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BNZ gains market share but ASB grabs even more

By Jenny Ruth

Thursday 3rd February 2005

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 Jenny Ruth

Bank of New Zealand's price war last year seems to have paid off for it in terms of winning market share, although ASB Bank continues to be the major winner in the mortgage market.

The Reserve Bank provides each bank with details of their own market share on a monthly basis and both BNZ and ASB have chosen to release their figures publicly.

BNZ says it won 26% of all new loans written in December, its mortgage book growing a record $345 million that month which was 40% higher than any previous month’s growth.

But ASB, who led the market in market share gains, largely at the expense of the ANZ Bank/National Bank which is still suffering the effects of their merger, all last year, says it gained 30% of all new mortgage lending in December.

BNZ business development and strategy general manager Andrew Whitechurch, says the bank’s December figures were buoyed by the success of its ‘Unbeatable’ spring home loan campaign, the increase is part of a sustained improvement in BNZ’s share of the home loan market.

"Since May 2004, the bank has averaged a 21% share of systems growth, with our home loan book growing by $1.9 billion over that time. Our market share has also increased from 15.7% to 16.2% over the same period," Whitechurch says.

Whitechurch says customers want three things when getting a mortgage: easy access to home loan specialists, outstanding service, and competitively priced products.

"Those are the three areas we’ve focused on in 2004."

Between October and December, BNZ says it sold just under 4,500 new loans.

But ASB can claim even more market share growth. Rather than aggressively countering BNZ’s offer, ASB just promised to match it.

"During December the spotlight went on interest rates, but the results we achieved demonstrate that home buyers factor in far more than a two-year special interest rate when making decisions about a mortgage," ASB says.

"Service, flexibility and the rate of interest over the life of the loan are all important factors, and ASB Bank’s reputation stood up to the fierce competition that emerged during December."

See how their rates compare now: Go to Good Returns Mortgage Rates section at http://www.goodreturns.co.nz/section/200.html

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