Tamsyn Parker

Money Editor for NZ Herald

Kiwibank in home loan push

Photo / Dean Purcell
Photo / Dean Purcell

A home loan subsidiary business of Kiwibank is making a push into Auckland and wants to double its share of the market in two years.

New Zealand Home Loans, a franchise lending business which is 75 per cent owned by Kiwibank, wants to double its franchisees from 15 to 30 in Auckland.

The business was set up in the Waikato 15 years ago and has 59 franchisees throughout the country with around $3.6 billion in loans - just under 2 per cent of the New Zealand market.

Kiwibank bought into the business in 2006 and will complete its takeover of the company in July.

New Zealand Home Loans chief executive Mark Collins said Kiwibank had a reasonably weak foothold in Auckland and expanding through its subsidiary was a cheaper way to grow the business as there was no need to set up branches.

"It's easier and more cost effective for us to expand."

The company has built its business through word of mouth and targets middle-income earners with the aim of providing a plan to reduce debt levels.

It brokers home lending with both Kiwibank and Sovereign and also sells insurance.

Despite competitive conditions Collins said its lending was up 40 per cent on last year and it was at present pulling in about a third of Kiwibank's new home lending.

The company specialises in refinancing existing loans although about a third of its business was also first-home buyers.

Collins believed its focus on helping clients to reduce debt was proving attractive in the present climate.

"The Government's rhetoric and a focus on debt has driven the public to focus on this."

Collins said the message to reduce debt was also getting through as the company had noticed a significant reduction in people wanting to increase their mortgage debt to buy a car or pay for a holiday.

"Our top-ups are 50 per cent down on the year before."

- NZ Herald

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