BNZ's back for brokers with trail commission

BNZ will officially return to the mortgage adviser market after controversially leaving it 12 years ago.

Friday, April 10th 2015, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

The bank has confirmed TMM reports that it will start selling its home loans through mortgage advisers.

However, it won’t be working with all advisers from day one. It has reached an agreement with the largest broker group, NZFSG, to offer its products through 100 selected advisers in Auckland and Christchurch from May 18.

NZFSG chief executive Brendon Smith says it’s sensible to start with a smaller group of advisers to ensure the bank’s systems and service levels are appropriate.

Under its staged roll out more NZFSG advisers, which include those under the Loan Market brand, will be added to the distribution network.

Smith acknowledges the staged roll out will be “challenging and frustrating for some of our members.”

However, he says it’s common sense and important to acknowledge BNZ is making a long-term move.

“It’s not a pilot (scheme); it’s a commitment.”

He says if the bank “opened the flood gates it could be a disaster.”

Smith says there is customer demand for BNZ products and the bank has “quite unique products” including its offset product Total Money and Home Advantage.

BNZ director retail banking and marketing Craig Herbison the bank will look to open up its products to other groups in the future.

He says the bank’s decision to re-enter the market is different to the reasons it left more than a decade ago.

He acknowledges third party distribution is growing and becoming more popular with customers.

“If it suits customers’ needs we need to embrace that,” Herbison says.

BNZ estimates between 22% and 25% of loans are originated through advisers. While it doesn’t think it has lost market share by not using advisers, it expects the move to be positive.

He says the adviser channel will be treated in the same way as its branch and mobile manager networks.

BNZ will remunerate advisers with upfront and trial commission. Herbison would not reveal how much the bank will pay or how it compares with Westpac, which reintroduced trail commission last year.

BNZ chief executive Anthony Healy says the bank is “pleased to partner with NZFSG as it shares BNZ’s high standards of customer care, not only when the home loan is written, but over the entire life of the loan.”

Smith says there is a natural alignment between the two businesses. BNZ encourages people to “be good with money” while NZFSG is all about “helping Kiwis achieve their financial dreams.”

“It’s great for BNZ to be back in the market,” Smith says.

Tags: Anthony Healy BNZ Commission NZFSG

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