Money announces its 2021 Margin Lender of the Year
MARGIN LENDER OF THE YEAR: LEVERAGED EQUITIES
Leveraged Equities has taken the lead among margin lenders again this year.
Working in partnership with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, it offers a huge listing of 3000 investment products on which it will lend money. Variable-rate margin loans start at 6.5%pa and direct loans start at 4.2%pa.
Since the pandemic lockdown more Australians are focused on investing, according to Leveraged Equities.
It is seeing more interest through brokers and also from direct customers. Investors are seeing value given the buoyant market sentiment and low-interest-rate environment, says Lily Elliott, the head of Leveraged Equities.
The business is one of the longest-operating margin lenders in Australia, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
Elliott says both existing and new customers have engaged with the company at unprecedented levels over the past 12 months.
"Further to that, we have continued to invest in capabilities to connect with platform operators to ensure the needs of our partners and their customers' needs met."
It is focused on continuing to provide superior customer and partner service with brokers in addition to evolving its capabilities to meet investor requirements.
"During the last three decades we have experienced and managed through various conditions, including the tech crash, the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the GFC and lastly COVID-19. Each time we have taken the learnings to drive improvements in our offerings and capabilities," says Elliott.
During the pandemic she says investors had lower gearing ratios, but the rapid fall in the value of their portfolios despite healthy diversification could not be avoided. Their response was well-considered: they added equity in the form of cash or shares or sold down part of their holdings.
During this time Leveraged Equities also saw an unexpected number of new entrants wanting to take advantage of the conditions.
"While the margin lending industry is still a far cry from the record levels set pre-GFC, this time there was a much faster recovery," says Elliott.
"Given the surge in the next generation of investors, who are increasingly considering gearing as an option to build their wealth, we are building greater education programs including technology that innovates our offering for diverse levels of investors."
Second in this category is CommSec, part of the Commonwealth Bank group, which offers a full range of products for individuals and self-managed super funds. Its investment list spans all major categories and it also offers a continually expanding set of online trading tools and educational resources. Margin loans start at a competitive 5.5%pa.
Rounding out the top trio is Bell Direct, a complete brokerage offering, with margin loans starting at 5.65%pa.
WHY THEY WON
Positive features included large investment menu and gearing capacity.
Variable rate margin loans from 6.5%pa and direct loans from 4.2%pa.
1. Leveraged Equities
3. Bell Direct
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