credit Banks Non-banks Business growth: Six-month annualised

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Australia’s best mortgage brokers under 35 are successfully carving out their niche in a competitive market 61 CONTENTS Feature article .................................... Methodology ..................................... Rising Stars........................................ PAGE 62 63 66 SPECIAL REPORT



MPA celebrates the 2024 Rising Stars, a top-performing collective of the best mortgage brokers driving extraordinary results for their organisations and clients.

The winners on MPA’s 13th annual list are fresh-to-industry go-getters aged 35 and under, already making waves in Australia’s broking community for their energy, passion and ambition to succeed.

Despite persistent market challenges during the 12-month period of this report ending 30 September 2023, the top five Rising Stars wrote loans of over $418 million.

As 2022 winner Eva Loisance, now Finni Mortgages’ broker division manager, says, “Being named a Rising Star boosted my cred-

ibility and visibility among other brokers and potential clients, who recognised my skills and achievements. Since then, I have built a solid clientele and received continuous referrals.”

Oliver Li, managing director of BP Mortgage and an approved mentor of the FBAA, lists the qualities required of Rising Stars:

• attention to detail

• hardworking with a can-do attitude

• after-hours service/availability

• client flexibility

This is echoed by Luke Burruto of Loan Gallery Finance, who says, “They don’t have

“When you’re coaching and supporting others, sharing your experience and giving back, we all benefit from what each other has learned”

Carl Hou, AUSUN Finance

Hou took a leap of faith when he started his mortgage broker journey in 2022, knowing it would take time to earn the income he RISING

an array of experience and an existing client base they can use to demonstrate credibility, so they need to know their stu , and for them to stand out, it’s about showing passion for what they do, a commitment to helping the client at all costs and a focus on building lifetime clients.”

Carl Hou – AUSUN Finance Age: 34

Passion and teamwork drive emerging leader to the forefront

Average total value of loans $42,859,251 Average total number of loans written 89 Average conversion rate 72%


ING has sponsored MPA’s Rising Stars for the last seven years, and we’re honoured to do so again in 2024.

For more than 20 years, brokers have partnered with us to support customers at every stage of their homeownership journey. Today, about 90% of our home loans originate via the third party channel, so investing in emerging brokers is crucial for our business and, importantly, our customers. This is why we are so honoured to sponsor MPA’s Rising Stars.

A steady stream of young brokers entering the industry is essential for the longevity and sustainability of the mortgage broker channel. A successful broker is characterised as being customer-focused, determined, dedicated, resilient, a good listener and someone who demonstrates genuine care. The

needed to support his young family. But thanks to his clear vision and focus, he is now a senior mortgage broker respected by his peers for his positive impact at his brokerage and in the broader industry.

“It was hard the first year on the financial side,” he says. “But when I felt uncertain, my wife was supportive and encour-

aged me to go for what I wanted. I couldn’t have achieved being a Rising Star without my team and my family.”

In addition to being a top sales performer with a remarkable 90% conversion rate, a by-the-numbers look at a recent one-year period highlights why Hou stands out:

• helped 167 customers with their home

Rising Stars in this report all possess these traits, and it’s encouraging to see such young talent emerge.

loan journey or refinancing

• attended 25 events as a host or speaker

• scheduled 5 0 business development appointments

He has a genuine passion for helping clients navigate the maze of home financing options and secure their dream homes, and that

“Resilience, along with commitment to continuous improvement, has not only shaped my professional journey but will hopefully promote long-term success” Laura Metelovski, GA Finance Solutions

commitment to service extends to his team.

“Carl is a lending coach in the Box Hill branch, supporting junior brokers,” a colleague says. “He is not only an experienced lender but also a visionary leader committed to imparting his knowledge to the next generation of mortgage brokers.”

An important lesson Hou learned early in his career was imparted by an important

Congratulations to all the nominees.

