Non-bank lender aims to double staff

by Calida Smylie12 Mar 2014
Listed building society Wide Bay Australia wants to double its team within the calendar year, according to its strategy head.

Charlton Nevis, general manager of third party and strategic alliances, told Australian Broker the company currently has a team of nine and but he expects over the 2014 calendar year that will increase by another four or five.

The company is actively recruiting through its brokerage contacts and recruitment companies and aims to grow its exposure in Queensland, Victoria, NSW, South and West Australia this year.

Wide Bay shut down its Sydney office last year and relocated its headquarters to Toowong, Brisbane in June because it wants to focus on end-to-end processing, Nevis said.

“Because we are reconstructing all aspects of our processes we felt it was more efficient and would proof-up the control to have the team operating from one place – Queensland. And because technology is so enabling these days, managing national relationships in that respect is very easy.”

Part of Wide Bay’s restructuring involved dealing with criticism from brokers that the documentation it required from brokers to support their applications was too complex and unnecessary.

Nevis said the company examined where they were going wrong and released revised application and supporting documentation checklists in November.

“The checklist now looks like a standard industry one and we’re very much in line with what the mainstream lenders require. The improvements we made were primarily to do with income verifications and supporting documentation requirements.

"We now require less information and supporting documents and provide brokers with choice in what type of information they want to provide to us.”

However, some of the online application portals have not been activated yet because Wide Bay is waiting for software release dates to become available.

These will be activated within the next month and in the meantime brokers should get in touch with Wide Bay through its website, Nevis said.

Wide Bay had a consolidated profit for the six months to the 31 December 2013 of $7.190 million, up from $5.557 million for the corresponding period to 31 December 2012, according to the ASX.

Over the last year Wide Bay has been repositioning its business with a clear strategy, managing director Martin Barrett said last month.

This includes winding down its LMI business, MRM, which stopped creating new business during 2012.

Wide Bay wanted to take a new approach to the broker channel, avoiding the “big pit” of the major bank processes, Barrett said.