Broking leader sets sights on the bush

One national broking firm is expanding out to regional Australia to help break bank loyalty in these areas

Broking leader sets sights on the bush



Mortgage broker Loan Market is growing its footprint and setting up a rural loan broking business which it hopes will break the “blind loyalty” regional borrowers have for banks.

The firm, which is owned by real estate giant Ray White, has 500 brokers across the country. It settled $8.4bn of loans during the 2017 financial year.

Martin Pentecost has been appointed to head up the rural expansion.

“Farmers' loyalty is costing them,” Pentecost told the Australian Financial Review. “We want to upset the status quo where some farmers are borrowing at over 6% when they shouldn’t be.”

Typically, farmers rely on a private banker with many families using the same bank for generations. This can cost tens of thousands of dollars annually in interest, he said.

“It is blind loyalty.”

Loan Market will initially target areas such as Bathurst, Yass and Tamworth in NSW and Emerald and Rockhampton in Queensland where locals have experienced certain issues with the banks.

“Many banks are closing branches and really the banks' level of service has been dropping in the regional areas,” Pentecost said.

With the rate of deals being done, the new rural broking arm could bring in more than $200m in loans by the end of 2017, he added.

Peter Camphin, Queensland state director for Loan Market, told Australian Broker that the move was made following the lead of Ray White Rural.

“One of our ultimate aims is that every Ray White Rural and Livestock agent has access to a rural finance broker to satisfy customer needs.”

The company will also be seeking new brokers experienced in the rural lending space to join Loan Market’s growing team across Australia, he said.

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