The newly expanded group is setting its sights on technology, including weighing up the benefits of its two CRM systems, as it looks to offer brokers more tools to improve efficiency.
On Monday (1 March), the Loan Market Group completed its acquisition of the three broker aggregation businesses Choice Aggregation Services, FAST and PLAN Australia from National Australia Bank (NAB).
Speaking to The Adviser after the deal settled, the executive chairman of Loan Market Group, Sam White, outlined that while the existing broker-facing platforms, MyCRM and Podium, will continue to operate separately for now, one of the key priorities for the newly expanded group is choosing which customer relationship management (CRM) system to move forward with in future.
Both the former NAB-owned aggregators and Loan Market have poured a tremendous amount of resources into their respective CRM resources, Podium and MyCRM, with Mr White stating that one of the key priorities for the group is to now choose which platform to offer their 5,000 mortgage and finance brokers moving forward.
Mr White said: “The key priority for us is making sure that, as we separate the systems out from NAB, that we continue to deliver to brokers the services they need. Things like commission payments are obviously one of the most important things for us, to make sure that they are right, but also then working through the decision on platform. This is a big decision to make, [choosing] between the two platforms.
“We will be going with one, and we’ve been working through [the decision] and each platform has some benefits that the other doesn’t have.
“A key decision for us is working out how we incorporate those good features from each side into one platform,” he said.
Mr White added that the group would also be focusing on technological developments and offerings in the longer term, too.
The executive chairman said: “Brokers are frustrated with how long it’s taking to do business, and I think technology can help. It doesn’t solve all the problems on its own, but it definitely is a big enabler of saving time. So, trying to help brokers save time is a key focus of how we view technology. There’s a lot around even just saving five minutes here, 10 minutes there, because pretty soon that really adds up. So, that will be a focus [for the short term].
“Going forward, we think the ability for brokers to tie into lender decision engines will improve turnarounds. We’re keen to work with lenders and the broader fintech ecosystem to be able to deliver and get quicker decisions from lenders so that’s better, that’s a medium-term ambition.
“And the longer-term one for us is ... around banking and how we can get decisions for their customers quicker. Longer term, there are big opportunities in that space.”
Mr White told The Adviser that he believed that while turnaround times and credit assessments were causing frustrations in the channel at the moment, there is a “lot of energy” being spent on fixing them.
He said: “I was a broker back in 1994, and been through the different phases of the industry. Pretty much every time there was a crisis or a frustration... it always result[ed] in new ways of working. I think, where we are now, is a real inflection point. Brokers are incredibly frustrated, and I know a lot of lenders are very frustrated with how long it’s taking, and that is resulting in a lot of energy into finding solutions to those problems.
“So, I think what we’ll see coming out of this is a better way of working between brokers, aggregators and lenders. And we’d love to play a part in helping make that happen. Technology is an important piece of that, not only thing but it’s important.”
[Related: Choice, FAST, PLAN join Loan Market Group]
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.
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