The Australian Finance Group (AFG) has reported a record year in the recruitment of high performance brokers with more than 2,800 active brokers currently working with the aggregator.
“Our aim from day one remains unchanged; to grow our business in order to grow our brokers’ businesses and we expect recruitment to remain strong,” said managing director Brett McKeon when delivering the group’s half yearly financial results last Friday (24 February).
In HY2017, AFG reported a 34% increase in loan settlements within AFG Home Loans (AFGHL), boosting the division’s loan book by 44% to $4.6bn.
Across the group as a whole, residential settlements held steady at $17.6bn while commercial settlements increased by 5% to $1.5bn. This puts the combined residential and commercial loan book at $127bn.
“Importantly our AFGHL book now stands at $4.6bn which together with strong settlements has helped deliver a profit before tax for the AFG Home Loans business of $4.8m up 97% from HY16,” said McKeon.
“AFG’s overall residential loan book grew from $114.7 to $120.7bn in the six months to December 2016 and continued to underpin cash flows and future growth for the group.”
The firm’s residential portfolio was particularly strong in Victoria and Queensland, offset by weak economic conditions in Western Australia, he said.
“Recent changes to lending criteria together with some ongoing concerns around supply appear to have impacted the New South Wales market however we are seeing some signs of ongoing growth in recent numbers post the end of the calendar year.”
McKeon said that the growing market share of mortgage brokers in the market indicated a high level of consumer comfort with the competition and the choice that this model provided.
“We expect this trend to continue as an increasing number of consumers recognise that a mortgage broker is in the unique position of being able to provide a comprehensive view of the alternatives available across lenders and products.”
“We support our brokers with cutting edge technology, systems, learning and development and new digital solutions to make it easier to deliver choice to our brokers and consumers.”
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