Each new year brings new challenges for the broker industry, and I’m confident the industry will take these challenges in stride. The broker channel will show its resilience and go from strength to strength. I’m confident the cohort of Rising Stars 2024 will contribute a fresh perspective, a vital ingredient in an evolving market.

It gives me great pleasure to celebrate the achievements of the nominees in MPA’s Rising Stars 2024 and recognise their hard work and dedication.


MPA invited the most impressive mortgage companies in the country to nominate high-performing achievers for the 13th annual Rising Stars list. All nominees had to be 35 years old or younger, and had to have written more than $15 million in loans from 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023 and worked as accredited brokers for no more than two years.

Brokers presented their submissions to MPA, detailing why each individual deserved to be considered, and recommendations were then taken from their peers to decide who made the final cut. After thoroughly reviewing all entries, the MPA team narrowed down the list to 39 Rising Stars who have made the most significant impact on the industry through their financial results, determination and drive.

mentor, who told him that being a mortgage broker is not only a job. He would have to adopt the mindset of a business owner, nurture and develop a team, gain expertise and be a leader. 63
George Thompson Head of Mortgages, ING


impression on clients, peers and partners.

“My success stems from a relentless dedication and commitment to my job,” she says. “Cultivating strong professional relationships is critical to being successful in our industry. It’s the combination of passion and perseverance that has helped me to succeed.”

This approach is lauded by industry expert Rachael McKenzie, business manager at Loan Gallery Finance, who says, “Never underestimate how valuable providing positive customer service can be for a client. Going above and beyond can give you a client for life who can be one of your biggest advocates.”

Hungry to become a better broker for her clients, Metelovski strives to give them what they’ve asked for: the best value and the most relevant solution for their needs. She has secured her place among the largest loan writers by volume at GA Finance Solutions, garnering positive feedback from lenders on the quality of her submissions.

“Having a strong focus on the client is what gets me through to finding solutions, navigating the industry and giving me a strong purpose”
Jarod Gilmartin, Loan Market Canberra

“I’ve found that balance now,” Hou says. Always looking to make a positive impact, Hou dedicates one hour daily to self-learning and development and reviews his cases regularly to discover a new perspective.

He says, “If you come to me with a clear goal, I’m the person to help you achieve it. If you’re not that clear on your goal, I’ll use all my resources to help you figure out what you need.”

Laura Metelovski – GA Finance Solutions

Age: 25

Paving the way for female representation in finance broking

Regarded as an “absolute rock” of the GA Finance Solutions team over the past two years, Metelovski has thrived in her role as finance broker. Her infectious personality and strong work ethic make a lasting

She stays ahead of the curve by attending industry-specific courses and relevant workshops. Networking and seeking mentorship are also at the top of her agenda to augment her knowledge base.

The Rising Star has honed several strategies enabling her rapid rise:

• displaying a client-centric approach

• building strong lender relationships

• conducting thorough market research

• utilising Instagram (@laura_gafinance) as an educational tool

“A pivotal lesson in my career is to embrace failure as fuel for my growth,” Metelovski says. “Each setback is an opportunity to learn, pivot and improve.”

In support of her recognition, a senior industry leader says, “When looking at the industry, and with the support of AFG, Laura is now a regular at many women in broker events. Without a doubt, she is


poised to become widely recognised within the industry and emerge as a leading female broker.”

Jarod Gilmartin – Loan Market


Age: 31

Initiative drives capital city broker to the top

With an exceptional reputation as a highly skilled and motivated mortgage broker within the Loan Market network, Gilmartin has di erentiated himself by going above and beyond to ensure that clients receive

Awards for Settlement from Ray White agents internationally in his first year of broking

His nominator says, “Jarod’s initiative and drive have been a great asset to our organisation, and we are continually impressed by the fresh ideas and enthusiasm he brings to the table.”

Being in a work environment where everyone strives to improve their results, client experience and solutions have motivated Gilmartin to stay at the top.

