About Prime Capital
Prime Capital is a leading nonbank commercial-mortgage lender. Prime Capital’s clients are typically SMEs and the self-employed seeking to borrow funds using Australian property as security for their mortgage. Prime Capital has originated and managed more than A$2.5 billion in settlements, receives more than 4,000 applications per year and has 24 staff.
After more than 25 years of operations, across multiple business cycles, Prime Capital has an enviable record of never failing to recover full principal and interest on any loan made. The business is headquartered in Sydney with offices in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Ownership and funding strategy
Prime Capital was founded in 1997 by its current shareholders and remains 100% Australian-owned. The management team, which includes founders, has backgrounds in investment banking, credit underwriting, commercial lending, mortgage broking and securitisation.
In its early years, the business received funding support from Australian industry superannuation funds and European reinsurance companies. In 2017, it transitioned to wholesale warehouse funding and now operates three securitisation programmes. It continues actively to grow its loan book funded by its balance sheet, Austraclear debt and these securitisation programmes.
Since inception, the business has remained solely focused on SME mortgages. Its distribution, servicing and capital-management systems have therefore become highly specialised within this market segment. This has resulted in high-quality service levels for borrowers, brokers and capital providers.
|SIZE OF LOAN BOOK||A$600M|
|MAKEUP OF LOAN BOOK||SME MORTGAGES : 100%|
|GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF LOAN BOOK||AUSTRALIA: 100%|
|OUTSTANDING DEBT ISSUANCE||WAREHOUSES: 100%|
Mortgage applications are originated almost exclusively through the mortgage-broker channel, with more than 1,000 active referring brokers including more than 80% of the Mortgage Professional Australia top 100 mortgage brokers. Prime Capital has also established a white-labelling channel to complement this broker network. Prime Capital retains all credit and underwriting decisions, and credit approvals are conducted through its proprietary credit and screening processes.
Prime Capital works with mortgage brokers to provide mortgage products that are complementary to what they are able to obtain for their clients from major Australian banks. A large group of customers is seeking nonbank solutions for the speed of settlement, and ease of approval and documentation they offer. For more than 25 years, the Prime Capital business has been committed to providing fast, simple loans in this sector.
Prime Capital is also responsible for the day-to-day servicing of the mortgage receivables in its securitisation programmes. Borrowers are required to service loans monthly and enter direct-debit arrangements for these payments. Prime Capital adopts an active approach to arrears management and collection activities.
With the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, there were concerns about borrowers’ abilities to continue servicing loans and the impact of the pandemic on the value of underlying securities. Prime Capital responded to this uncertainty by reviewing credit requirements and actively engaging with borrowers where needed. After an initial small uptick, arrears normalised by the third quarter of 2020 to a range of 1-2% of the book. Prime Capital has also maintained zero losses, despite COVID-19, which is testament to its robust credit policies and strong servicing capabilities.
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nonbank Yearbook 2021
KangaNews's sixth annual guide to the business and funding trends in Australia's nonbank financial-institution sector.