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Wizard Home Loans targets North Shore borrowers

Media release April 18, 2001

Wizard Home Loans targets North Shore borrowers

Home buyers or mortgage holders looking to re-finance on Auckland’s North Shore now have the benefit of Australia’s leading non bank lender in the heart of Takapuna.

Wizard Home Loans has secured John Lloyd, a senior banking and insurance figure in Auckland, to run its Lake Road branch.

The Takapuna branch is Wizard’s fourth in Auckland since it launched last August. A fifth outlet, in Auckland central, will open in the coming weeks.

Wizard’s impact in the national lending market has been evident in falling rates as banks cut margins to compete with an emerging non bank sector.

In Australia, in a little over two years, the Kerry Packer-backed Wizard has captured around 5% of the home lending market, and now has 82 branches in three states, after opening its first branch in New South Wales at the beginning of 1998.

Wizard is a leading Internet lender and has launched to compliment its growing network of branches in New Lynn, Papatoetoe, Pakuranga and North Shore.

John Lloyd’s move to Wizard epitomises the company’s strategy of engaging experienced lenders that understand the mortgage game and can take the fight to the established lenders.

Lloyd has worked in senior positions at the BNZ and NZI Group. He is an experienced banker and lender with extensive portfolio management experience.

He is also a trustee of one of Auckland’s major rugby clubs, a Junior section delegate to the Auckland Rugby Union and an active supporter of local education and sport.

Wizard branches are all owner operated, offering Wizard lending products. Wizard is a mortgage lender, not a mortgage broker. It creates its own lending products at low cost, offered through the Internet and its expanding network of branches.

Wizard Home Loans executive chairman Mark Bouris said Wizard was delighted that Lloyd has decided to come aboard.

“We work hard to attract senior lenders with skills and experience,” he said. “John’s background and ability mean North Shore borrowers have got a very skilled operator right on the high street working with Wizard’s customer-friendly portfolio of products.”

Mr Bouris said that Wizard now had branches in North, West, South and East Auckland and had recently signed a manager for an Auckland central branch. Discussions were continuing in Wellington and Christchurch and were close to completion.

He said that Wizard was opening branches while banks were closing them.

“We know people want branches, as well as Internet services,” he said. “They work well together, but you need a skilled local manager that you can talk to and go to see when you need to.”

Wizard has lead down the interest rates in the New Zealand market, offering a floating rate of 7.84, around 40 points below the major lenders.

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