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On the move: flexible lending drives financial wellbeing

"ANZ Mobile Lending provides an unrivalled platform to build customer-centric, family-owned businesses which ultimately build financial wellbeing’’


(L-R) Lorenc Franja, Joe Sanij and Nathalie Hesse


Eighteen years ago, ANZ took its first steps into the franchising industry - offering an opportunity for individuals to start, run and grow their own business by operating as authorised representatives under the bank’s credit licence.


Today, ANZ has a unique position in the market as the only major Australian bank with a franchised proposition.


After measured growth in both the number of franchisees and in contribution to the bank in its formative years, recent growth in this channel has been extremely rapid. ANZ Mobile Lending now extends to more than 160 territories across Australia with around 140 business owners and a network of 430 accredited lenders supported by 50 head office staff and field teams.


Although larger businesses exist in the industry, ANZ’s Mobile Lending proposition punches well above its weight in terms of the overall success for the bank – consistently contributing 15 per cent of all home loan flows into the bank with bold aspirations of increasing to 20 per cent over the next two years.


Stepping in to lead the Mobile Lending business almost two years ago, I was keen to immerse myself in an already well performing business. I was relatively confident in my abilities to add value as a leader however I quickly realised the journey ahead would be more complex than previously thought.


ANZ Mobile Lending is a fascinatingly complex, highly charged business brimming with inspirational small business owners. Every day brings a fresh challenge - from regulatory conversations on franchisee governance, engaging with industry peers on Franchising Code obligations or collaborating with internal stakeholders such as Marketing or Customer Service Operations – in ensuring we have a compelling proposition for our franchisees in market. And ensuring our staff are engaged and fulfilled.


Our customers are also quite unique in that many of them have been with ANZ and their aligned Mobile Lender from the beginning.


Naturally, those longstanding relationships contribute to an ever-improving customer experience, one that is often reflected in our regular customer feedback.


What has been, and continues to be, the most inspiring aspect for me is the opportunity we provide for enthusiastic and passionate small business owners across the country. I often hear stories of how ANZ Mobile Lending has provided an unrivalled platform to build customer-centric, family-owned businesses which ultimately build financial wellbeing. In fact, many ANZ staff eventually take the leap into business ownership through ANZ Mobile Lending.


Owning your career


Lorenc Franja, franchisee of our Carlton territory in Melbourne, spent a decade at ANZ across a range of customer facing, frontline and sales leadership roles, with the most recent being Area Manager for Small Business Banking at the flagship St. Kilda Road Business Centre.


Lorenc says he was broadly familiar with ANZ’s Mobile Lending proposition and his tenure with the bank gave him insight into the cultural values-led infrastructure that underpins ANZ, something many other franchisees have never experienced.


“Though I had always harboured an insatiable thirst to run my own business, I also felt loyalty to the brand which had supported my career to date,” he recalls. “Embarking into small business ownership as a franchisee provided an ongoing connection to ANZ and an opportunity to repay that loyalty.”


Lorenc said he wanted to pursue the opportunity to build his own completely autonomous business and, in time, provide financial support to create the life he wanted for his family.


“Throughout my eight roles at ANZ, I developed an acute understanding that banks, on the whole, were broadly similar in product offering. Any differentiation in the experience for customers rested with the service or experience provided by the individual.


“I knew customer experience was - and of course remains - a priority for all financial institutions. But with large numbers of employees who evolve and progress over time, providing a relationship-first model to every customer proved challenging.”


At that time, Lorenc’s belief was that in running a small business he could be more agile, flexible and focus 100 per cent of his time and effort on his strategic direction. That same customer-first strategy has infused its way through his entire team.


“My mantra is to provide a world-class customer experience at every opportunity and let the rest fall into place,” he explains. “I often reflect on my time at ANZ and how each role prepared me for life as a Mobile Lender. Whether it be the leadership roles that taught me how to lead, coach and inspire our wider team, or the technical roles that built requisite credit expertise, each played a critical role in our team’s success.”


mobile lending anz


The big picture


Lorenc says his team wouldn’t be here without their loyal customers who often refer their family and friends to see if his team can help. One such customer is Jawad – Joe - Sanij who was introduced to Lorenc through a mutual acquaintance about four years ago.


Joe previously banked at another financial institution but was keen to work with an expert who could have a over-arching view of his needs. At the time, Joe was an employee and minority shareholder of Trinity Switchboards Pty. Ltd, a business he now owns.

Over the last few years, as his business continued to flourish, Joe’s personal property portfolio continued to grow.


“What first attracted me to working with Lorenc was his tenacity to getting things right, first time,” Joe recalls. “My engineering and manufacturing business relies heavily on working closely with customers and creating bespoke solutions for their needs. I wanted a finance expert with the same values and beliefs and Lorenc was there at every turn.”


As a time-poor business owner, Joe says he is rarely able to find time to visit a branch or spend hours on the phone with his lender. Instead, Lorenc provides unwavering flexibility by visiting Joe at his business and at a time that suits him.


“My business has a financial situation which isn’t particularly mainstream - with complex structures and a number of entities – so we need a real expert to understand our financials and translate them into a format the bank is comfortable with for lending,” Joe explains.


“Lorenc is that expert. I’ve financed three properties with Lorenc, he has assisted in the sale of another and I’ve even referred a number of my staff to him. Everybody in our business knows to go to Lorenc for their lending.”


Joe says he’s a passionate advocate of Lorenc and the Carlton team because they understand his time is precious and they make things easy.


ANZ’s Mobile Lending team has recently reshaped its strategy with an ambitious vision of becoming Australia’s most recognised and preferred home loan partner. This once best kept secret might well be out of the bag!


Nathalie Hesse is Head of Mobile Lending at ANZ


To learn more about ANZ Mobile Lending click here.

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