NZFSG excited by adviser channel growth

NZFSG and Loan Market's Brian Greer said advisers benefited from a "phenomenal surge" in mortgage business last year, and believes the sector is on the brink of its biggest opportunity in decades.

Wednesday, March 10th 2021, 8:49AM

At NZFSG's latest conference, Greer said the group posted a 68% increase in mortgage business in the back half of 2020, year-on-year. 

He said "Covid was largely responsible" for the rise in third party broker business in NZ.

Advisers benefited as "banks struggled to service consumers face to face in this environment", with lenders under pressure with staff shortages.

"They [the banks] have taken the opportunity to accelerate what was already part of the plan, to reduce branch footprint and service clients digitally."

"Post-Covid, criteria also became a lot tougher," he added. "The outcome of that is that a business that was absolutely flying, the [group's] mortgage business, has gone off the stratosphere. A 68% increase in the back half of 2020, compared to the back half of 2019."

"In December 2020, we helped one in three Kiwis into their homes," he said.

Greer told executives that the FSLAA regime, which comes into effect on Monday, marks the biggest opportunity for the sector in decades. 

"I have been in the market since 2003, and I have never seen an opportunity as huge as this now," he told members. 

"The new regulation is just going to give consumers more confidence to embrace this channel." he said.

"The barrier to entry has been lifted, and that's good. It gives us and our business partners confidence," he later added.

Greer said that adviser businesses may face difficulties dealing with volume as the sector experiences huge growth, "but you should be feeling really happy about that challenge".

He promised members that the group was "working hard to put extra resources and processes in place" for the new regime. 

Greer said insurance business fell 18% in the second half of last year, compared with the year before, due to stricter underwriting criteria, and a decline in face to face business during the pandemic.

The chief executive predicted that the new licensing regime would lead to mortgage and insurance advisers becoming specialised in one field.

"With the change in the regulatory environment, many advisers that were dual discipline will no longer be ... With an increase in workflow, I think more [dual] advisers will become pure specialists."

But he said insurance advisers that continued to do both would benefit from the opportunities in the mortgage sector.

"With a huge inflow of production in the third party mortgage space, those mortgage advisers are going to need assistance, If I was an insurance adviser, I know what I'd be doing. Product providers tell us that the biggest catalyst for cover is debt," he added.

Tags: FSLAA Loan Market Mortgage Advisers new regime NZFSG

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