Kiwibank to double number of advisers

Kiwibank is accelerating its push into the mortgage adviser market, aiming to double the number of firms it deals with in the next year.

Chief executive Steve Jurkovich says the bank had signed up more than 80 firms in the past year bringing the total number to 250.

He has tasked his team with tripling that annual sign up number in the next year which will double the number of firms it deals with.

While the bank has been late to third party distribution the bank is determined to support the channel.

“We do really support that adviser model,” Jurkovich says. “It’s really clear to me more and more customers are choosing the support and expertise they get from advisers.”

He says the trend is driven by customer choice.

Kiwibank is a lender advisers and customers want partly due to its rebranding, New Zealand ownership and its B Corp certification.

“The idea we are owned by New Zealand makes it attractive for people to consider us.”

Currently between 30 to 40% of home loan originations are coming through advisers and that channel has grown “disportortionally”.

Jurkovich says its mobile mortgage manager channel “grew strongly” over the year and New Zealand Home Loans “has grown nicely.”

The bank’s disclosure statement shows NZHL received commissions from the banking group totalling $26.0 million up slightly from $25.4 million in the previous year.

He says there are fewer people coming into branches and the existing customer base tend to be doing top ups.

Jurkovich expects the adviser channel to keep growing and that it will deliver close to 50% of all originations by the end of this current financial year.

He says the bank is “100% committed to third party,” and won’t be like other banks who “come and go a little bit.”

Some of the big banks, he says, “still have a belief they can win proprietary (branch distribution)."

Advisers tell him some of the big banks “drift in and out” of resourcing their adviser models.

Kiwibank will be “really consistent and (get its) resourcing right,” he says.

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