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Approval lags, credit crunch chief pain points among brokers

by Charbel Kadib11 minute read
Approval lags

Lags in the loan application process and credit policy tightening from lenders have been cited as the key concerns among mortgage brokers over the coming year, according to new research from NAB.

NAB has published findings from a survey of approximately 1,800 mortgage brokers – conducted following a recent Digital Professional Development (PD) Day – reporting that turnaround times for loan applications and credit policy tightening (37 per cent) were the primary concerns among respondents for the next 12 months.

This comes amid mounting evidence of a blowout in approval times among several lenders, including three of the big four banks, amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

ANZ has publicly acknowledged its shortcomings, with its processing times increasing from an average of 10 business days in April to an average of 22 business days in May, and up to 36 business days in June.


The lags have prompted ANZ and NAB to introduce changes to their lending processes, which have included the onboarding and relocation of staff.   

Lenders have also reduced their risk appetites, tightening their serviceability policies in lieu of growing credit quality concerns.

Other concerns cited by brokers include a slow economic recovery (23 per cent), changing regulatory and education requirements (20 per cent), and the growth or maintenance of their client base in the aftermath of COVID-19 (19 per cent).

According to NAB’s general manager, broker distribution, Steve Kane, the findings illustrate the customer-centred focus of the broker channel.

“There’s no doubt today’s complex environment has created more immediate challenges for the broking industry, beyond the usual legislative and regulatory developments,” he said.

“Even with everything happening in the world right now, the primary concern for brokers at this time remains focused squarely on how they can best service their customers and achieve the best outcomes.

“For our part at NAB, we are well capitalised and open for business. We continue to lend and are working closely with the government and regulators to support our customers to the other side of this crisis.”

Mr Kane said the current environment was fostering innovation in the third-party channel and strengthening the customer service proposition.

“Time and time again, we’ve shown how flexible and adaptable our industry can be. Innovative brokers are realising that the highest levels of customer service and efficiency come from being digitally connected,” he added.

“Similarly, consumers are also fast becoming more open and confident with technology as they adapt to new ways of life.”

Mr Kane concluded by backing the broking industry’s ability to withstand current headwinds in the marketplace.  

“Of course, change will continue to be an ongoing theme,” he said.

“Yet, I believe the heart of the broker value proposition will endure, with a strong focus on delivering the best possible customer outcomes and adapting to doing business digitally.” 

[Related: Offshore processing linked to loan approval lags]

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