Funding Partners expands property finance options

'We don't operate in a silo' – Sue Griffiths

Funding Partners expands property finance options

A non-bank funder is shaking up the New Zealand market, offering advisers and their clients a range of residential and commercial property finance solutions.

Sue Griffiths (pictured above), a longstanding figure in the financial services industry, recently joined Funding Partners as their sales and marketing consultant.

Funding Partners operates across the areas of regulated and unregulated residential lending, commercial lending, bridging finance and asset lending. It considers a range of scenarios, including lifestyle properties and vacant land.

The former head of sales NZ at Bluestone is excited about the opportunities that 2024 will bring, including the incoming policy changes for property investors, and said that the close-knit team at Funding Partners was passionate about getting deals done for advisers.

“The feeling out there is really positive: as soon as there’s certainty, people can make financial decisions,” Griffiths said.

Headed up by managing director Evan Barnes, Funding Partners provides a range of finance solutions through a non-bank lender panel, and also offers loan administration services.

Ten funding lines available

Funding Partners’ panel is made up of merchant bankers, investment companies and private funders, including Conrad Funds Management Limited (CFML).

Each member on the panel has their own criteria and policies. Griffiths said this meant that Funding Partners was not confined to a single policy – deals can be considered on individual merit and shopped across different lenders.

“Our lender panel enables us to look at a deal in many different ways and find the best solution for a customer,” Griffiths said.

“Because we have 10 different funding lines, we don’t operate in a silo.”

If a main non-bank funder is unable to approve an application for a particular reason, there are nine others who may view it differently, she said.

The customer has the opportunity to access the best deal the panel can provide, based on their individual financial situation.  Funding is available from one year to 30 years.

Overseas investors part of niche offering

Griffiths said that one of the benefits of working with a range of funders was that its remit went further than simply writing business that fell outside of main bank criteria.

In the unregulated loans space, Griffiths said that Funding Partners had access to private funders with an appetite for “the right deal”.

In other words, it must be considered a “good asset” and have an exit strategy that “makes sense”, she said.

Some of the niche areas that Funding Partners operates in include overseas investors (e.g. people in Singapore, Australia and UK) looking to purchase property in New Zealand, and funding of apartments from 30 square metres, she said.

‘Blended rate’ option provides discount

Confirming that lending is priced according to risk and funder, Griffiths said that the interest rate on owner-occupier residential lending currently starts from 8.7%, or from 10% for commercial lending.

The business has just launched an option whereby a customer who has an owner-occupied property and an investment property is able to receive a special rate, based on the total loan-to-value ratio (LVR).

“We’ll look at the overall LVR and can give them a ‘blended rate’ which makes the investment rate cheaper overall,” Griffiths said.

Advisers are able to add their fee to the loan (usually up to 1%) and there is no clawback, she said.

Griffiths, who has worked in financial services for around 40 years, said that she enjoyed working for a locally grown business that was making waves and increasing the options available in the non-bank lending space.

“For me, the exciting piece is now to take the business to the next level and help advisers and their customers,” she said.

What do you think of the growing options in the non-bank lending space?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below.