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Top broker stickler for detail

Meet the inaugural Mortgage Broker of the Year.

Thursday, October 25th 2001, 7:18PM

by Jenny Ruth

The banks didn’t nominate Hamilton-based Wayne Oliver as mortgage broker of the year for his ingratiating qualities. Far from it.

One banker laughs as she says: "You don’t easily decline Wayne’s deals. He’s a very strong advocate for his clients."

Alan Hewitt, who until recently was a regional manager with ASB Bank, says he had quite a bit to do with Oliver in that role. "My role at ASB was dealing with anything that became a problem," Hewitt explains. Whenever an ASB branch manager turned any Oliver client down for a loan, Oliver was very soon arguing the case with Hewitt.

"In dealing with banks he’s quite aggressive. He usually gets what he wants for his customers," Hewitt says.

Oliver calls it "going that extra mile on tough applications."

Sometimes bank policies are biased or just plain wrong, he says. He doesn’t claim it as his victory, but ASB Bank recently changed its policy of demanding a minimum deposit of $20,000 before it would advance a mortgage.

"That’s all very well in Auckland, but in Hamiliton you can buy a house for $140,000. Why can’t they put up 10% or less?" Oliver says. Now they can.

One fight he hasn’t won – yet, some would say – is WestpacTrust’s policy of demanding people borrowing more than $100,000 earn 4% more income than is required for smaller loans. Oliver’s argument is that people’s everyday living expenses don’t go up just because they borrow more.

The mortgage market might be very competitive in some senses, but in other ways the banks can be very "pedantic," Oliver says.

Like the client he had the other day who wanted to buy a rundown house with a 10% deposit but who had set aside money to do the house up. One bank insisted on a 20% deposit unless the house was brought up to scratch first. Oliver didn’t win that one either, but he did find another bank prepared to lend on his client’s terms.

"Pedantic," "meticulous" and "thorough" are adjectives people routinely apply to Oliver and are qualities which do endear him to the banks.

"He’s a broker that provides all the necessary information up front. There’s no need to revert back to him for further information. It’s all been provided up front," says Craig Spargo, broker relationship manager at Bank of New Zealand.

Hewitt says Oliver’s mortgage applications on behalf of his clients are the best he’s seen from any broker. And while he does stick up for his customers, "he’s very selective. He doesn’t take on rubbish or tell fibs," he says

"He dots the Is and crosses the Ts," Hewitt says.

The way Oliver tells it, Hewitt had a lot to do with creating those qualities. Hewitt hired him to work for Allied Mortgage Guarantee back in 1979. Oliver stayed in that job 10 years, eventually taking over Hewitt’s job.

Hewitt was "a man who was just a stickler for detail, absolute detail," Oliver says. "He was a hard boss to work under, probably one of the hardest I’ve worked for." But that’s the best kind of boss in Oliver’s opinion.

Hewitt was "a tough task master, but you learn lots from those sorts of people. It was a bit like having a personal trainer."

Oliver had previously worked for Waikato Savings Bank and Trust Bank and after he left Allied Mortgage Guarantee he joined Countrywide Bank as a mobile mortgage manager. He set up as a mortgage broker in mid-1996.

"He’s been in the lending business so long, he knows exactly what’s what. That’s a major advantage," says one banker.

BNZ’s Spargo is particularly appreciative that Oliver judges each bank’s products on their merits

"He puts the customer’s needs as paramount, but he’s also an advocate for the bank in situations where he feel’s the bank’s products are best suited to his clients," Spargo says.

"He’s not totally cost driven and will direct the client to the best possible solution to their particular situation."

BNZ is most mortgage brokers’ least favourite bank, largely because although BNZ offers all its standard mortgage products for sale through brokers, it won’t allow them access to its special deals or customer loyalty programs.

"There’s a lot of negativity out there," which has made it uphill work for BNZ to attract more business through the mortgage broker network, Spargo says.

Many brokers aren’t above using BNZ in ways such as getting a loan approval from the bank to allow a client to make an offer on a house but then shopping around other banks to get a better deal.

"We’ve got many examples of it, that we’re used by brokers. With Wayne it’s genuine. If he submits an application with you that he’s going to draw down with you," Spargo says.

Oliver, 53, didn’t set out to be a banker and then a mortgage broker. He and his four siblings grew up on a Morrinsville farm where their parents share milked for their grandparents. It was only when their father became ill when Oliver was 15 that the family moved to Hamilton.

