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MFAA Prosper : Mortgage and Finance Brief 14
24 Mortgage & Finance brief M W: How do you see the mor tgage broking r ole developing movi ng for wa rd? JS: If you want to survive, just sell mortgages. If you want to thrive, you must offer customers a range of products that meet their full financial needs, as well as deliver ing an awesome overal l customer ex perience. If a customer is taking out a mortgage, do they need life insurance? Yes. Do they need to consolidate their debt? Then they need a low-r ate credit ca rd. It’s not a matter of how much commission can be made; it’s about adding value to the relationship and reaping the long-term relationship rewards. The better the customer experience, the longer they stick with you and the more financially rewarding for both the customer and the broker. M W: After the acquisition of Wiza rd, you attracted criticism for Commonwealth Bank’s stake in the business. Is the criticism justified? JS: Commonwealth Bank has no day-to-day management of the business and hold two board seats out of six, however their support as a minority shareholder provides security to the Aussie team and customers in these uncertain times. We are very independent and have run a successful business for a long time now. While we are generally exceeding our sales targets and creating strong shareholder value, why wouldn’t any shareholder take a back seat and leave us to ‘do what we do best’? It is interesting to note that more major mortgage broking companies have a bank in some form on their share registers. Mortgage Choice also has Commonwealth Bank, AFG has Macquarie; Plan, Fast and Choice are all 100% owned by NAB. Where does it end? The benefit of a big bank having a stake is that it adds further bench strength, which in the wake of Refund Home Loans and others staring down the barrel of red ink, has to be a key consideration. MW: What does the next year hold for Aussie? JS: Customer experience is an absolute focus and it needs to be delivered by the team through more than just Aussie’s key words of ‘safe, smart and special’. We will introduce more quality non-mortgage products and we will communicate our message to the consumer about Aussie through the “It’s Smart to Ask” campaign. We will also be looking at expanding our distribution channels. While we settle one billion dollars in loans every month under the Aussie brand, we’re still looking for acquisitions, including perhaps an aggregator. Don’t be surprised if we build or purchase an aggregator as our unbranded, m in imu m suppor t, wholesale dist ribution chan nel. The majority of the volume written through mortgage brokers is The benefit of a big bank having a stake is that it adds further bench strength, which in the wake of refund home loans and others staring down the barrel of red ink, has to be a key consideration James symond and Mortgage & Finance Brief editor Martin wanl ess in conversation still written through an aggregator and it would be foolish for us to ignore this channel if we want to significantly increase our market share. MW: What about further forward? JS: Aussie only has 5% of the mortgage market place where the big four banks have more than 90%. While we’re proud to be settling just over a $1 billion a month in new residential mortgages, it’s a $20bn-a - month market and we have all the services, products and tools that say we should be doing even better. My team knows that we’re aiming for explosive growth. Why can’t we double the sales team with the very best in the business on our books? Why can’t we triple the volumes while aiming to provide the best customer experience on the planet? Yeah, sure, that sort of growth in particular will have to be achieved through quality acquisition, because we can’t do it in an organic way in this market place. The exciting times are ahead. We’ve just finished chapter one, volume one, of a very big novel, and after 20 years I feel Aussie has only just begun. ••• STuDioCoMMErCiAl
Mortgage and Finance Brief 13
Mortgage and Finance Brief 15