New merger will see mutual increase broker market share

by Julia Corderoy22 Jan 2015
Teachers Mutual Bank’s merger with Western Australian credit society, Unicredit will see the lender increase their broker market share, says the bank’s chief executive. 

Teacher’s Mutual entered the broker distribution channel in November 2013 and currently has a broker base of 800 brokers. Steve James, the bank’s chief executive, told Australian Broker that they are hoping to more than double this on the back of the merger.

“Certainly with Unicredit coming on board we are looking to increase the numbers and expand our relationships with the broker market. Our target for the end of June is to grow our broker base to 1,000. By the end of the next financial year, in June 2016, we hope to grow it to 2,000.”

To handle this growth, James says they have already begun increasing support staff and are working on further technology updates to help brokers.

“We have already hired more support staff in the last couple of months in Queensland and Victoria. Going forward, we see ourselves as a national Teachers Mutual Bank and we certainly have plans to increase our support further as our usage of brokers nationwide increases.

“We are also working with our software providers, Ultradata, at the moment to increase efficiencies for our brokers. At the moment there is a bit of double handling and re-keying when loans come in, but the updates will see information directly inputted into our mainframe computer system. It will certainly make it easier for brokers and easier for decision making internally, so we will be able to get back to brokers quicker with approvals.”

James says moving into the broker distribution channel has been a huge success for the mutual bank and has even helped them increase efficiencies in other parts of the business.

“We are learning a lot from the broker network that we are using in our direct channels. We’ve been able to speed up approval times and streamline processes within our direct channels – through learning from brokers and servicing the broker channel. It has really aided all our lending within the bank,” James told Australian Broker.

Unicredit is a member owned credit society which offers a full range of banking products and services for the Western Australian tertiary and post-secondary education sector. 

The credit society has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Teachers Mutual Bank to work together on developing a mutually acceptable merger proposal. The proposal is expected to be put to members in the first half of this year after due diligence and regulatory approval from APRA.