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December 2

Who is Geneva Finance?

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Simply put Geneva Finance is a Consumer Finance Company offering personal loans and car loans to New Zealanders.

What are Consumer Finance Companies?

A Consumer Finance Company (CFC) is a limited liability company that makes loans to members of the public.

A CFC’s key features are:

  • The company makes loans to members of the public, NOT to other organisations e.g. companies, trusts, or partnerships etc. and as a consequence the consumer finance company is required to comply with Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003. (CCCFA).
  • The company is not a bank. Banks have their own stricter legislative requirements that they are required to comply with. These rules address all of the matters covered by the CCCFA and many other issues.
  • The company borrows money from others to make the loans. We do not offer financial services.

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Geneva Finance’s recent history:

Money is the finance company’s ‘stock in trade’ – without money to lend the finance company cannot exist. In the past finance companies have borrowed money from banks, other financial institutions and the public.

During mid 2007 funding for finance companies began to dry up. By the time the Global Financial Crisis hit in late 2008 finance companies were desperate to collect their assets and reduce their debt. Many of these companies failed and as a consequence the people that loaned them money lost their investment. The New Zealand media was full of headlines of failed Finance Companies e.g. Canterbury Finance, Hanover Finance, Provincial Finance, Bridgecorp, Western Bay Finance, Nathans Finance, First Step Trusts, Five Star Finance, Lombard Finance, Belgrave Finance and many, many others.

Included in this list was Geneva Finance. But unlike the others, Geneva achieved a remarkable thing.

Despite the challenges of that time Geneva Finance managed to:

  • Repay $180m to its investors including $40m of interest – No other finance company achieved this.
  • Restructure it’s operations, closing branches, reducing staff numbers & collecting cash to make its debt repayments.
  • Maintain the core infrastructure / intellectual property / in terms of its lending, insurance and debt collection operations.
  • Reduce operating cost by $20m p.a. and reduce its asset to circa $42m.
  • Obtained new funding lines in August 2013.
  • Become profitable and become on an expansion phase which has seen total assets increase to $62m to date.

Geneva completely remodelled the way it does business to survive that initial period post 2008. In recent times Geneva has made further changes to the personal loans they offer New Zealanders. These changes reflect the changes in technology affecting the finance industry in 2015.

Examples of Consumer Finance Companies in New Zealand who survived the financial crash of 2008 – 2009 are:

  • Avanti Finance Limited – Privately owned finance company.
  • Geneva Finance Limited (Geneva Finance) Formerly known as GFNZ Group Limited – Independently owned public company listed on NZAX
  • Fisher & Paykel Finance Limited – Finance company specialising in financing Fisher and Paykel’s products.
  • Instant Finance Limited – Nationwide finance company specialising in small personal loans
  • MARAC Finance Limited – A subsidiary of Heartland Bank
  • MTF Finance Limited – Nationwide finance company specialising in motor vehicle lending
  • UDC Finance Limited – A subsidiary of ANZ Bank
  • Turners Finance Limited – Independently owned public company listed on NZX

 

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