Non-bank lender Pepper Money has officially launched in New Zealand, and will be offering three new home loan products in the growing alternative lending space.
Pepper has received final regulatory approval to operate in New Zealand, and will draw on the expertise of its lending operations in Ireland, the UK, Spain and Asia. It will offer prime, near-prime and specialist loans, and will deal primarily through mortgage advisers.
New Zealand-born Aaron Milburn will be heading the branch after having served as director of sales and distribution for Pepper Money in Australia for the last three years. Milburn says the lender will be targeting customers from diverse financial backgrounds, and will look to service those who do not fit mainstream lending criteria.
“Right now, Pepper is focused on working with advisers, who already have a great reputation in New Zealand for working closely with their customers,” Milburn told NZ Adviser.
“Some of their customers who might be interested in Pepper products may simply be looking for an alternative lender to a bank, and some may not meet traditional bank criteria and require assistance to find the right loan. Many Kiwis have issues with mainstream loan criteria for completely understandable reasons; they might be new permanent residents to New Zealand, require debt consolidation or help with traditional documentation, or they might have had a few late payment issues in the past. Pepper’s team can help advisers work with their customers to find the best possible solution for their situation and get them on their way to securing their new property.”
Milburn says Pepper’s strong technology platform will help it tailor mortgages to each borrower’s unique circumstances, and it has secured a warehouse funding facility with one of its existing banking partners.
It will provide floating and 2-3 year fixed rates, with its floating rates starting from 5.27%.
Commenting on the launch, Pepper Group Australia CEO Mario Rehayem said: “Our expansion into New Zealand is a mark of confidence in Pepper’s business model and our ability to execute on strategic growth initiatives. The New Zealand arm of Pepper will embrace the local culture, whilst staying true to the DNA of Pepper’s renowned global credit proposition - putting the borrower first.”