Brokers support charities with trail commissions

Helping others could also win over customers

Brokers support charities with trail commissions



Two brokers who are donating 10% of their trail commissions to causes of their choosing say they want to make a difference first but that the approach could also help win over customers.

Loan Lounge director Nathaniel Truong (pictured above left) and Pink Finance director Nicole Cannon (pictured above right), both based in Sydney, have built business models that include donating 10% of their trails to charities.

Truong’s business supports charities dedicated to ending human trafficking, while Cannon has been a long-time supporter of breast cancer support and awareness charity the McGrath Foundation.

Truong said he was shocked to learn about human trafficking when attending a leadership conference presentation in London in 2012 – and it sparked a commitment to do something about if he could.

“From when Loan Lounge started in 2015, the aim was to donate 10% of trail income to fight human trafficking, with an aim to eventually grow that to $1 million per annum over time,” he said. “We started at $2 a month, and we’re now at over $4000 a month.”

“We hope to do this with our business and if we can inspire other businesses that is great. We want to support reaching and rescuing as many people as we can and restoring their lives as well.”

Pink Finance has been one of the McGrath Foundation’s longest-serving corporate partners, and has donated over $100,000 towards its efforts to support breast care nurses and raise awareness.

“It has always been a personal passion of mine, I think it’s an absolute honour to put my love of community, finance work and cricket and morph them all together into one,” Cannon says.

Giving back resonates with more customers

Truong said Loan Lounge has not really advertised or marketed its fundraising efforts to stop human trafficking, but usually informs its clients at the loan documentation stage.

“They are generally excited, but I would say their first need is be provided with the loan, to buy property, to move into a home or to create wealth. So it’s more of an added benefit,” he said.

“Customers need their primary need filled first. If they don’t have any urgency, they might consider other aspects of what we do, but it may be they just want to get a loan as quickly as possible.”

Truong said while he wanted to just “walk the walk” in the first seven years and prove the giving model can work, the business is now beginning to do some marketing around that point of difference.

“I think most brokers provide a good service and process loans very well, so if we can provide this added difference, then why would clients not want to partner with us?” Truong said.

He points to McCrindle research that has suggested one of the top eight trends to watch in 2023 is “virtuous consumerism, where consumers approach buying with a multi-sided approach.

While price was important, McCrindle found ‘the bottom line wasn’t just about the bottom line’, and included sustainability, supporting small and local business and environmental impact.

Cannon has found more and more clients coming to her looking at things beyond just pure transactional details, which included being more discerning about the lenders they choose.

“I have a lot of clients, more and more now, coming to me saying they want more ethical lenders. They are becoming conscious of their choice of lenders and decisions they make day to day,” she said.

“Being mindful of community and the environment is certainly on the radar for more and more people, and I would say that is even more pronounced in younger generations.”

Cannon said that having a giving model does appeal to customers in the current climate.

“The world has gone a bit crazy, right? People want to see it’s not just about the numbers, that it’s not a sausage factory process where you go through the motions, you settle and that’s it,” she said.

“If they can see there’s a company that cares, that’s with them along the way to doing that loan, as well as doing something for the community, I would say it definitely does come across well.”

Truong said just like any finance broker he was very focused on the profitability of his business, and  broking can be highly profitable if businesses were run in smart and efficient ways.

However after seven years, Truong believes that a “triple bottom line” people-planet-profit model of business can work, and if “everyone does their part it can make a big difference.”

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