Non-bank lender secures $1.7bn in funding

by Miklos Bolza17 Mar 2017
Non-bank lender Firstmac has completed a $1.7bn RMBS transaction with an overseas bank, solving a funding crisis which led founder Kim Cannon to formally search for investors in 2016.

The search aimed at locating a “cornerstone investor” who could act as “big brother” for the lender. This new influx of capital will end the “brakes-on/brakes-off” lending cycle that Firstmac had been forced to adopt due to its funding constraints, Cannon said.

“Firstmac can now fund as many loans as we can write, subject to our lending criteria, so our focus is on growing as fast as possible by offering the best deals and services to our broker network.

The lender is currently accelerating its growth by recruiting new BDMs and by offering extremely competitive rates, Cannon told Australian Broker.

“This is already showing results, with a record number of applications from brokers in recent weeks. With all of the changes in the market, brokers are looking for genuine alternatives outside the majors.”

January saw Firstmac achieve its best month for new business since mid-2015. The lender currently offers a two-week settlement guarantee extended to 31 March and has recently launched a new online accreditation system which allows brokers to request, train and then gain access to Firstmac’s full broker site within 10 minutes.

A new broker who has never dealt with Firstmac previously can use the system to gain accreditation and then settle their first loan within two weeks.

The lender also completed a full refresh of its corporate and broker websites to make them easier to use and navigate.

“We have upgraded our website so it is a one-stop-shop for brokers. They can get accredited on the site and once they are accredited, they can track all their applications online,” Cannon said.

“The new site includes all our forms, calculators, and policy documents, and a new resource section that has all our communications. It includes a new webinar series and all of our broker emails so brokers can easily review our latest initiatives and points of difference.”

Since being established, Firstmac has written more than 100,000 home loans and manages around $8bn in mortgages as well as $250m in cash investments.

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