The mutual lender is looking to grow its third-party footprint and has revealed how it is changing its processes to make life easier for brokers and their customers.
CUA issued $1.17 billion in new lending during the six months to 31 December 2016, including $1.06 billion in mortgage lending, with the balance comprising personal loans and small business lending.
Around 32 per cent of CUA's mortgage lending during the period was via the broker channel (approximately $339 million). This is down slightly on the share of broker-originated lending in the previous period, which was around 40 per cent of mortgage lending.
CUA national manager – broker, Natasha Kelso, said the mutual lender is exploring opportunities to increase its third-party relationships in 2017.
“CUA has placed a strong focus on improving our relationships across the broker channel during the half-year. This included a national roadshow to educate brokers about CUA and recent lending policy changes, making it easier for brokers to do business with CUA. Following this roadshow, we've seen an increase in applications through the broker channel since November,” she said.
“This is now flowing through to higher volumes of new loans being settled in the first few months of 2017. We've also been trialling a program to speed up the 'time to yes' for applications submitted via brokers."
Ms Kelso told The Adviser that the program is still in its early days but CUA hopes it will help speed up the overall process of getting a mortgage application through.
“By removing some of the paperwork and chunkiness and manual processes, and replacing them with some electronic processes, we can just speed up how long some of these applications are taking with us,” she said.
“We're in a bit of an analysis period at the moment where we're just looking at that trial to see the actual data and how it's doing, and based on that we'll then make a decision on whether we'll expand it out a little bit or expand it out a lot, what does it mean for us and what can we do.”
CUA recently turned on upfront valuations, which it admits have been a standard feature among other lenders.
“We have now got that out there in place, and there are a handful of other initiatives that we're working on as well to see if we can roll them out,” Ms Kelso said.
“When our new lending program comes out in 2018, there will certainly be a lot of process improvements and speeding up the 'time to yes'.”
While CUA is looking to expand its third-party footprint, Ms Kelso said the group will be carefully monitoring its growth to maintain service levels and continue delivering for its existing brokers.
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James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.