APRA’s sabre-rattling about investment lending has certainly had its desired effect on banks. Lenders have pulled back significantly on their investment lending, with some raising rates and lowering LVRs and some pulling out of the market altogether. But while the warnings over investment lending may have been greeted with gloom and doom by banks, Liberty national sales manager John Mohnacheff said non-banks have been its beneficiaries.
“APRA was certainly very kind to us. It is wonderful for non-banks,” he said.
And the boon to non-banks hasn’t just come in the form of increased investor activity, Mohnacheff said.
“The interesting thing about it though is that it’s made a lot of brokers consider doing business outside the big four, and though we’ve seen an increase in activity on the investor side, it hasn’t been all investors,” he said.
As brokers seek a new home for investment clients, Mohnacheff said non-banks are moving to front-of-mind for a broad array of consumers.
“I think brokers are starting to say, ‘There’s an opportunity out there for me to explore alternative lenders’. We’re getting a wonderful spread of business. We’re getting a flow-on of good prime business, and a lot more custom business flowing from that as well,” Mohnacheff said. “Brokers that have never used us in years are suddenly going, ‘Liberty? Why not?’ We’re no longer being perceived as a lender of last resort.”
The non-bank has also seen a windfall from the recent MPA Brokers on Non-bank survey, Mohnacheff said. Liberty topped the list of non-banks recommended by brokers, and Mohnacheff said the award has given the lender reputational capital in the third-party space.
“That has helped create the picture that Liberty is a good alternative to the majors.”