Non-bank lender hits new milestone

by Julia Corderoy05 Sep 2014
Non-bank lender, Pepper has hit a new milestone, recently employing its 1,000th employee. The lender says its success and growth can be boiled down to two simple, albeit important, things: a common sense approach to lending and taking the time to listen to the market.

Earlier this year the specialist lender ventured out, extending its product range to include prime mortgage products. This decision came off the back of broker and consumer demand. 

“Brokers were searching for a product that had the same aspects of our service that we delivered in our specialist program, but in a prime product.” Mario Rehayem, director of sales and distribution at Pepper told Australian Broker.

The broker channel currently represents almost 95% of Pepper’s total origination. Rehayem said the broker channel will always remain a sole focus for the lender, and its success has been driven by its commitment to the channel. 

“We have been lucky to experience a lot of success each time we release a new product or feature into the market, and the main people to thank for that are the broker groups and customer focus groups we form before we launch any type of products. At the end of the day, if there is no broker or consumer demand for what we are about to launch, then we wouldn’t expect it to take off. It is crazy not to take the time to listen to what your market want.”

Rehayem also attributes the lender’s growth to its company culture aimed at providing clarity and keeping things simple.

“Pepper is dedicated to and known for providing a common sense approach to its underwriting. Every deal is manually assessed with this ‘common sense’ approach. That’s why our new prime product has really taken off this year, and why our specialist products continue to do so well.

“We have proved that not only in the specialist world, but also in the prime world, that a common sense approach works and is needed more in the industry,” he said.

Looking to the future, Pepper is focused on keeping the growth momentum going. Rehayem hinted at some further expansionary ventures that will be announced over the coming months.

Pepper has also announced it would like to award every client that settles a near-prime or specialist home loan with Pepper up to an 85% LVR with a $1,000 cash back into the new loan. Applications must be submitted by 17 October.