And then at age 17 Oliver had a hankering to become a radio technician. Only they wouldn’t take on trainees until they were 18, so Oliver got a job with the Waikato Savings Bank, and the rest is history.

His success in winning the mortgage broker of the year award hasn’t been without its costs.

About 18 months into running his own business, Oliver’s marriage broke up. "The demands of the job are that you spend a lot of time in the evenings with clients. I was out three or four nights a week," he says. Oliver says much of his success can be laid at the feet of his 27 year old daughter, Mel (pictured), who started working with him two and a half years ago.

"She got my business operational from an administrative point of view. Her computer knowledge and skills are excellent -- to be quite honest, my technology skills aren’t good."

Mel says it hasn’t always been easy working for her father but that over time they’ve developed a good rapport and respect for each other. "He’s got a lot of faith in me. Sometimes that unnerves me a bit," she says.

Oliver winning the award "is an absolute highlight of my working here. I’m so proud of him."

Her father’s attention to detail is legendary within the family and he’s sure to notice every little spelling mistake on a loan application, Mel says.

"He was once told perfection equals frustration. We have him on about it. It’s quite a hoot at times."

Mel gets a kick out of being the business’s paymaster, especially now.

"Dad did ask me if he was getting a pay rise after the award. He might do. I like to keep that one close to my hat."

« Top mortgage broker supports regulationTo wrap or not to wrap? »

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Mortgage Rates Table

Full Rates Table | Compare Rates

Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA - Back My Build 6.19 - - -
AIA - Go Home Loans 8.74 7.24 ▼6.75 6.65
ANZ 8.64 7.84 7.39 7.25
ANZ Blueprint to Build 7.39 - - -
ANZ Good Energy - - - 1.00
ANZ Special - 7.24 6.79 6.65
ASB Bank 8.64 7.24 ▼6.75 6.65
ASB Better Homes Top Up - - - 1.00
Avanti Finance 9.15 - - -
Basecorp Finance 9.60 - - -
Bluestone 9.24 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - Classic - 7.24 6.79 6.65
BNZ - Green Home Loan top-ups - - - 1.00
BNZ - Mortgage One 8.69 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 8.69 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 8.69 7.84 7.39 7.25
BNZ - TotalMoney 8.69 - - -
CFML Loans 9.45 - - -
China Construction Bank - 7.09 6.75 6.49
China Construction Bank Special - - - -
Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 7.04 - -
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 8.40 7.24 6.79 6.65
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Co-operative Bank - Standard 8.40 7.74 7.29 7.15
Credit Union Auckland 7.70 - - -
First Credit Union Special - 7.45 7.35 -
First Credit Union Standard 8.50 7.99 7.85 -
Heartland Bank - Online 7.99 6.69 6.45 6.19
Heartland Bank - Reverse Mortgage - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 8.90 7.60 7.40 -
HSBC Premier 8.59 - - -
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 7.85 7.05 6.75 6.59
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Kainga Ora 8.64 7.79 7.39 7.25
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - - - -
Kiwibank 8.50 8.25 7.79 7.55
Kiwibank - Offset 8.50 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 7.25 6.79 6.65
Liberty 8.59 8.69 8.79 8.94
Nelson Building Society 9.00 7.75 7.35 -
Pepper Money Advantage 10.49 - - -
Pepper Money Easy 8.69 - - -
Pepper Money Essential 8.29 - - -
Resimac - LVR < 80% 8.84 8.09 7.59 7.29
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Resimac - LVR < 90% 9.84 9.09 8.59 8.29
Resimac - Specialist Clear (Alt Doc) - - 8.99 -
Resimac - Specialist Clear (Full Doc) - - 9.49 -
SBS Bank 8.74 7.84 7.45 7.25
SBS Bank Special - 7.24 6.85 6.65
SBS Construction lending for FHB - - - -
SBS FirstHome Combo 6.19 6.74 - -
SBS FirstHome Combo - - - -
SBS Unwind reverse equity 9.95 - - -
Select Home Loans 9.24 - - -
TSB Bank 9.44 8.04 7.55 7.45
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
TSB Special 8.64 7.24 6.75 6.65
Unity 8.64 6.99 6.79 -
Unity First Home Buyer special - - 6.45 -
Wairarapa Building Society 8.60 6.95 6.85 -
Westpac 8.64 7.89 7.35 7.25
Westpac Choices Everyday 8.74 - - -
Westpac Offset 8.64 - - -
Westpac Special - 7.29 6.75 6.65
Median 8.64 7.29 7.32 6.65

Last updated: 8 April 2024 9:21am

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