Mutual lender sees increase despite fierce competition

by Julia Corderoy08 Aug 2014
A mutual lender has announced a strong increase in home loan approvals despite aggressive competition between the major banks.

Heritage Bank has increased its loan approvals by 7.5% in the 2013/14 financial year – reaching a total value of $1.440 billion in loans.

“All financial institutions are fighting extremely hard to attract loan customers. Our success in growing both our lending volume and our retail deposits in 2013/14 shows the strength of our brand and our People first promise to customers,” Heritage CEO John Minz said.

Minz also pointed to figures showing the lender's mortgage loan arrears greater than 30 days were a third of the industry standard and impairment losses on loans were down to 27% in the year to June 2014.  

“That achievement speaks volumes about the prudent approach we take to lending and also about the work that we do with customers to make sure they can stay on top of their loan obligations," he said.

Though lending increased, the pre-tax profit for the year ended 30 June 2014 represented a 5.5% decrease on last year’s profit. But excluding the gain on sale of Visa shares in the prior year, the lender's pre-tax profit increased, albeit marginally, by 0.1% this year.

Heritage Chairman Kerry Betros is still confident that this is a good result for the bank. 

“The bottom line is that as a mutual bank, we exist to serve our customers. We do that by providing superior products, at highly competitive rates, and with fantastic personal service."