Online home loan broker E-Loan says nothing has come of its December plans to license its back-end tools in Singapore because of its dramatic restructure over Christmas.
Unlike the snails on its high-profile TV adverts last year, E-Loan’s backers are moving swiftly to change the e-tailer’s business focus, and have retrenched all but three of its 17 staff and moved to the headquarters of new investor The Warehouse.
E-Loan chief executive Bruce Gordon has become The Warehouse’s general manager for non-retail activities, with responsibility for E-Loan and the Warehouse’s Gold mobile phone programme, while the remaining two staff members are sales manager Don Morgan and a loan consultant.
Morgan says E-Loan is at “a transitional stage”, and says things have gone quiet.
“There wasn’t anything to come out of that trip [a trade mission to Singapore],” Morgan says. “It looked like it for a while but there is just a general lack of interest in the internet at the moment.”
Morgan says the B2B tools originally planned to be pushed in Asia are now to be marketed as tools to local financial planners and consultants. They have already been sold to two local groups.
“My next step is to take it to more national players in the market,” Morgan says. ”We’ve just been testing the response and it’s been well received,” he says.
Morgan says E-Loan’s B2C activities through its loan site are continuing, albeit without the TV adverts, with The Warehouse providing services including IT support, marketing and direct promotion distribution opportunities.
He says “it’s no secret” The Warehouse is planning to offer financial services, a move which “has some impact on us”. But he says if and when the Warehouse launches these products, E-Loan will remain an independent service with its own brand.
The Warehouse and eVentures, E-Loan’s majority shareholder, are to review their operations at the end of the year.
Meanwhile, another e-tailer, ApplianceShop, is no longer accepting orders. The site, which specialised in household appliances, was launched last year by Greg Lancaster, former head of retail chain parent Pacific Retail.