Propsa plans extra NZ funding

SME non-bank lender Prospa plans to bring in a "senior funder" to grow its New Zealand loan book, after recording a 37% increase in loan originations in the six months to December.

The lender, led in NZ by former Resimac general manager Adrienne Church, originated loans worth $306.8 million in Australia and New Zealand over the half year period, according to results announced today. 

Prospa has made no secret of plans to expand in New Zealand. The company established a $45 million funding warehouse in the second half of last year, and will look to bring a "senior funder" on board "as the New Zealand business scales", it said.

Revenue increased to $75.6 million over the period, driven by "strong loan originations in Australia and New Zealand," the company said.

Prospa reported underlying earnings of $4.3 million in the six month period, ahead of expectations, the company said. Total loan originations have now surpassed $1.4 billion, across 26,900 small businesses in Australia and New Zealand. 

The results come as Prospa continues its charm offensive in New Zealand. The company wants to build its business through the broker channel, and believes advisers can develop their business by taking on SME clients.

Beau Bertoli joint CEO of Prospa, said: "Our network of over ten thousand partners is vital to what we do at Prospa and enables us to reach and support so many small businesses across a wide range of industries. Our strong customer and loan originations growth reinforces the demand for fast access to funding, and the exciting opportunities for advisers in the small business lending space."

In an exclusive interview with TMM Online last month, Bertoli predicted the SME lending sector could be worth about $4 billion.

Bertoli said advisers have a key role to play in helping small businesses secure finance: "We think it could be a $4 billion market. This industry is in its infancy. For those advisers thinking about diversifying their revenue, there's never been a better time to jump into a new asset class."

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