CEO on rise to status as second-largest non-bank in NZ

"It's not by accident," he insists

CEO on rise to status as second-largest non-bank in NZ

Avanti Finance has been named as the second-largest non-bank in New Zealand in KPMG’s annual non-bank review.

The lender was naturally delighted with the news, with CEO Mark Mountcastle (pictured) paying tribute to the hard work that had moved their market share upwards.

“We’re delighted,” he said. “It’s not by accident, it’s come about through a fair bit of hard work.”

“We’ve plugged away hard at providing products that customers want in the way that they want them, and where we’ve got to suggests that we’ve hit the market pretty well.”

Mountcastle said that the advisor channel had been vital to the success of Avanti Finance.

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“Advisors are looking for two things,” he said. “They’re looking for the best deal for their customers, which means that the customer is getting well served from a product suitability perspective, and then they’re looking for a service proposition that enables the customer to do what they want to do when they want to do it.”

“The gap in pricing between non-banks and banks has closed, which means that there are more realistic alternatives for more people, and certainly from a service proposition point of view, the response of the non-banks is generally better than the banks for a variety of reasons.

“From where we stand, that’s something that we’ve worked tirelessly on for the last year in keeping up our service proposition.

“Versus other non-banks, what we have concentrated on is being an introducer-led business, with mortgage advisors, car dealers and personal loan brokers. What we’ve focussed on is increasing our offering to those introducers.

“By making ourselves more relevant across a variety of product offerings, we capture a bigger share of their business and that relevance helps us to be first call on the speed dial and first email for the opportunities that come across their desk.

“We’ve worked hard on the breadth of offering in all sectors that we play in, and the rest of it is a credit to the team who respond to those applications.

“They’re a well skilled and talented team of people who work tirelessly to craft a solution out of our product set for whatever it is that they are presented with.”

Success in the broker channel

Mountcastle added that the key to success in the broker channel was being able to be relied on when it came to credit decisioning.

“We don’t tend to have a binary approach, we’ll try to work with it for anything that is in our risk appetite that we can offer,” he said.

“The certainty of a response is also what has stood us apart over the last five years. We’re an inherently conservative organisation, so we’ve been able to be consistent in what we offer.

“Brokers know where we play, they know what we do and, more importantly, what we don’t do.

“From a fintech point of view, a pure digital play is speed-based: if you’re putting a proposition in the hands of a customer, it really is a customer experience point of view that is predicated on speed.

“Because we have an introducer who presents the transaction to us, it’s not so much about pure speed as it is consistency of speed.

“If the expectation within a sector is that we will get a response back within a 30-minute window, provided we can deliver within that window consistently, broker expectations are met.

“For us, it’s more about consistently and efficiently delivering that outcome on an ongoing and repeated basis.”