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PLAN New Zealand Answers Mortgage Brokers' Call

2 September 2002

PLAN New Zealand Answers Mortgage Brokers' Call For Professional Standards

New Zealand's newest wholesale mortgage broker, PLAN New Zealand, says New Zealand's mortgage broking industry is ready to adopt a more professional approach to mortgage broking, in line with international trends.

PLAN New Zealand commenced operations in April, attracting a foundation membership of over 30 independent mortgage brokers. PLAN New Zealand expects to be among the largest wholesale brokers in New Zealand by the end of the year. Auckland-based PLAN New Zealand is a wholly owned subsidiary of PLAN Australia, which has over 800 independent mortgage broker members writing in excess of $500 million in home loans each month.

The founder and Managing Director of PLAN New Zealand and PLAN Australia, Mr Alex Moulieris, says the factors driving the success of PLAN New Zealand are identical to those experienced in Australia: a growing commitment to professionalism by mortgage brokers, greater emphasis on quality of service, and a demand for business administration tools.

"As more consumers turn to mortgage brokers for their home loan needs, there is a growing recognition that mortgage brokers must conduct themselves in a professional, systematic and ethical manner. This is the experience overseas, particularly in the United States where the market is well advanced, and New Zealand mortgage brokers are telling us these considerations are becoming a priority here," Mr Moulieris says.

"PLAN New Zealand is reflecting this demand, but we believe that in the short time we have been in this market we are also proving a catalyst for greater professional and service standards."

PLAN New Zealand provides its members with an integrated software solution that includes a mortgage sales application system, customer relationship management software, a loan product database, research tools, and a commission administration system.

The PLAN New Zealand software has been customised and enhanced for local market conditions from PLAN Australia's proven suite of mortgage sales and administration software, which has been developed over the past four years at a cost of more than $A2million.

"PLAN New Zealand is uniquely placed to deliver highly specialised, leading edge software to its members at a reasonable cost because of the considerable in-house expertise and research dollars invested by PLAN over a four-year period," Mr Moulieris says.

"The challenge facing our competitors in the New Zealand market will be how they develop cost-effective mortgage sales software without the scale benefits that PLAN enjoys."

In addition to leading edge software and back-end support, PLAN New Zealand members have access to over 150 mortgage products from the country's leading lenders. PLAN New Zealand's lender panel includes: ANZ, AMP Banking, ASB, BNZ, HSBC, National Bank of New Zealand, Sovereign Home Loans, Westpac Trust, and non-conforming lending specialist Liberty Financial.

PLAN New Zealand members download daily any changes to rates or conditions of loan products. Through PLAN's state-of-the-art software they can compare features of various products, systematically establish which products best suit their clients' needs, and print out various graphs and reports to support their advice to clients.

Further technical advances developed by PLAN New Zealand will allow brokers to lodge some home loan applications directly to lenders online, speeding up the approval process.

"The key to the continuing growth of the mortgage broking industry is the extent to which mortgage brokers can increase their ability to quickly and efficiently match borrowers with the best loan products available and substantiate their advice," Mr Moulieris says.

"The industry will grow by increasing the professionalism of mortgage brokers and helping them take the hassles out of the home loan process. Our leading edge software enables our members to do just that."

Mr Moulieris says a key advantage of the PLAN offering is that member brokers retain their independence and remain in control of their business.

"We provide the tools and the support to help brokers run their business effectively, to service their customers better and to grow their business, but it remains their business," he says.

"Technologically, the New Zealand mortgage broker industry is at a stage similar to where Australia was when PLAN Australia was formed in 1999. Brokers were struggling with the same systems issues. We feel strongly that our systems will help the New Zealand market advance and so far we have been welcomed by both the lenders and the brokers."

For further information, please contact:
Alex Moulieris
Managing Director
PLAN New Zealand
Freecall 0800 752 669

Leo D'Angelo Fisher
Fleishman-Hillard Stratcom
Tel +61 3 9521 4566


Editor's Note: The Managing Director of PLAN New Zealand, Alex Moulieris, will attend the New Zealand Mortgage Brokers Association's annual conference at the Millennium Hotel Rotorua on 19-21 September 2002 and will be available for interview. For further information about PLAN New Zealand, visit our website at www.plannz.co.nz. Demo CDs and information kits are available for the media. Please contact Julie Stevens, Business Development Manager, PLAN New Zealand, on Freecall 0800 752 669 or julies @ plannz.co.nz.


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