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Great Southern Bank helps more Australians into homes through record lending

19 September 2022

  • Customer focus drives record new lending of $5.28 billion, up 58 per cent
  • Home loan balance growth at 1.6 times the average for the financial system
  • Retail deposits increased 6 per cent to $11.94 billion
  • Total assets for the Bank of $21.31 billion1
  • The total number of active customers rose to 382,012
  • Customer satisfaction (NPS) ended the year around three times higher than any of the big four

Australia’s largest customer-owned bank, Great Southern Bank, has helped more than 20,500 customers to buy a home over the past year, issuing a record $5.28 billion in new loans in its first year since rebranding to a bank. The strong lending result for the 12 months to 30 June 2022 reinforces the bank’s purpose to help all Australians to own their own home.

The bank’s loan book passed $15 billion, with Great Southern Bank’s home loan growth significantly outpacing the sector average at around 1.6 times system. The bank’s continued focus on helping Australians find alternative pathways to home ownership includes participating in the Australian Government’s Home Guarantee Scheme. Lending to first homebuyers or single parents with at least one dependent using government homebuyer schemes saw a 40 per cent increase on the previous year.

The ADI recorded a Net Profit after Tax (NPAT) of $140.1 million2, with the Group recording an NPAT of $70.5 million. These results reflect the sale of the Health insurance subsidiary for $154.8 million. The proceeds from the sale leave the bank in a strong capital position, which will be invested in growth opportunities that enable the bank to scale and strengthen its offer to customers.

Operating costs were up by 11.5 per cent, primarily driven by strategic investments in technology systems and software, fulfilling regulatory compliance obligations as well as supporting higher home loan growth. A number of major investments and projects were completed including a transformational home loan origination system, Open Banking , the cloud migration of key technology infrastructure, and a new transaction monitoring system.

The bank’s CEO and Managing Director Paul Lewis said the activities in the past year had enabled the organisation to strengthen its focus on the banking business and its customers, with partnerships key to enabling the bank to grow.

“This was the year when we really began to reap the benefits of the investments we’ve made in our technology, infrastructure and people,” Mr Lewis said.

“These substantive investments, particularly in our home lending systems, have significantly reduced our time to decide on an application - for almost half of our applications, it’s now under 48 hours. We expect the foundations and systems we’ve put in place will be a key enabler for growth over the years to come.”

The bank also doubled the number of brokers in its network to 5,100 brokers through the addition of three aggregators in recent months – SFG, Loan Market and Lendi Group. Brokers contributed around 70 per cent of all home lending over the 12-month period, in line with the increasing consumer preference towards the broker channel.

“Our strong growth has been made possible by our absolute commitment and focus on our purpose to help all Australians own their own home,” Mr Lewis said.

Against a backdrop of high house prices and rising interest rates, we are continuing to help more Australians find alternative paths to home ownership, including first home buyers and single parents who may have historically found it difficult to get on to the property ladder.

“We are well on the way towards our aspiration of doubling our size and capacity through either organic or inorganic growth, becoming an even stronger alternative to the major banks. And the proceeds from our CUA Health sale provides us with capital to explore future growth or partnering opportunities.”

Customer deposits increased 6 per cent over the year to $11.94 billion, with two new products helping customers on the savings journey from childhood through to buying a home.

The growth in home lending and deposits coincided with the first full year of Great Southern Bank’s new brand and its three-year growth strategy. The average age of new customers continued to trend downwards to 27 years, demonstrating success in attracting a new generation of homebuyers to customer-owned banking. Customer satisfaction, reflected in the banks’ Net Promoter Score, ended the year three times higher than the big four banks.

The outstanding value provided by the bank’s products – particularly its home loans and savings accounts – recently earned the bank the title of Canstar’s Customer-Owned Bank of the Year . The bank’s brand campaign ‘Happily Clever After’ is also a finalist in five categories of marketing awards ‘The Effies’, which recognise the effectiveness and outcomes of marketing activities.

Committed to customers and our culture

The bank took some of the biggest steps in its 75-year history in addressing its Indigenous and environmental responsibilities, launching its first Reconciliation Action Plan and publishing its first Climate Action Plan with a commitment to reach net zero by 2040. This work builds on the bank becoming carbon neutral in the 2021 financial year.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank has received double the usual number of applications for financial assistance, with more than 2,600 applications over the past year. Around $200 million in financial assistance was agreed, with COVID-19 and natural disaster claims making up around a third of the overall amount. The bank also implemented a pilot with Uniting Care to provide additional support to customers experiencing financial vulnerability, including independent financial counselling, support for incidents of family violence and help accessing government services.

Media contact:

Michael O’Toole
Manager, Corporate Communications
Mobile: 0428 051 754

1Includes $3.4 billion internal investments in Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (RMBS)

2Includes the sale of CUA Health