Property and commercial lender Thinktank is celebrating after posting $1 billion in settled loans in the last financial year.
That number is over a third up on the previous FY and represents a vindication of Thinktank’s strategy of moving away from solely SME and commercial lending and into the residential space.
“Considering the ever-present factor over the past 12 months has been the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it continues to intermittently have on economic, business and social activity, this is an outstanding result,” said CEO Jonathan Street.
“It speaks to the continually evolving nature of Thinktank as a business and our genuine focus on building trusted and enduring relationships across all of our broker, aggregator and institutional stakeholders and partners.”
“We have continued to consistently grow our originations as a result and our distribution relationships continue to expand, both in terms of size and effect.”
The results would come as a surprise to anyone who had seen the marketplace and economy at the beginning of the financial year, when Australia was still recovering from the first wave of the pandemic.
“I think it’s fair to say that 12 months ago as the grip of Covid was tightening and with borrower hardship support at elevated levels, none of us genuinely believed $1 billion was a likely prospect,” said Street.
“And yet, while commercial lending activity initially fell by around 50%, it was more than compensated by the pick-up in residential and SMSF lending.”
“It is also fair to say that the performance of the residential market, especially when reflecting back on commentary at the time, has surprised just about everyone.”
“While the commercial property market generally has recovered well in the time since, individual market segments such as industrial have remained solid throughout and significantly exceeded expectations on the upside.”
“Although the re-introduction of widespread lockdowns does produce renewed challenges for borrowers, businesses, lenders and property markets, we remain confident about the outlook for period ahead and anticipate another record year.”
“Lender competition is particularly strong which is great for borrowers and brokers, while interest rates are now likely to remain at their lows for longer. The impacts of Covid will abate in time and that is expected to unlock a sustained period of strength in employment, the economy and in property markets.”