Banxrobber aims to capture mortgage refinancing
Mortgagenet principal Kieran Trass has branched out into the mortgage refinancing segment of the market with the attention-grabbing brand name Banxrobber.
Thursday, August 2nd 2001, 3:44PM
by Jenny Ruth
Reserve Bank will only let properly certified organisations use
the word "bank" in their names, it has approved his
use of Banxrobber.
Trass' new business is based on a website of the same name which uses a 1930 's bank robbing and safe cracking theme, a theme which will be repeated in marketing.
Initially that will be on Auckland taxis and radio station Classic Hits from this weekend and in cinemas from November. "I could've called it ABC Mortgages and no one would care. We think Banxrobber's got the potential to become a household name," Trass says.
"To make ourselves loud, we had to go for a name that was powerful, that captures what we do and makes people curious," he says.
Trass reckons the mortgage refinancing market has been neglected. It isn't small. He estimates about 65,000 mortgages or about 15% of New Zealand's total mortgage book are refinanced every years.
How Banxrobber works is that potential clients screen themselves using a calculator on the website to find out whether the eight mortgage brokers so far signed up to provide the service can save them money by refinancing their loans. The eight brokers are based in Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton and several in Auckland.
Trass says he may expand the service's reach but wants to stick to major population centres, at least for now. It aims to help in two ways: by providing a cheaper interest rate but the borrower continues to pay the mortgage off as if the rate was higher.
Trass says that currently, while 7.7% is the standard floating mortgage rate offered in the market at present, Banxrobber can offer 7.3%. By maintaining repayments as if the rate was 7.7%, borrowers can save $30,000 over a 20 year mortgage, he says.
Banxrobber can access 20 different bank and non-bank lenders as well as lending directly through an Australia-based wholesale lender. Trass says he' s contractually bound not to name the wholesaler but can say it has more than $A5 billion in assets under management and has a "AAA" Standard & Poor's credit rating.
All mortgages will be processed through
the processing business, Mortgage Processing Ltd, which Trass started
earlier this year to take care of the
administrative side of establishing mortgages such as credit and information checks, valuations and liaison with the mortgage lender.
The Banxrobber service is free to potential
customers with the only requirement being that they provide their
email addresses to add to Trass'
database. He stresses that he doesn't sell his email list to third parties but uses it for sending out his newsletters. Mortgagenet currently has 3,200 newsletter subscribers, he says.
Trass is the first to admit that Banxrobber
can't help everyone. But if it can't help you, it may still entertain.
One part of the site is devoted to
"bizarre robber stories."
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