Co-operative exploits temporary window to grow low equity mortgages
The Co-operative Bank's mortgage book grew by about the same as it market share in the June quarter, largely because of a jump in low equity lending.
Friday, August 31st 2012, 9:39AM
by Jenny Ruth
The former PSIS' June quarter disclosure statement shows it grew its mortgage book by $14.9 million to $1.12 billion in the three months ended June with mortgages with loan-to-valuation ratios (LVRs) above 90% accounting for $8.85 million of that growth.
The bulk of the rest of the growth, $5.77 million, came from mortgages with LVRs below 80%.
If the Reserve Bank figures prove to be a reliable proxy for the numbers in banks' quarterly disclosure statements, that kept Co-operative's market share steady at 0.64%.
Chief executive Bruce McLachlan says his bank saw a temporary "window of opportunity" in the low equity space. "There was a part of the market that wasn't being serviced very well because everyone had cranked down over the last couple of years on high LVR lending," McLachlan says.
Most of this lending was to people with high incomes with "really good payment records" with the bank.
Co-operative's high LVR mortgages were also quite small relative to the overall book, he says. Even after the June quarter surge, the plus-90% LVR part of the book accounted for 5.5% of the total.
However, the bank won't be growing this part of its book so fast in future, McLachlan says.
Co-operative's net profit in the three months jumped 74.4% to $2.3 million, partly reflecting costs of becoming a bank borne in the year-earlier quarter - it gained its banking licence on October 26 last year - and a jump in fees and other income.
Net interest income fell a smidgeon to $9.8 million. McLachlan says that reflects some shrinkage in the bank's higher margin motor vehicle lending, something which has reversed in the current quarter.
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