Finance applications: brokers bear the brunt of turnaround blowouts - time to try #altfi for speedy customer service


Adam Zuchetti

Disgruntled customers are unfairly complaining to brokers about slow bank approval times.

Fresh figures from the Credit & Investments Ombudsman (CIO) show that delays accounted for 5.6 per cent of all consumer complaints about brokers and aggregators in 2014-15. Yet consumer frustration at delays is undoubtedly much more widespread, given that very few disgruntled customers actually lodge a formal grievance with the ombudsman.

While the statistics reflect complaints lodged against brokers, the industry is more than vocal about the true source of bottlenecks in the loan approvals process.

In The Adviser’s Third-Party Banking Report – Non-Major Lenders 2015, which attracted a record 1,017 responses, brokers savaged the non-major banks for sloppy turnaround times, with just one – Macquarie Bank – achieving a score indicating competence in the field.

“10 days to two weeks to pick up files is just not acceptable,” one broker said.

“I don’t think anyone is very good these days,” lamented another.

ING Direct for one said that it is an issue which the bank is closely working on.

“We are currently investing in a new mortgage origination system, which will substantially reduce turnaround times, remove manual processes and improve the broker and customer experience,” said Mark Woolnough, the bank’s head of third-party distribution.

ME Bank’s general manager of broking, Lino Pelaccia, also noted the work his bank is doing to address the issue of processing delays.

“[We have introduced] a new business rules engine, that has been providing conditional approval within minutes for half of our home loan applications,” he said.