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Sentinel forced to shuffle

Sentinel, market leader in the home equity release in New Zealand, has become the latest lender forced to reorganise its business as conditions in the housing and mortgage markets deteriorate.

Tuesday, April 15th 2008, 4:00PM

by Maria Scott

Vaughan Underwood, chief executive of Sentinel, said there had been job losses as the business prepared for a period when demand for its equity release loans was likely to be reduced.

He anticipated that the slowdown in the housing market would deter potential customers in Sentinel's target market, of older homeowners, from borrowing against the value of their properties. It was appropriate for the company to adjust its cost base.

Sentinel was also discussing its funding arrangements with lending partner Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). Sentinel had originally planned to sell loans drawn from a "warehouse" of funds from CBA through securitisation but was reviewing its arrangements because of the difficulties in the securitisation market. The discussions were proceeding comfortably but Sentinel needed to review its likely funding requirements and to take a prudent approach.

The home equity release lender has also recently embarked on a capital-raising programme to fund expansion overseas. Underwood said the business required capital to develop its overseas business but would proceed on a "slightly different footing" to what had originally been envisaged. Shareholders were supportive.

Interest rates on the company's equity release loans had increased and while borrowers did not feel immediate impact, because interest was rolled up, it was prudent to review the business. He said that the New Zealand business, where Sentinel had a 75% market share, was not a million miles from being cash flow positive.

Underwood said he was confident about the future of Sentinel and the likely demand for equity release products.

The company's moves follow major changes at competitor Bluestone. The Australia-based specialist lender is maintaining its equity release business in New Zealand although it has effectively stopped lending in the other areas of the mortgage market.

Vaughan Underwood will be profiled in the next issue of the NZ Mortgage Mag.

« Home loan report: Relative calm restored for nowHome loan report: They're off again »

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Mortgage Rates Table

Full Rates Table | Compare Rates

Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA 4.55 2.55 2.69 2.79
ANZ 4.44 3.15 3.25 3.39
ANZ Special - 2.55 2.69 2.79
ASB Bank 4.45 2.55 2.69 2.79
Bluestone 3.49 3.49 3.49 3.49
BNZ - Classic - 2.55 2.69 2.79
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.15 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 4.60 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 4.55 3.15 3.29 3.39
BNZ - TotalMoney 4.55 - - -
CFML Loans 4.95 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
China Construction Bank 4.49 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 2.65 2.65 2.80
Credit Union Auckland 5.45 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
Credit Union South 5.65 3.95 3.85 -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 2.95 3.45 -
Heartland 3.95 2.89 2.97 3.39
Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 4.99 3.85 3.95 -
HSBC Premier 4.49 2.45 2.60 2.65
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 3.69 2.45 2.65 2.79
Kainga Ora 4.43 2.93 3.07 3.24
Kiwibank 3.40 3.30 3.54 3.54
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40 - - -
Kiwibank Special 3.40 2.55 2.79 2.79
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Nelson Building Society 4.95 3.45 3.49 -
Pepper Essential 4.79 - - -
Resimac 3.39 3.35 2.99 3.35
SBS Bank 4.54 3.05 3.19 3.25
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
SBS Bank Special - 2.55 2.69 2.75
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40 2.55 2.69 2.79
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40 3.05 3.19 3.29
TSB Bank 5.34 3.29 3.45 3.59
TSB Special 4.54 2.49 2.65 2.79
Wairarapa Building Society 4.99 3.55 3.49 -
Westpac 4.59 3.15 3.29 3.39
Westpac - Offset 4.59 - - -
Westpac Special - 2.55 2.69 2.79
Median 4.55 3.00 3.13 3.02

Last updated: 21 September 2020 10:48am

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