MoneyMe’s loan portfolio reached $1.4 billion, up more than four times since the fourth quarter of last year and up 8% from the third quarter. This is still tiny compared to the global personal loan market, estimated at 70 billion dollars, of which the big banks hold around 80% of the shares.
But as it appears to be taking personal loan volume from the big banks, Mr Howes said they were still willing to support MoneyMe’s growth. This included supporting the company’s warehouse financing and securitization arrangements, while Westpac could provide deposit accounts through its banking-as-a-service offering, currently in a pilot phase.
“We are taking market share from the banks – but they are supporting us,” he said.
Two major Australian banks and two international banks have backed its $1.65 billion warehousing facilities, while a major bank and other local lenders participated in a recent $200 million asset-backed securitization , its first ABS transaction after killing plans for a $20 million institutional placement. MoneyMe has $384 million in undrawn securitization facilities to fund future growth.
This funding helps it capture market share from Macquarie Bank and Angle Finance (formerly Westpac) in auto loans, with Autopay rising to $500 million within a year.
Andrew Smith, head of small businesses at Perennial Value Management and a MoneyMe shareholder, said the fourth quarter results highlighted some of the personal lender’s advantages over the BNPL sector, “to which it is often compared, unfairly.”
“Our view is that MoneyMe’s technology is the differentiator: the ability to bring new products to market has been demonstrated time and time again, while the ability to adapt to changing credit conditions should be useful in the years to come given the challenges ahead for some parts of the economy,” Mr. Smith said.
Overall fourth-quarter originations of $334 million more than doubled from the prior fourth quarter, although they were down 1.8% from the third quarter.
Net loan losses of 3 percent in the fourth quarter were down from 5 percent in the same period last year, and were flat in the third quarter.
“We don’t see any stress for consumers,” Howes said. “Borrower behavior is strong right now, and they can still change their spending behavior” as rates continue to rise.
The average MoneyMe customer is 33 years old. Mr Howes added that credit quality should remain strong as long as unemployment remains low.
The shares were trading up 21% at 82¢ just after noon, but are a far cry from the $2.21 at the start of the year.
“We’re caught in the drag of the fintech sector,” Howes said.
“Neobanks that were never going to make money are falling around us, and BNPL needed very strong growth to make sense of the model, but we’re fundamentally different. Our fundamentals are strong, we’re creating sustainable revenue , are already profitable and the synergy benefits of SocietyOne are strongly evident.
Of the $17 million in synergies expected from the SocietyOne acquisition, MoneyMe said $7 million in savings has already been realized and the rest will come by the end of the calendar year.
Mr Howes has not confirmed that the SocietyOne brand will eventually be integrated into MoneyMe, although it seems likely.