The lender has announced the addition of a new functionality that will allow brokers to request upfront auto-valuations prior to starting an application.
Bankwest has added a new functionality to its Home Lending Portal that will allow brokers to request a free, upfront auto-valuation prior to commencing a new home loan application.
The CBA subsidiary said that the functionality is aimed at removing uncertainty around one of the key factors that impact the approval of a home loan application.
Ian Rakhit, head of third-party banking at Bankwest, said that the decision to add the auto-valuation model (AVM) functionality was driven by feedback from brokers.
“We’re in a continual dialogue with our broker network and we’ll continue to listen to feedback to ensure we’re designing products and services that meet broker needs and customer and community expectations,” Mr Rakhit said.
The AVM functionality is the latest addition to the portfolio of digital services Bankwest has introduced to its brokers in the last 18 months, which also includes the Home Loan Pricing Tool, the Home Lending Portal and the Home Loan Application Tracker.
Bankwest’s general manager of customer transformation, Jarod Avila, said that all these services were designed with brokers’ needs and goals in mind.
“At Bankwest, our relationships with brokers are very important to us, so we’re continuing to invest in them. We’re on a journey to create a world-class home loan experience, making it simpler and easier to support them in servicing customers,” Mr Avila said.
The general manager of customer transformation also indicated that the bank will be adding enhancements to its lending policy as well as “increased vendor presence” to improve accuracy and usage of the AVM service.
The release of the AVM functionality follows an announcement made by the non-major bank that it will close 29 east-coast branches, affecting nearly 200 staff, as it “prioritises its investment in digital and broker/third-party offerings to meet changing customer needs”.
Bankwest’s managing director, Rowan Munchenberg, said that the bank knew it “cannot match the major banks’ nationwide footprint and also deliver world-class digital services”, so it has decided to “prioritise digital channels and broker relationships”.
“We’re seeing a consistent trend of customers choosing mobile banking over in-branch options for their transaction needs, with an 88 per cent rise in app logins over the past three years,” Mr Munchenberg said.
“So, we’re transforming our organisation to respond more rapidly to these changing customer needs by adopting new ways of working and embracing new technologies.”
The non-major bank also announced this month updates to its broker accreditation requirements along with new mentorship standards, with Mr Rakhit stressing the need for improved new-to-industry broker training and professional development.
“I see this industry continuing to attract professional people to continue to grow our business, grow our share of the overall mortgage market, and I see the CIF recommendations particularly standing us in great stead for challenges that may be coming in the future,” Mr Rakhit previously told The Adviser.
Another recent change made by Bankwest is to the way it remunerates brokers, with new calculations on upfront commission based on the value of the loan limit disbursed (utilised by the customer) minus the value of any offset account balances.