The two major banks processed half of all home loans lodgements originated by brokers over the past quarter, new AFG data has revealed.
According to the Australian Finance Group’s (AFG) latest mortgage and competition index – which involves a survey of over 3,000 brokers across its network – almost $17 billion in home loans were lodged over the three months ending 30 June 2020.
This represented a 30 per cent increase on the June quarter of 2019 and was the largest quarterly result on record.
Lodgements peaked in May at approximately $6.1 billion, before moderating in June to $5.5 billion.
Record-high lodgements partly reflected a sharp increase in refinance applications, as borrowers flocked to secure a lower rate amid the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.
Over the June quarter, refinance applications made up 32 per cent of all lodgements, up from 28 per cent in the previous corresponding period.
ANZ, CBA win lion’s share of volumes
ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) were the largest beneficiaries of the spike in volumes, collectively processing 49 per cent ($8.3 billion) of all lodgements.
ANZ’s share of broker lodgements increased by over 150 per cent, rising from just under 10 per cent in the March quarter to 25.4 per cent in the three months to June.
This is also reflected in Momentum Intelligence’s Broker Pulse figures, which found that the share of brokers submitting home loan applications to ANZ increased to 65 per cent in May – the highest of the big four banks (excluding subsidiaries).
However, the surge in ANZ’s share of lodgements has come at a cost, with the bank’s turnaround times blowing out to up to 36 business days over the past month.
This resulted in a sharp drop-off in ANZ’s share of lodgements in the month of June, down from a peak of 36.8 per cent in May to just 10 per cent.
Meanwhile, CBA’s share of broker lodgements (including Bankwest) increased from 20.4 per cent in the March quarter to 23.3 per cent.
CBA’s share grew steadily over the quarter, rising from 19 per cent in April to a peak of 29.6 per cent in June.
Broker Pulse figures indicate that unlike ANZ, CBA’s turnaround times have remained low in recent months at an average of six business days.
NAB, Westpac fall behind
In contrast to ANZ and CBA, both NAB and Westpac lost territory in the broker space over the June quarter.
NAB’s share of the broker channel dropped from 9 per cent in the three months to 31 March 2020 to 7.5 per cent in the June quarter, while Westpac’s share (including subsidiaries) slipped from just over 20 per cent to 12.3 per cent over the same period.
As with ANZ, both NAB and Westpac’s assessment times have increased in recent months, to an average of 14 business days and 16 business days, respectively.
Overall, ANZ and CBA’s performance over the June quarter helped lift the big four banks’ collective share of broker lodgements to 66.7 per cent, up from 57.5 per cent in the previous corresponding period.
According to AFG CEO David Bailey, the major banks have leveraged their balance sheet strength to “take back market share from the non-major lenders”.
“Extremely competitive offers from the major lenders, including cash incentives of up to $4,000, led to a drop in market share for the non-majors,” he said.
However, Mr Bailey noted that as a result of processing lags experienced by three of the big four banks, the non-majors began to “take back some ground” at the close of the quarter.
Results demonstrate broker utility
According to Mr Bailey, the June quarter results have highlighted the value of the broker proposition throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
“Banks closing branches and redirecting these resources towards dealing with hardship cases has meant that brokers have been spending considerable time working through the options for those clients who have taken the opportunity to examine their circumstances and make changes to their financial arrangements,” he added.
The AFG CEO added that the role brokers play in helping their clients secure better deals “should not be underestimated”.
Mr Bailey concluded: “At this time of dislocation in the market, mortgage brokers continue to assist their clients by securing better interest rates, fostering competition and, as evidenced by the lift in numbers, enabling first home buyers to access the market more efficiently with a higher level of certainty.”
[Related: NAB, Westpac lose broker business]