He says, “Time is valuable for brokers, so making sure we manage it well is

“The joy I see on the client’s face when I’m educating them as we start our journey is rewarding in that you know they’re satisfied, and they trust you”
Ayushi Patel, Cinch Loans

expert support and guidance to make informed decisions.

“We’ve got a strong environment that challenges everyone, and that drives us all to succeed because we want to contribute to the team,” he says.

Learning on the job has benefited Gilmartin, as he seizes client situations to add to his knowledge base. He also participates in Loan Market PD days and various workshops to stay abreast of the dynamic mortgage landscape.

Known as a top performer and prolific lead generator, Gilmartin is also making his mark in the industry on other fronts:

• participated in a conference with Ray White and Loan Market aimed at strengthening agent relationships and finding better ways to collaborate within businesses

• awarded eighth place in Loan Market’s

important, just as it is to take advantage of those downtimes.”

Ayushi Patel – Cinch Loans

Age: 28

Delivering value in finance broking

After moving to Australia in 2023, Patel put her banking experience to good use when she embarked on a new career as a finance broker at the award-winning brokerage in Docklands, Victoria. In less than a year, her determination to succeed have left a lasting impression.

“I’ve got a long way to go,” she says. “But the goal that’s kept me going since my banking days is to deliver value to the customer and look out for their best interest.”

McKenzie believes new entrants need additional skills.

She says, “When you have fresh-toindustry brokers who have a positive

customer service attitude, a strong work ethic, problem-solving skills and enthusiasm for sales, if you provide them with a strong onboarding, they can truly excel.”

Patel is doing just this as she strives to achieve customer service excellence. She has already earned praise from colleagues for building up the mortgage book and client and referral networks. She credits the mentoring and support she receives at Cinch Loans for helping her get established.

Patel is excelling quickly due to a combination of factors:

• data-driven strategy

• technology

• financial education

• focus on excellence

In putting her forward for recognition, a nominator says, “She is a voice for the industry, especially for females and young adults trying to get financial independence through the property ladder, and she is working hard to achieve that every single day.”

With a future goal to be known as one of the top brokers in the country, Patel recalls an important lesson learned from a mentor: a problem is never a problem until you make it a problem.

“That taught me you need to focus on the solution rather than thinking about the problem,” she says. “Otherwise, you’ll never get out of the problem.” 65
INSIGHTS As part of our editorial process, Key Media’s researchers interviewed the subject matter experts below for their independent analysis of this report and its findings. Eva Loisance Manager, Broker Division Finni Mortgages Luke Burruto Sales and Business Development Manager, Loan Gallery Finance Oliver Li Managing Director, BP Mortgage; FBAA Approved Mentor Rachael McKenzie Business Manager, Loan Gallery Finance


