The award - which is based on the votes of market participants - follows an extraordinary year in which RMBS markets temporarily froze due to uncertainty around the unfolding COVID-19 crisis.

Managing Director Kim Cannon said the award had special meaning to Firstmac because of the unique challenges faced by issuers during the coronavirus crisis.

“We are very proud to receive this award, especially in such a difficult year where our Treasury team has worked extra hard to maintain investor confidence in the RMBS market,” Mr Cannon said.

“We would like to thank all of the investors who have supported us throughout this unprecedented period and the market participants who voted for us in this survey.”

In March, with support from the Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM), Firstmac became the first financial institution to successfully tap the funding market after the coronavirus crisis had caused widespread fears of a liquidity squeeze.

In May, Firstmac took another initiative to restore confidence in frozen RMBS markets by releasing a detailed analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on its mortgage loan book and committing to follow up with updated data each month.

This monthly report became a bellwether for investors and revealed that the impact of COVID-19 hardship arrangements on Firstmac’s loan book was smaller than many feared and had started trending down earlier than expected.

The KangaNews award is designed to recognise the nonbank financial institution issuer that most impressed the market in 2020. Although level of issuance activity is considered, volume is not the only concern. Important factors are the issuer’s visibility and responsiveness to questions and issues, its debt investor relations approach, support for its existing deals and the performance of its paper in the open market.

KangaNews does not employ an awards committee or ask for awards pitches. Instead, it conducts thorough and intensive polling of those involved in the Australian and New Zealand debt markets.

Since 2003, Firstmac has issued more than $29 billion in RMBS, including $3.3 billion in 2020.

Media contact: Duncan Macfarlane on 0434 184 264

Firstmac Limited is an independently-owned, Australian financial services provider with more than 40 years’ experience in home and investment loans. Firstmac has written in excess of 130,000 home loans and manages approximately $12 billion in mortgages and $300 million in cash investments. Firstmac is a premier sponsor of the Brisbane Broncos.