Special banking offer rewards advisers

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A specialist bank is developing products targeted specifically at financial advisers including the ability to borrow up to 90% on a home loan with no lender’s mortgage.

Investec Bank is fast-expanding its offering to financial advisers, after recruiting a specialist adviser services team.

Last month Wealth Professional reported that the bank was offering advisers two-year fixed home loan packages at 4.65% per annum (comparison rate 4.79%) and 4.79% for variable rate loans (comparison rate 4.84%).

But head of adviser services Gareth Bird has told Wealth Professional that the home loan packages were just a small part of a much broader drive to build up the adviser side of the business.

Investec has been offering specialist packages to the medical community since 2006, and accountants since 2009.

But because many of these professionals were clients of financial advisers, it made sense to expand into that sector as well.

Bird said the bank has built up enough understanding to position itself to offer advisers a personalised banking solution.

“There was a lot of support in the adviser community because they are quite connected with the medical and accounting community. It wasn’t as if we jumped into the engineering sector,” he said.

As well as preferential home loan offerings, products available to advisers include comprehensive credit and debit cards.

Those advisers using the premium level credit card will receive one Qantas frequent flyer point per dollar spent, as well as international flight lounge access. This doubles when using the card overseas.

As an extra bonus, the bank has incorporated the benefits of the card with other Investec transactions.

Some of the home loan offers, for example, can be processed through the credit card in order to harness the relevant points. Transactions of vehicles leased through Investec can also be organised this way.

Bird said it’s unique because advisers are typically used to talking to providers in terms of their clients – but this is something just for them.

“We want to re-position that to say, ‘this is actually for you’. For us that’s been the interesting part of this strategy,” he said.

And although not the core focus of Investec, advisers can attain some of the benefits for their clients too, especially if they are in the medical or accounting profession.

Looking to the future Bird said Investec is keeping an eye on the business finance space, especially in respect of all the recent industry changes.

“We don’t have a mandate or infrastructure for that at the moment – it’s still just personal banking – but it’s something we’re looking at,” he said.

And Investec’s future is about to get a whole lot larger: Its parent company, Investec Holdings, has entered into a definitive agreement with Bank of Queensland (BoQ) to sell its professional finance
business, which includes its deposits business, and its asset finance and leasing businesses in Australia.

Wealth Professional’s sister publication Australian Broker reported last month that BoQ has already managed to raise $183 million through an entitlement offer to acquire Investec Bank’s sizeable assets.
The bank was the successful bidder on Investec’s $2.4 billion loan book, professional finance and asset finance portfolios.

BoQ will pay $440 million all up and aims to raise $400 million of capital by August.

“They are a very established second tier bank with far more infrastructure than Investec, so it’s exciting,” said Bird. “The transaction has been agreed but not completed, so until then we still very much [operate under the name] Investec.”

CEO Ciaran Whelan said Investec Group remains committed to the Australian market, and is in a good position to concentrate on its specialist niches in order to demonstrate its distinctive approach.

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