Beyond Bank Australia has expanded into the fintech sector by taking an equity stake in Australian marketplace lender SocietyOne.

The mutual lender has bought $1.5m worth of shares in SocietyOne, and agreed to boost its funding commitment in personal loans with the marketplace lender to $10m.

Beyond Bank deputy CEO Wayne Matters said: “Our partnership with SocietyOne is a perfect example of our approach to innovation, customer service and new product opportunities which are delivering real benefits to our members.

“The links that we have forged with SocietyOne have underlined to both of us what can be achieved when you put the experience, strength and depth of an organisation like ours together with the entrepreneurial drive and creative dynamism of a company like SocietyOne.”

Beyond Bank Australia is a customer-owned financial institution, managing $4.8bn in assets. The firm offers personal and business banking services as well as financial planning from its branches in South Australia, Western Australia, the Riverina region, the Hunter Valley and the ACT.

SocietyOne, set up in 2012, connects borrowers and investors in Australia to loans based on risk-based pricing through its ClearMatch technology platform.

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SocietyOne CEO and managing director Jason Yetton said: “We’re delighted to welcome Beyond Bank as a shareholder in our company. This is a clear sign of our close relationship that dates back more than two years when we first began discussing the opportunities of becoming an investor funder.

“From that initial contact, the Bank has now gained valuable experience and insights into the benefits that we have been able to provide as the leader in lending market places in Australia through our innovative approach to personal and secured agribusiness loans. We have now passed through $100 million of personal loan originations since we started and taken our total originations including our support for Australian agribusiness to more than $150 million. That is an increase of $50 million alone since early April.”