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Wizard Home Loans To Close In New Zealand

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Dec 17 NZPA - Wizard Home Loans, which once claimed to be New Zealand's fastest growing alternative home lender, is the latest casualty of the global financial crisis.

Owner GE Money said it was closing the business. GE had previously announced it was ceasing offering home loans through third parties and was exiting the motor finance and small business financing market.

Today it said the decision to close Wizard in New Zealand was made reluctantly. There was no immediate estimate of job losses.

The decision was a result of the global financial crisis. The business was no longer viable because of extreme volatility and greatly increased cost of funds, coupled with the New Zealand mortgage market conditions.

During a review of the business announced in May, a buyer or strategic partner for Wizard Home Loans in New Zealand could not be found.

GE Money will continue to service all existing loans in the normal way. Wizard branches in New Zealand will cease writing new business at a date to be determined in discussions with the branch licensees.

"This was a difficult decision, and no reflection on the tremendous contribution made by the Wizard management and employees who have shown great loyalty to the brand and the business," said GE Money Australia and New Zealand chief executive Mike Cutter.

GE Money still has a retail store finance, personal loans and insurance business in New Zealand.

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