Mortgage advisers dominate ANZ's new home lending

Mortgage advisers are becoming increasingly dominant in originating home loans as the annual results of the country's largest bank, ANZ Bank New Zealand, demonstrate.

Advisers originated 60% of ANZ's new lending in the year ended Sept 30, up from 56% the previous year, its Australian parent's slides show.

That means half of ANZ's total mortgage book on Sept 30 was originated by brokers, up from 47% the previous year and 43% in the 2021 financial year, with its share of New Zealand home loans remaining steady at 30.4%.

Home loans continue to make up an ever-increasing percentage of ANZ's total lending, reaching 80.2% of total lending on Sept 30, up from 78.3% a year earlier.

Chief executive Antonia Watson said economic conditions were “difficult” but home lending was still up 3% for the year, while business and agri lending fell 2%.

“The slower housing market meant banks were fighting even harder for customers,” Watson said.

That was reflected in net interest margin (NIM) easing seven basis points to 2.6% in the second half of the year, but NIM was down just one basis point from 2.61% in the previous first half.

While the majority of ANZ's home loan customers have moved onto higher interest rates, about 34% are still paying less than 5%, Watson said.

ANZ's one-year rate, currently the most popular fixed term, is currently 7.39% for those with at least a 20% deposit or equity.

Watson said about a third of those still paying less than 5% will roll onto higher rates over the next six months.

Ahead on payments

However, a third of home loan customers are ahead on payments by six months or more.

Watson said the bank offered free, no obligation home loan check-in coversations and more than 12,000 customers took up that offer with many taking follow-up action to manage their financial situation.

“Our message to anyone feeling financial pressure is to get in touch with us earlier rather than later,” she said.

“Working with your bank gives you time and options.”

The bank reported a 7% fall to $2.14 billion in statutory annual net profit for the year ended Sept 30, reflecting hedging losses and a jump in charges for bad debts.

Even with bad debt charges jumping to $183 million from $39 million in the 2022 financial year, the cash result was up 10%.

Watson said wholesale interest rates rose and many New Zealanders moved their savings from call accounts to higher interest-earning term deposits.

Term deposits account for 43.4% of total deposits of $106 billion on Sept 30, up from 36.5% of $104 billion a year earlier.

Total deposits accounted for 80.9% of loans on Sept 30, meaning ANZ had to finance the remaining 19.1% from wholesale funding.

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