Fujitsu raises spectre of aggregator share

by Adam Smith30 Mar 2012

Fujitsu director Martin North has suggested some top players are losing share to intermediate-sized aggregators, a claim AFG has previously refuted.

AFG executive director Kevin Matthews last week rubbished MISC data claiming that some of the nation's top aggregators were losing share. However, North has echoed the MISC claims, saying intermediate-sized aggregators are skimming off a few of the leading aggregators.

“Up until about six months ago, the top two or three aggregators were growing significantly larger than anyone else. For the last six months, we’ve seen those growth rates come back a bit and we’ve seen some intermediate sized aggregators stepping in to fill their shoes and grow greater volumes,” he said.

North claimed a potential reason for the shift was a consumer move away from the major banks.

“The smaller aggregators are sourcing more loans from the second tiers. Big aggregators are becoming more and more aligned to the majors, but because we’ve seen some resurgence in the tier twos and some of the non-banks, they tend to be more aligned to the intermediate sized aggregators,” he said.

North pointed to changing homeowner demographics and a rise in first homebuyers, saying this meant greater consumer appetite for loan products which could fall outside the scope of the majors. He said many of these products were a more common domain of intermediate sized aggregators.

“I suppose some of the business being written now is a little different than the business being written six months ago. There are higher first homebuyer enquiries, and there’s a little bit of evidence of some of the non-banks starting to think about low documentation and no documentation loans, because everyone’s desperate to find some sort of a growth lever. Some of those products sort of come from the smaller sized aggregators,” North said.

North said he could not reveal the specifics behind the aggregator numbers, or which companies supposedly lost share. MISC data was similarly anonymous, leading Matthews to question its accuracy. Matthews said AFG did not supply MISC with data, nor did several of the major banks.

Matthews pointed to ABS data as proof AFG's market share was increasing, and suggested that the market's other large competitors - including NAB-owned FAST, Choice and PLAN, as well as Connective - would not be losing share either.