The 2012 Australian Lending Awards have shone the spotlight on the mortgage lenders that are delivering a superior customer – and broker – proposition
On 23 February 2012, the mortgage lending industry’s crème de la crème came together in Sydney for the second annual Australian Lending Awards...
... A joint initiative of The Adviser and business research house RFi, and with Genworth as principal partner, the prestigious Australian Lending Awards recognise excellence across all aspects of the mortgage lending industry. The Awards acknowledge those institutions that are leading the field in retail, wholesale and third party mortgage lending.
Stealing the show this year was the Commonwealth Bank, taking out top honours as the 2012 Mortgage Lender of the Year, as well as the awards for Best Innovator and Best Third Party Lender.
The Commonwealth Bank’s general manager, mortgage wealth, James Sheffield was also honoured as Best Thought Leader.
Mr Sheffield told The Adviser he was humbled by the win: “The team at CBA are diligent, hardworking and, above all else, passionate,” Mr Sheffield said. “The customer is at the centre of everything we do at the bank and we will continue to enhance our customer proposition wherever possible.”
Westpac, meanwhile, was named Best Self-Employed Lender for 2012 while ANZ won the award for Best Investor Lender – both banks taking out these awards for the second year running.
Advantedge, which won the award for Best Wholesale Funder, reaffirmed its position as the industry’s heavyweight in this area.
Meanwhile, Choice Aggregation Services took out one of this year’s new awards, Best White Label Program. This award category has been added in light of the growing momentum that the white label product area is experiencing.
“This is the fastest growing area of lending in the third party channel and with good reason,” said Choice CEO Stephen Moore.
The aggregator’s product suite, ChoiceLend, is now the non-bank loan with the highest volume on its panel.
“Many brokers love the fact that white-labelled products are only available through them; clients can’t take it to the local bank branch and price compare,” he said. “This is of considerable value to the broker and the client, and the broker is not burdened with the responsibility and administration that would ordinarily be involved if they were a true mortgage manager.”
A TIMELY BENCHMARK
With the nation’s lenders under the spotlight now more than ever, the Australian Lending Awards provide a timely indication of which ones are delivering Australians the best lending options, The Adviser’s group publisher, Alex Whitlock, said.
“The lending landscape has changed dramatically over the past year,” Mr Whitlock said. “A price war is raging between the major lending players; switching lenders is becoming much easier; and to top it off, the banks have broken ranks with the Reserve Bank’s cash rate in pricing their products.
“Choosing a home loan is more difficult than ever before and borrowers are increasingly looking for guidance as to which institutions they should consider.
“With this in mind, recognition of the institutions that best meet the needs of the borrower has never been more important.”
ROBUST, TRANSPARENT METHODOLOGY
The Australian Lending Awards are underpinned by a robust and transparent methodology, developed by The Adviser and RFi, which is unrivalled by any other industry awards, according to RFi director Alan Shields.
“Leveraging their respective distribution capabilities and strong mortgage industry networks, The Adviser and RFi survey the opinions of more than 6,000 consumers and 500 mortgage brokers in determining the year’s finalists,” Mr Shields said.
Finalists are then ranked across several key criteria by a judging panel of respected industry and business professionals.
Their combined scores across each different judging pillar are used to determine the overall Mortgage Lender of the Year.
The integrity of this methodology has led to the Australian Lending Awards being recognised as the defining benchmark for success in mortgage lending, according to Mr Whitlock.
“Winning an Australian Lending Award is the highest accolade in the Australian mortgage industry,” he said, “and with many of the country’s biggest banks and financial institutions positioning an Australian Lending Award in their marketing campaigns, the value that the industry places on these awards speaks for itself.”
The assessment process and the event itself would not have been possible without the backing of the Awards’ sponsors, Mr Whitlock added.
“We must thank our principal partner, Genworth; our platinum sponsor, Sandstone Technologies; and our gold sponsor, RP Data.
“These partners are committed to recognising innovation, quality and leadership across the mortgage lending industry and without their generous support, such recognition of the industry’s leading players would simply not be achievable.”