Ex-Volt exec joins newly branded Aussie lendtech Nano
Nano Home Loans, a newly branded lendtech formerly known as Verteva, has landed a new chief product officer (CPO) from Volt Bank.
Shaun Lordan served as Volt’s head of payments and partnerships for three years. Volt landed Australia’s first restricted banking licence in May 2018.
“It’s not every day you start a bank,” says Lordan in a LinkedIn post announcing his departure.
His move to Nano coincides with the fintech’s emergence out of stealth. “I am proud to announce that we wrote our first home loan in October 2020,” says Lordan.
What is Nano?
Nano is led by Andrew Walker and Chris Lumby, who co-founded the fintech towards the end of their tenures at Westpac.
Walker headed up strategy at Westpac, before leading the revamp of BT Financial Group, Westpac’s wealth management arm which it acquired back in 2002.
Lumby managed super funds at Westpac, before heading up bank wealth distribution and transformation alongside Walker.
Their Sydney-based secured AUD 33 million ($21.4 million) in Series A funding back in May under the name Verteva. Prior to this capital raise, the co-founders had self-funded the venture.
Targeting the low-risk end of the market, Nano wants to use pre-existing data to deliver its loans. That’s instead of relying on mortgage brokers and branches, which make up the paper-heavy, face-to-face mortgage market of today.
“Where the data exists, we’re essentially going to use that data, rather than ask the customer to go and try to find it, or make a guess,” Walker told Smart Company in May.
“It’s more accurate, and allows us to create a much better experience, and removes the need for people to meet physically.”
Australia’s home loan market
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, S&P Global released a report on Australia’s housing market and residential mortgage-backed securities in November 2019.
It predicted steady performance in market, due to years of stable employment conditions underpinning strong collateral performance and lower interest rates suggesting market stabilisation.
But in March 2020, major Australian banks introduced a blanket six-month pause on home loan repayments.
Last month, ABC News reported on Australian Banking Association (ABA) figures. They showed almost half of Australia’s deferred home loans are being repaid.
In June, almost 500,000 home loans held with major banks were on a “pause”. But by the beginning of October, this number was closer to 270,000.
Australia’s largest bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), experienced similar increases in repayments. Deferred home loans fell from 210,000 in June, to 129,000 in October, representing a 48% drop.
But despite the market picking back up, some consumers don’t feel like they’re getting the best deal. ABC News reported that one home loan owner was offered an interest only loan with smaller repayments, but meant interest jumped from 3.58% to 5.42%.
“I told them, that’s just not on,” he says. “It seems to me to be profiteering.”
This discontent with options offered by incumbents following the pause on loans sets an opportunistic backdrop for a newcomer like Nano to enter Australia’s mortgage market.