SocietyOne’s Jason Yetton backs Maile Carnegie on fintech disruption threat

The former head of Westpac’s retail bank Jason Yetton has backed the call by ANZ’s new head of digital banking Maile Carnegie, who says that big banks will have to lift the pace of innovation in order to fend off disruption from fintech companies seeking a slice of their billions of dollars of profits.

In his first speech as chief executive of peer-to-peer lender SocietyOne five months into the job, Mr Yetton said that UBS’s recent forecast of growth in P2P lending activity over the next 12 months of between 47 per cent and 150 per cent was an “increasing possibility” given recent market traction.

Australian banks would be disrupted because customer experiences remain complex and trust has broken down.

“A majority of Australians now favour a royal commission into banks and we certainly cannot rule out one being established given the new politics now in existence in Australia,” he said.

After National Australia Bank in its third quarter update on Monday pointed to its net promoter score (NPS) being better than other banks, Mr Yetton said big banks still have NPS which are negative, whereas SocietyOne’s NPS is 80, showing many of its customers recommend the service to others.

Since the start of 2016, SocietyOne has matched more than $50 million in loans, double the level in the second half of 2015 and 10 times the level of the prior corresponding period, he said. The company has written almost $100 million in unsecured personal loans and is targeting a 2 to 3 per cent share of the $100 billion consumer finance market in Australia. Personal loans make up around 4 per cent of major banks’ assets but around 10 per cent of their profits.

Customer is king

“Banks are going to have to change and rapidly so if they are to survive in anyway like their current shape and form,” said Mr Yetton at a consumer finance conference in Sydney hosted by RFi.

“In the digital age, customer experience is the key battleground, customer data is the new currency and individual customer engagement and involvement is king.”


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