Mortgage Choice has revealed its plans to ‘soft-launch’ its financial planning arm in October this year.
Spokesperson Belinda Williamson confirmed to Australian Broker Online the soft launch will initially involve 8-10 franchisees.
Yesterday, CEO Michael Russell told a media conference the company hopes to create a diversified offering between financial planning and mortgage broking.
“We want to be one of Australia’s largest and fastest-growing franchise operations across both models; at least 450 across each model,” he said.
The plans include operating 60 financial planning franchisees by 2015.
“We want to be a diversified financial services and wealth solutions business, where we engage our customers through their channels of choice,” he said.
Mortgage Choice also unveiled its yearly profits at the conference, which showed after-tax cash-based profits drop 5.7%. However, its core business after-tax net profits rose by 0.6%.
It claimed its loan book value reached $45.1bn.
Despite the drop in cash profits, Russell remained positive about the results.
“[We have] delivered, as promised, a strong result in the second half of this financial year across virtually all operating metrics.”
He cited recent reports – showing consumers were starting to abandon bank branches, as well as favour online banking via mobile devices – as an indication brokers could enjoy a larger share of the market before 2015.
“Given that the new breed of banking customers are not going to have that relationship with their bank branch…This is something brokers can look forward to, and might be an opportunity to increase their share [of] home loans to somewhere in the order of 50% in the coming years,” he said.