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BNZ partners with broker firm amidst mortgage market share fight

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In a bid to boost its market share, Bank of New Zealand has signed up another mortgage broker firm.

After a decade-long break, BNZ has re-entered the broker channel in May last year.

It originally ditched brokers to deal with customers directly in order to save money.

It announced on Monday that it had entered a partnership with Mortgage Express.

It has a network of 430 brokers again, including its initial partner, New Zealand Financial Services Group.

According to the bank’s lending figures, it has lost market share despite re-entering the broker market.

The bank had £14.72 billion of residential home loans on its books at the end of the March 2015 quarter.

That represented a market share of about 15.5 per cent, referenced against Reserve Bank figures for the total market.

By the end of 2015, the bank had about 15.1 per cent market share amounting £15.24 billion of mortgage lending.

Many of the brokers from the NZ Financial Services Group only came on board in February.

Mortgage Express will begin offering BNZ products from the middle of April.

According to Craig Herbison, BNZ director of retail and marketing, progress through the broker channel had “exceeded all expectations”.

He said, the volume of applications coming in was “fantastic”, and BNZ’s own broker hub team had more than tripled to keep up with demand.

Kiwibank is also understood to have gone back into the broker market with the launching of a small pilot scheme late last year.

The state-owned bank did not comment immediately.

Borrowers are at advantage with brokers as they are able to compare lending rates and often negotiate a cheaper deal than those advertised.

Mortgage Express general manager Sarah Johnston termed adding BNZ to its panel of lenders a significant boost.

“Our customers are asking for more options and the sharpest rates and BNZ has a strong role to play in those conversations.”

BNZ was the last of the major banks to pass on some of this month’s cut in the official cash rate to mortgage-holders.

The bank dropped its standard floating rates by 10 basis points, less than half the Reserve Bank’s 25 basis point movement.

The Co-operative Bank was the only bank to pass on the rate cut in full.

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Paul

The author Paul