Great Southern Bank’s focus on first home buyers pays off

Strong first-half results built on younger customer base

Great Southern Bank’s focus on first home buyers pays off

Australia’s largest customer-owned bank has released its FY23 half-year results, with Great Southern Bank notching up a strong performance including net profit after tax increasing to $31.65 million.

Great Southern Bank also said it had on-boarded 2,000 new mortgage brokers in the six months to December 31, 2022, and 18,945 new customers had joined the bank in that period, up 6.6% on the same period the previous year. 

The bank also issued $1.89 billion in new home loans issued during the first half of the financial year.

Discussing the bank’s first half results, CEO and managing director Paul Lewis (pictured above) said strong lending to first home buyers had been a standout – with Great Southern Bank supporting about 2% of all Australian first-time home buyers.

“In the first half of the year we helped twice as many first home buyers compared to our overall market share,” Lewis said. “Our forward momentum is strong, with December being one of our biggest ever months for issuing home loans.

“The 2,000 new mortgage brokers we’ve onboarded over the past six months have been key to that momentum, with an increasing number of Australians choosing to visit a broker for their home loan.”

Great Southern Bank key first-half FY23 results

  • $1.89bn in new home loans issued
  • 2,000 brokers onboarded
  • Group H1 NPAT rose to $31.65m, with the bank in a strong position to invest in further growth and customer initiatives during H2
  • 18,945 new customers joined the bank in the six months to 31 December 2022, a 6.6% increase

Lewis said in line with its purpose of helping all Australians to own their own home, the bank enjoyed continued strong lending through the government-backed Home Guarantee Scheme.

“During the period the bank helped around 1,350 singles, couples or families to purchase a home through the scheme,” he said.

The strong NPAT result of $31.65m was due to a combination of factors including the financial benefit of bringing forward significant investment costs into the prior financial year, as well as strong cost and margin management. Net Interest Income (NII) for the bank increased to $181.89m.

Faster home loan process and focus on first home buyers

Lewis said customers  also benefitted from other key improvements over the half-year.

These included a reduction in the average time it took to agree a home loan to 4.4 days, with around half of all home loans now agreed within two days. Also, more than $1.9m in customer fraud losses were prevented, while the bank also increased its investment in cybersecurity to protect customer’s accounts and personal information.

“Our successful rebrand is helping us to attract first home buyers and younger customers, with an average age for new customers of 27,” Lewis said.

“More than half of our new customers for the period were under 18, with our competitive youth accounts proving incredibly popular with families. The genuine savings journey we’ve built to guide people from their first job [Goal Saver] through to saving for a home deposit [Home Saver] and eventually, buying their first home, is also supporting younger customers.”

Great Southern Bank also continued to take big steps to address its environmental and social responsibilities and affirm its position as a leading Australian sustainable and ethical bank.

It took the following ESG actions over the past six months:

  • Created over 1,100 payment plans and hardship arrangements to help customers experiencing financial difficulties
  • Completed all the actions from its inaugural Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and is starting work on developing its second RAP
  • Moved headquarters to a 5-Star Green Building in Brisbane, reducing its ongoing energy consumption and helping it progress towards its commitment to net zero emissions by 2040