Connective records strong lending growth for 2023

Residential applications up 5%, asset finance settlements rose 18%

Connective records strong lending growth for 2023

Connective, one of the largest broker aggregators in Australia, has just released its 2023 calendar year financial results, showing residential loan applications rose 5% and particularly strong growth in asset finance settlements, up 18% to $3.95 billion.

The aggregator delivered $111.5bn in residential applications in 2023, a 5% lift on 2022.  Connective’s asset finance membership grew 34% in 2023 and members’ asset finance settlements reached $3.95bn – an 18% increase year-on-year.

Commercial settlements were strong in 2023, reaching $10.9bn, with the fourth quarter the strongest, reaching $3.3bn in settlements.

In total, loan settlements across residential, commercial and asset finance showed a slight increase on the prior year, to $94.8bn in 2023, up from $94.3bn.

Connective CEO Glenn Lees (pictured above) said delivering consistent growth in a year of economic volatility, sustained rate hikes, and rising inflation was “a testament to the skill of Connective’s members and their dedication to their clients”.

“In what was a challenging year for many reasons, our members continued their focus on delivering outstanding outcomes for their clients,” Lees said. “The Connective team can be proud of the support they have provided our members over the past year – and the role they have played in our members’ growth and success.”

Connective’s residential lending results for 2023

Lees said the lending environment became increasingly complex in 2023, as Australians felt the pinch of rising interest rates and tougher loan affordability.

However, against this backdrop, residential settlements for Connective brokers held steady in 2023 following a substantial period of growth observed in recent years.

“Early signs in 2024 are showing strong growth in application numbers against 2023,” said Lees.

“January and February applications are up 15% on the prior year. We expect this will flow on to settlements in 2024 as demand for brokers grows. Brokers continue to be increasingly important to borrowers who seek assistance in helping them navigate the complexity of a competitive and rapidly evolving economic lending landscape.”

Lees said the year ahead looked encouraging.

“Our members are telling us that borrowers are keen to discuss opportunities to return to the property market in preparation for expected potential rate cuts later in the year. Brokers will continue to play a pivotal role in sharing knowledge and informing clients.”

2023 asset lending results – Connective

The number of Connective broker members working in asset finance grew 34%, with settlements growing 18%.

The aggregator welcomed six new additions in 2023 to its lender panel – Azora, Salt & Lime, Grenke, Alex Bank, Moneytech, and MoneyMe Autopay.

Lees said in combination with innovative technology advancements coming soon, Connective expected to see the same strong growth in 2024.

“The calibre of our team and our Connective members is what drives their success,” he said.

“We increased our on-the-ground broker support team by 11 people in 2023. We continue to refine and focus on the industry leading support we provide our members. We continue to invest in technology to make sure our members can continue to provide the assistance that Australian borrowers value so much.”

2023 commercial lending results – Connective

Commercial lending settlements reached $10.9bn, with November standing out as the strongest performing month for Connective members with over $1.18bn in settlements.

“We’re proud to have the largest share of commercial brokers and commercial lending in the market at over 30%, both in broker numbers and settlement volume,” Lees said.

“The strong growth in brokers in the commercial lending space reflects the increasing shift in how business customers are looking to source finance. We look forward to continuing to provide industry leading support to our commercial lending focused members in 2024.”

Meantime, Connective research contained its report The Broker Effect: Why Borrowers Choose Brokers,  revealed the top three reasons motivating customers to choose brokers to help them with home loans.

They include brokers helping to improve the financial literacy of clients; brokers are regarded as trusted advisers who play a highly consultative role; and brokers and technology co-exist to form a powerful partnership.

What areas of lending do you think will be strongest for brokers in 2024? Comment below