Twenty years ago you paid around 2 percent each time you traded shares. Then a new breed of stock broker came into the market for a fraction of that cost. In April 2000 our CEO Nicholas Gruen launched Peach Home Loans to do the same for mortgage brokers arranging home loans!
As an economist Dr Gruen has spent the last forty years of his life as an economic reformer advising governments and corporations on how to intensify competition to improve efficiency and lower prices. He also created Lateral Economics, that consults to both governments and corporations on economic policy matters.
Peach pioneered a new way to operate a mortgage broking business making best use of technology and developing new and better processes all designed to save you time and us money.
Peach is a virtual organisation which provides us with unparalleled flexibility and efficiency. No outdated procedures, no high rise office rental and minimal carbon footprint.
Senator Natasha Stott Despoja once humorously described Dr Gruen as “your classic underachiever. He has a PhD from ANU, he’s an economist, lawyer, historian, occasional media commentator and author. He has worked at the Business Council of Australia; is a former Presiding Commissioner of the Productivity Commission; and has been an influential adviser to Government Ministers, probably most well known as a central architect of the Button car plan”.
Nicholas realised that a lateral approach to the mortgage market was needed. As late as the early 1990s, consumers had little choice when it came to mortgages. The mortgage market was dominated by the Big Banks offering loans and mortgages with similar interest rates and contract provisions.
Without competition and innovation the market remained stagnant and consumers paid the price.
In the years following deregulation, a new generation of lenders, often small and independent emerged, but given the complexity of the property market, and the endless range of loans, rates and conditions, it became critical that consumers had access to well informed and more impartial information and advice and so mortgage brokers came onto the scene.
By embracing the Internet, Peach recognised the growing importance of the online interface. Most people don’t have 45 minutes to spend listening to muzak and being told “your call is important to us and has progressed in the queue”. The value of being able to access information and advice at times and in places that are convenient cannot be underestimated.
Quite simply we are at the forefront of the 21st century virtual economy. This is a textbook case of the new economy at work, with benefits flowing to all concerned.
But we are not virtual for its own sake. We go out of our way to make sure that we communicate with our clients in the way they want. Whether we’re helping a 26 year old computer geek get his first home loan or someone in their retirement who doesn’t know what e-mail is.