Carl Hou

Mortgage Broker, AUSUN Finance

Phone: 0481 188 041



Alexander Phokos

Mortgage Broker, GA Finance Solutions

Phone: 0419 957 523



Allen Guo

Mortgage Broker, JKK Solutions

Phone: 0410 036 533



Ayushi Patel

Mortgage Broker, Cinch Loans

Phone: +61 408 117 627



Jarod Gilmartin

Mortgage Broker, Loan Market Canberra

Phone: 0451 673 528



Laura Metelovski

Finance and Lending Specialist, GA Finance Solutions

Phone: 0447 736 399



Romesh Jayasundara

Senior Mortgage Broker, Reventon

Phone: 0435 197 713



Spencer Clarke

Mortgage Broker, Cube Home Loans

Phone: 0473 046 410



Terry Wong

Director and Principal Broker, Fundex Capital

Phone: 0413 342 989



Allan Haddad

Senior Mortgage Broker, Aussie

Bayley Clarke

Home Loan Consultant, Lendi

Bradley Donnelly

Residential, Asset and Commercial Finance Broker, Green Finance Group

Carlton Sinn Mortgage Broker, Aussie

Christopher Moore

Licensed Mortgage Broker, Lendi

Daniel Caluzzi

Mortgage Lending Adviser, Empower Wealth


Daniel Samimi Mortgage Broker, Refinancer

Dean Naylor Mortgage Broker, Mortgage Choice

Grant Armistead Mortgage Broker, LMG

Jack Wharton Finance Broker, Mortgage Choice

James Horne Executive Home Loan Specialist, Lendi Group

Leon Luo Senior Home Loan Specialist, Lendi

Manan Arora Mortgage Broker, Aussie Gungahlin

Maxwell Miorada Credit Advisor, Momentum Wealth

Mia Castellarin Mortgage Broker, Mortgage Choice

Nate Condie Mortgage Broker, Atelier Wealth Mortgage Brokers

Ned McLachlan Finance Broker, Aussie

Nicholas Rabba Finance Broker, Inovayt


Paige Miller Real Estate Broker, Aussie

Rhys Ashen Senior Mortgage Broker, Bundy Financial Services

Riley May Mortgage Broker, Derwent Finance

Ryan Sweeney Credit Adviser, MortgageWorks

Simon Tessmann Mortgage Broker, Emerge Finance

Siobhan Bryson Mortgage Broker, Aussie

Steve Kelly Director, Kelly Brothers Finance

Talor Thomson Lending Specialist, Mortgage Innovations

Terri Sillitoe Senior Home Loan Specialist/Broker, Lendi Group

Tyson Lawman Finance Broker, Crunch Finance

William Banham Mortgage Broker, Loan Market Double Bay

Riley Thomas Finance Broker and Executive Assistant to Managing Director, Mortgage Choice Brisbane City 67

Be transparent in times of uncertainty

When major changes are about to happen in a business, uncertainty follows, and without information staff often speculate and morale can suffer.
Leah Mether shares her advice on how managers can build trust

WE’VE ALL heard the saying “no news is good news”, but often, particularly at times of uncertainty when you know change is brewing, this is not the case.

In fact, not only is no news not good news, but frequently it is even worse than bad news, because it adds to uncertainty and anxiety. In a vacuum of information, people fill the space with their own stories and

even if it’s not what people want to hear, because this builds trust. As David Rock and Christy Pruitt-Haynes wrote in Harvard Business Review: “Research shows that getting an answer you don’t like is better than not receiving one at all. Any way you can provide useful information, even if it seems small, can increase people’s sense of clarity, if not certainty.”

You can bet that the things left unspoken by leaders are what everyone else is worried about and talking about. Avoiding the topic breeds suspicion and distrust

conclusions based on fear, rumour and innuendo. Often those stories are far worse than what is actually coming.

According to Hilary Scarlett, author of Neuroscience for Organisational Change, the brain finds uncertainty so uncomfortable that we are better at dealing with bad news than not knowing what the future holds. In fact, bad news is often better than no news.

At times of uncertainty, it’s important that leaders share as much truth as they can,

Uncertainty calls for transparency

The words ‘honesty’ and ‘transparency’ are often used interchangeably. But there’s a difference between them, and in times of uncertainty, transparency is what people need.

Honesty is telling the truth as you perceive it and refusing to lie or be deceptive – crucially – when you’re asked.

Transparency means easy to see through. If you are being transparent, you are sharing the truth that you believe needs to be known

because it’s the right thing to do. You’re not waiting to be asked, you are being open in your communication and proactively sharing. In that awkward period when you know change or a big decision is coming but you don’t know exactly what it looks like yet, transparency is a powerful trust and respectbuilding tool.

Four steps to better communication

So, how do you communicate with transparency to your team when things are uncertain? Here is a simple four-step framework to help you:

Tell them:

1 What you know

The facts. Share as much truth as you can.

2 What you’re doing about it

The action you’re taking.

3 What you don’t know

Don’t leave things unsaid. Address the elephant in the room and verbalise the unknowns.

4 When you expect to know and how you will keep them informed

Give people a sense of certainty amid the


uncertainty by making it clear that you will communicate any new information as soon you have it.

