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Bankwest reveals how it processes loan applications

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    In the current lending environment, the importance of an outstanding loan services team cannot be underestimated. MPA spoke with Bankwest general manager for third party banking Ian Rakhit about the ways the AMA winning loan services team stands out from the crowd.

    The team who takes care of your submissions

    According to Rakhit, a good loan services team is one that truly understands the integral part it plays in delivering a high-quality outcome and good turnaround time for the customer.

    “The department is designed to flex and adapt to any economic and/or frontline broker need.”

    “We ensure that applications submitted throughout the financial year are completed in a timely manner and with good accuracy.”

    In addition to this strong customer focus, the loan services and third-party teams at Bankwest are aligned to learn and test new initiatives that improve service to brokers, he adds.

    “This extends to providing dedicated management of applications lodged by new brokers not familiar with Bankwest process – ensuring that an onboarding process for the broker on one of their first dealings is personalised, educational and a first-class experience for our customers.”

    Competitive turnaround times

    While the past year has seen increased regulatory change and the challenges of COVID-19, the lender has continued to provide first-class service, significantly increasing its turnaround time score in the 2020 MPA Brokers on Banks survey.

    “Bankwest had taken the top spot in 2019 with a score of 2.67, and while we did increase our score substantially to 4.11, Macquarie overtook first place with the highest score of 4.41.”

    “Bankwest is still a long way ahead of third place (3.34) and one of only five banks to score above 3.”

    “This is a real achievement for Bankwest considering we accept a full suite of deals that other high performing banks cannot offer, with application types including construction, high LVR, multi-security and self-employed.”

    A personalised experience

    Rakhit says the lender’s case ownership model for home loan applications makes it stand out from the crowd by delivering a personalised and consistent experience for brokers.

    “The framework and processes were designed to provide single person responsibility for the processing of an application from lodgement through to ready to book for settlement.”

    “Case ownership is viewed as the single most important process for our colleagues. It drives improved satisfaction from seeing a customer’s application through from start to finish, helps us build strong relationships with our brokers and stakeholders, and gives colleagues more control and ownership of delivering exceptional service.”

    What brokers should know about the way loan submissions are handled

    Offering a glimpse into the journey of an application once submitted, Rakhit says the time to assess each one is broken down into three categories depending on its complexity.

    “All teams within the home loan services department strive to action all applications by the next day of service. This means a new application submitted today would be assigned a case owner and actioned by COB tomorrow.”

    “This also applies to work in progress – case owners actively manage their pipelines to provide next day service.”

    “We have an escalation process to ensure applications with looming deadlines, such as those for approval or settlement, are actioned same day.”

    Innovation is firmly embedded in the operating rhythm of the bank, he says, with high engagement between processing teams, stakeholders and third-party brokers central in its approach.

    How the team was affected by the pandemic

    The loan services team has always been based in Australia, with most already working from home before the pandemic hit, says Rakhit.

    “This allowed business to really remain ‘as usual’ for Bankwest with no disruption to our service.”

    He says the lender was also able to quickly introduce a virtual VOI solution as well as the ability to validate data using CCR information.

    “This reduces the requirement for manual documents and improves the customer experience while continuing to undertake appropriate due diligence and complying with regulatory expectations.”

    It also provided immediate support to customers facing financial hardship through a new loan payment deferral process.

    “Through quick action and collaboration, our Loan Services teams were able to provide 40 FTE in resource to support this new process while continuing to maintain our own service levels.”

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    Original Article