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State’s financiers winning big

WA licensed insurer St Andrew’s, in partnership with Royal & SunAlliance, has won the contract to provide a range of insurance services to IMB.

St Andrew’s managing director and WA Business News 40under40 winner John Van Der Wielen said the deal had been won out of WA.

Indeed it is not the first major win for the loan insurance underwriter.

Since it was formed to supply loan insurance products to BankWest, the company has won business with the Bank of Queensland, RACV Finance, BMW Financial Services and Rams Homebuilding Society.

Mr Van Der Wielen said there was a growing national market for insurance products offered by banks.

“In the US and Europe banks hold about 80 per cent of the insurance market,” he said.

“They aggressively sell you insurance products on top of homeloans.

“In Australia banks are capturing an estimated 20 per cent of new insurance business, and that’s growing.

“Between Royal Sun Alliance and ourselves we’re processing 4,000 new policies each month – and that’s not even scratching the surface of its potential.”

Mr Van Der Wielen said St Andrew’s was also in negotiation with a couple of Australia’s big-four banks, even though they had their own insurance arms.

In other finance news WA’s largest debtor finance company has completed a capital raising with Allied Capital Group founder Gary Pearce to fund its national expansion.

Benchmark recently opened a Melbourne office and intends expanding into other States.

Benchmark managing director Peter Langham said Benchmark’s growth prospects had been aided by its bank-backed competitors centralising their back office processing and account servicing to the eastern states.

“Benchmark’s philosophy is to always service its clients from the State in which the client operates, which gives us a direct advantage over our main competitors,” Mr Langham said.

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