Share as much truth as you can; be honest about what you can’t share When communicating during change and uncertainty, most leaders stop after the second point in the framework.

They share what they know and what they’re doing about it but leave the unknowns unspoken, rationalising that if they don’t know the answer, they shouldn’t say anything. This is a mistake. Why? Because you can bet that the things left unspoken by the leaders are what everyone else is worried about and talking about. Avoiding the topic breeds suspicion and distrust.

But what if sharing is not allowed? What if you’ve been sworn to secrecy and your people ask questions you can’t answer? Again, the

answer is simple: speak the truth. Don’t say, “I don’t know”, if you do. This is a surefire way to erode trust if your people know or suspect that this is a lie and you’re simply not telling them. Instead:

• Be transparent: “I can’t share that information with you.”

• Empathise but stay firm to your message: “I appreciate you want more information, and this uncertainty is unnerving, but at this stage I am unable to share any more detail.”

• Include the ‘why’ if you can. It may be: “Because the structure has not yet been finalised”, “Because it’s commercial in-confidence”, “Because we’re still working through what the change will look like”, or “Because there are nondisclosure agreements”.

• Outline your commitment to keeping them as informed as you can: “My promise to you is that I will be as open and honest as I can be with you and communicate any updates as soon as I have them.”

Communicating when things are uncertain and unknown can be challenging, but it’s not complicated. Use the four-part framework in this article as a guide and you will reassure your people, build trust and help steer your people through the storm of change to calmer waters. 69
Leah Mether is a communications specialist, champion of ‘soft skills’ and author of ThroughtheStorm:HowtoCommunicateand LeadCourageouslyThroughChange information, visit

Multiple solutions meet clients’ needs

A desire to achieve the right outcomes for clients by offering strong industry knowledge and relationships, as well as diverse services, drives the growth of Infinity Finance Solutions, led by director Sukhi Singh

THERE ARE thousands of mortgage brokers in Australia who focus only on residential home loan customers. It’s their bread and butter, their area of expertise. Many brokers achieve success by sticking with this segment.

But what happens when that home loan customer wants a car loan, an SMSF loan, or a commercial loan if they run a business? If the broker doesn’t offer that service, there’s a risk they could go elsewhere.

Sydney brokerage Infinity Finance Solutions offers a diverse range of services that foster

the clients and to achieve better outcomes for clients.”

The goal is to remain connected to clients on an ongoing basis, catering to their finance needs and “connecting them to our greater network of people so the ecosystem can continue to grow”.

Singh leads a team of eight – four lenders and four support staff – based at offices in Parramatta and Liverpool.

“We all strive for the same thing every day; we do our level best to get the right outcomes

“We all strive for the same thing every day; we do our level best to get the right outcomes for our clients”

stronger customer relationships. These include residential loans and asset finance, with a particular focus on commercial and business loans and SMSF lending.

Director Sukhi Singh says the brokerage was set up eight years ago.

“We have been very blessed to gradually grow the team every year,” he says. “That has meant the right people, and we feel that organically we will grow the team over the coming years as well.”

The strategy behind Infinity Finance Solutions was to provide clients with multiple solutions and not rely on one offering by one institution, Singh says. “We aim to bring various alternative solutions to

for our clients. This is done via our extensive knowledge and industry relationships with providers and lender partners.

“We need to make sure we are up to date with the policy, appetite and risk-setting

changes of lenders to provide a speedy outcome to our clients.”

Singh says that while staff have different job titles, “once we walk in the door, we all look to help each other to get the best result we can and do it as efficiently as we can”.

“I’m very fortunate to have the very best of people at Infinity Finance; they are the best around.”

Infinity Finance’s offering is diverse, catering to the “ever-expanding needs of commercial clients”, Singh says.

Commercial lending needs can often be more complex, he adds. “We rely heavily on our knowledge across the various lenders to ensure we place deals where they are best suited.”

