Bank expands focus from home loans

by Madison Utley31 Oct 2019

A non-major bank has announced plans to drill down on its business banking division in a concerted move away from the housing loans currently dominating its portfolio.

Heritage Bank’s balance sheet is currently more than 95% reliant on housing loans.

According to chairman Kerry Betros, the institution aims to triple the size of its business banking portfolio over the next three years in a process that will include revamping everything from product offerings to distribution channels –  helping to bring greater diversification to Heritage.

“We currently have a relatively small business banking division, which specialises in looking after the needs of SMEs in south-east Queensland,” said Betros.

“We’ll maintain that focus on the SME sector, but we want to expand our reach and open up the Heritage experience to more small businesses.”

The new strategy has the bank prepared to move into the business broker area, as well as looking to secure a greater proportion of lending outside of Queensland.

As part of this effort, Heritage has today, 31 October, opened its first branch outside Queensland at Castle Hill in Sydney and will open a second at Parramatta in December. The bank has further plans to open more branches in western Sydney, as well as in Melbourne.

“We’ve built up an existing client base outside Queensland through our mortgage broker partnerships over the last 20 years,” Betros said

“By establishing physical branches in Sydney and Melbourne, our aim is to build that client base in those areas and ensure a higher proportion of our lending comes from outside Queensland.”