A big four bank has bolstered its assessment team and will prioritise “sensitive” loan applications to address a continued blowout in its turnaround times.
According to a communication sent by ANZ to its broker partners on Tuesday (2 June), the bank’s turnaround times have now increased to an average of 35 business days for refinance applications and an average of 15 business days for purchases.
The major bank reiterated that it has been overwhelmed by an influx in home loan applications.
“We understand that our current home loan application assessment times are causing frustration for brokers, lenders and customers,” ANZ told brokers.
“Recent application volumes are unprecedented and have exceeded all [expectations].”
In response, ANZ has announced a number of structural changes to its process, including the onboarding and reallocation of approximately 150 staff to its assessment team.
The major bank also informed brokers that it would prioritise “time-sensitive” applications, which include:
applications containing additional information supplied for assessment following a conditional approval or decline;
interest in advance applications to “minimise end of financial year (EOFY) impacts”; and
purchase applications, to ensure brokers and lenders can “submit applications with confidence that ANZ will help customers meet finance clauses and settlement requirements”.
Moreover, ANZ stated it would “leverage” new concessions issued by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) regarding the approval of interest-only switches or extensions without requiring full serviceability assessments.
“[We] understand the impact extended assessment times can have on brokers, lenders and customers,” the bank added.
“We are working hard to get these reduced as quickly as possible.”
These changes come just over a month after ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott claimed that after investing heavily in addressing shortcomings in the home loan approval process, the bank reduced turnaround times to “within a week”.
“We were very upfront that we’ve screwed up in the past in terms of trying to apply some of the responsible lending policies, and we made out processes too slow and cumbersome,” he told The Adviser.
“We’ve cleaned all that up, and Mark Hand and the team have done a terrific job in streamlining that and investing in people and technology and process to get that right.
“We got our assessment times down to within a week, and that’s where they’ve stayed. That’s really competitive, and we’re really confident. What’s been interesting is that we’ve been able to maintain that despite a really strong uplift in volume.”
According to Broker Pulse figures from Momentum Intelligence, ANZ’s turnaround times peaked in February at just under six days, before rising to seven days in March and spiking to just under 10 days in April.
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