Second tier turns to brokers to double commercial book

by Adam Smith22 May 2012

A second tier has committed to double its commercial portfolio through its broker channel.

ING Direct chief executive Don Koch has said he would like to see the bank's commercial loan portfolio double within the coming three years. The bank's head of broker distribution Mark Woolnough said many brokers remain unaware of the lender's commercial offering.

"Brokers only need the one accreditation with ING Direct to sell both residential and commercial loans, and we utilise the same application form and serviceability calculator as residential lending. So brokers who already deal with ING Direct will see similarities in the process," Woolnough said.

Woolnough said commercial deals between the $250,000 and $2m mark were the lender's natural "sweet spot". He commented that the bank's commercial offering was "set and forget", and that there were no annual reviews for loans under $2m which were performing well.

"This offers a certainty to customers as we know that when some of our competitors review commercial mortgages, it may result in changes to the loan such as the structure, fees and interest rate," he said.

Woolnough encouraged brokers who had typically focused on residential deals to consider diversifying into commercial loans.

"Many brokers don’t realise the commercial possibilities which may exist within their own portfolio and it may be as simple as looking at existing borrowers who are also business owners looking to expand, for example," he said.

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  • by John Robbo 22/05/2012 10:18:24 AM

    I think that it is totally irresponsible for a lender to encourage brokers who have no experience in commercial lending to sell commercial products. There should be two seperate accreditations. Commercial lending & residential lending are two different fields. If ING want brokers to sell their commercial products, then ING should take the time to train & educate these brokers - and not just send them out to flog a product in search of a commission.

  • by ChrisC 22/05/2012 10:34:55 AM

    I would love to use ING for commercial lending (only good for set and forget loans though - nothing else) I have run a few deals by them lately, since they have touted themselves wanting to get more fair dinkum in this space. Deals that are term funding / set and forget (not cash flow funding), fully secured by resi or commercial property and have interest cover of 3-10x BUT they don't understand the basics of a P&L and Balance Sheet and unless the deal is to purchase or refinance a commercial property, deem all else to be "cash flow lending". They clearly don't understand the transaction and they don't include all the addbacks that commercial lenders normally would and therefore they do not assess the true cash and tax positions, so if ING really wants to get into this space, they should really look at their own lending policies and appropriate staff training in order to do so unless ING only needs a very tiny part of the market to double their book or unless they only want to facilitate the Mums and Dads buying a one off commercial property for investment purposes (that's right - 1 off because the TAE ceiling limit does not allow them to buy a 2nd one) and ING calls this commercial finance..... a bit shallow on commitment here ING.

  • by ozboy 23/05/2012 3:10:04 PM

    I think this will be their 3rd or 4th relaunch in this space in the last 10 years. Good luck.