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Wizard Network Widens

May 27 2002

New Zealand’s leading non-bank lender, Wizard Home Loans, continued its steady expansion this week with the opening of a branch in Tauranga.

This is the eleventh for the New Zealand market since it first opened its doors in September 2000. There are now five branches in Auckland and one each in Hamilton, Palmerston North, Napier, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Executive Chairman, Mark Bouris, says the aggressive branch rollout in New Zealand parallels Wizard’s fast-track development in Australia where it opened its first branch in January, 1998, and now has 120 branches in four states.

“Wizard’s rapid growth has come from delivering both personal, community-based service and very low interest rate loans,” he says. “In New Zealand its key floating rate product is 46 basis points below the major banks.”

The company’s latest entry into Tauranga comes at a time when the property market is booming, with the city among the fastest growing in the country. Branch owners, Max Hughes and Graham Ward say Wizard Home Loans will fill a gap in the market, as there are few lending options outside the major banks.

“People are looking for alternatives and Wizard has proven itself as a viable option. Personal service is the key – customers deal directly with us, the people who own the business,” says Max.

Wizard Home Loans is currently Australia’s sixth-largest writer of new mortgages. The company is not a mortgage broker, but a ‘mortgage originator’ – it creates its own Wizard-branded loan products financed by its mortgage securitisation company.

Wizard is backed by Kerry Packer’s PBL Group along with international investors managed by Deutsche Asset Management. It has twice been voted the Best Non-Bank Financial Institution by Australian Banking and Finance


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