Specialising in a compassionate approach to lending, Finance One is known for giving people a go when the banks have said no.
“There’s an estimated five million Australians with some type of default on their credit report, ranging from an unpaid utility bill right through to bankruptcy,” says Managing Director of Finance One, Jamie McGeachie.
“Finance One provides opportunities for customers to access finance even where they’ve been excluded from the larger financiers. We take our responsible lending obligations seriously, and we assist potential clients by taking the extra time to consider their current circumstances and whether they’re able to obtain a loan.
“We then walk hand in hand with those customers throughout the repayment process to help them stay on track. If somebody misses a payment, it’s not the end of the world. What’s imperative is that we create a payment plan that’s affordable for them to get them back on track.”
The main way Finance One helps people get back on their feet is through consumer loans to purchase a motor vehicle, although its portfolio has grown to include personal loans and loans to businesses of up to $125,000 subject to certain criteria. Over the past 10 years, the company has grown from two to over 80 staff and from a $350,000 to approximately a $200 million dollar loan book.
“Our average consumer motor vehicle loan is just under $20,000 while our average commercial loan is just under $30,000,” Jamie says.
“Our 14,000 current clients live right across Australia, which is good for the business because we don’t have a concentration of loans in any industry sector or region.”
Jamie has been involved in the finance industry since 1997, lending and collecting money under the banner of several brands — Your Finance Direct, Speedy Finance and City Cash Centre — before launching Finance One as a wholly owned subsidiary of Investors Central Limited in 2010. Rather than relying totally on his own capital, this expansion allowed Jamie to invite investors to join him through Investors Central Limited in offering Finance One as a non-bank lending alternative.
“So, we raised that capital through investors directly, but we did things differently,” Jamie says.
“We ranked those investors first to be paid above ordinary shareholders and we also mandated that we invested the majority of the profits back into the business to protect those investors. Those investors have provided us with the opportunity to compete on a national stage and we’ve built a wonderful rapport with them over a long period of time.”
As the loan book grew slowly but surely from $350,000 to 20 million, to 50, then 100 and now approximately 200 million, Jamie celebrated the milestones with his loyal team.
“Watching Finance One team members develop is what I feel most proud of”
“Watching Finance One team members develop is what I feel most proud of,” Jamie says, whose employees are mainly based in Townsville and have grown to include direct business, customer care and loan support officers through to administration, accounts, analytics and legal and compliance departments.
“It’s all about relationships. It’s the relationship with 80 plus team members who are actively engaged within our organisation. It’s the relationships we’ve got with over 1200 finance brokers across Australia who are promoting our range of products. It’s the relationship with over 500 investors who believe in our company. It’s also the relationship with our close to 14,000 valued clients who have a loan with Finance One.
“Thank you to everyone who has been part of our success — we share this celebration of our 10th year in business with you. We look forward to knocking out another 10!”
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