SMSF continues to be a growing market for the brokerage, with investors keen to use their SMSF funds to grow wealth.

“Investing under SMSF allows clients to control their investments to a greater level than any industry-managed funds. By adding this offering to our product mix, we can


“At Infinity Finance, we are all dedicated and committed to helping the local community, from doing Meals on Wheels to assisting the Vietnamese community – working with the doctors who carry out fantastic vision surgeries in Vietnam. We also spend time cooking for the needy at various religious places and try to contribute to the betterment of local communities and help those in need. And we make a point of spending one day per month helping local people with finance-related questions and queries to create a better-informed community.” – Sukhi Singh, director, Infinity Finance Solutions

“Investing under SMSF allows clients to control their investments to a greater level than any industry-managed funds”

provide a well-rounded financial platform for our clients,” Singh says.

Infinity Finance has a broad mix of clients, from small mum-and-dad businesses to larger businesses with multiple entities, developers, investors and specialised industries such as childcare, medical and construction.

“We continue to see a good mix of loan enquiries across all facets of our o ering, with property investment still moving ahead,” Singh says.

“Whilst construction finance has slowed

in recent times, we are certainly seeing a continued drive for solid property investment in good-performing areas. Businesses that are performing strongly are still keen to reinvest, be it in property or by investing in their own business to further growth.”

Singh says the commercial lending market remains strong in the face of rising interest rates and inflation.

“Commercial clients are savvy and fully aware of the constant change in market conditions. They see this in their own


Owner/s: Sukhi Singh and others

Location: Parramatta and Liverpool

Service offered: Debt advisory services

Number of employees: 8

industries, and while they focus on their businesses, we assist in providing the necessary financial information to keep them across financial market conditions.”

In recent times, Infinity Finance has been seeing a growing awareness of costs, as well as clients seeking better deals from their lenders, Singh says.

“It’s worthwhile to note that price is not the only factor when it comes to finance. Clients must also consider which lender best suits their circumstances.”

In a highly competitive lending market, he says client retention is vitally important. “Client relationships are paramount to our business, as we o er more than just a financial solution. We pride ourselves in being a client’s trusted adviser and someone who will always place the client’s needs at the forefront of every conversation.”

This means regular contact with clients “to ensure we remain front of mind for their finance needs”.

“We value being part of the businesses we help, and we know that by helping them they will in turn help us by providing referrals to their friends and family so that we can help others.”

Looking to the future, Singh says Infinity Finance Solutions will be adding two new sta to its team this year in order to better service clients.

“As we have done for the past eight years, we want to grow in a sustained way so we don’t lose the basics of customer service. We are excited about the future and see solid sustained growth in our business.” 71
GroupCEOatFINSTREETBobanJurisicandco-founderandchiefstrategyo cerDarrenLiu

Planting the seed of financial literacy in childhood builds the foundation for better financial decisions later in life


Kode Finance director

Anthony Chimirri turns

financial wisdom into engaging children’s books, fostering an early understanding of money

AS THE father of a toddler, Kode Finance’s Anthony Chimirri was inspired to write books to help future generations understand the fundamentals of money and finance from an early age.

His first book, Ace & Chica’s Wild Money Tail, was created to teach children and families about the basic concepts of lending and security in a fun, simple and engaging way.

Two blue Sta y dogs, Ace and Chica, owned by Chimirri and his brother Jamie, feature in the book series as the main characters.

The idea for the book originated in July 2021, when Chimirri’s son Kingston was born. Chimirri spent 12 months working on the manuscript, talking to publishers and preparing the book for sale.

The book has been well received, with Melbourne-based Chimirri making presentations at schools and childcare centres.

“I would like to see financial literacy courses implemented in school curriculums across the country, as this is not a topic that is covered in schools,” Chimirri says.


Number of Sta y dogs featuring in Chimirri’s storybook


Number of months Chimirri worked on his rst manuscript


Year Chimirri was inspired to write his rst storybook


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