Chifley Securites Q&A (Part 1): Looking back on Chifley’s first year of operation

It has been almost one year since you launched Chifley Securities. How have you performed?

 As a non-bank finance group, we have been exceptionally well-received by the commercial property market. Our first year of operations has exceeded our expectations and we are anticipating that we will have given out $500 million worth of loans by the end of the year. Our lending pool has also grown to a massive $700 million, with our lenders earning average returns of over 11.5% P/A.

Throughout our first year of operation we have given loans ranging from $1.5 million to $36 million to various investors to fund a wide variety of projects.  The clients we have helped have included developers, hotel and gym owners, property investors and retailers.

What impact have you had on the broker market?

Chifley Securities now has 2,000 accredited brokers and has generated more than $2 million in broker’s fees over the last six months. Brokers across the country are also being attracted by our average 1 per cent commission as well as the chance to earn rewards, like travel and holidays. Brokers are also participating in our professional education programs, which offer discounted prices for members of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia.

We are finding more brokers are coming to us as we provide a viable alternative to the banks, who are tightening their lending criteria and simply rejecting customers, especially property developers.

Are you seeing continuing growth in inquiries because of the banks’ tightening of lending?

Definitely. Many of our clients are financially strong and have projects worthy of investment, but have been rejected by the major banks. Banks seem to have identified areas of the country where they simply will not lend anymore. We are filling the void by lending money to the clients that have been abandoned by the banks’ restrictive lending policies. We lend to clients without pre-sales and we also provide bridging finance for those looking to fund new projects.

Banks are also taking far too long to provide bridging or commercial loans, while Chifley can come up with quick cash to resolve short term issues. Unlike banks, we also attribute value to development approvals.