The major bank has finished its reaccreditation process for “inactive” brokers and will now begin contacting brokers who will no longer be able to write loans with the bank.
Earlier this year, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) revealed that it would be bringing in a new e-learning requirement for brokers that had not settled a CBA loan in the past year.
In May, the bank built on its accreditation changes for brokers by updating its accreditation policy for inactive brokers (those who had not settled a CBA loan in more than 12 months).
The new policy required inactive brokers to take an “e-learning course” that detailed the bank’s current products and eligibility criteria.
The online course aimed to give brokers a “refresher” on CBA policies and processes and included a series of questions that needed to be answered correctly before a broker could become reaccredited. Brokers were given two months in which to complete the course.
At the time, CBA’s executive general manager for home buying, Daniel Huggins, said that the move was being brought in as the bank had previously seen that “brokers who write very little volume with the bank are unfamiliar with [its] systems and processes”, which can lead to “poor customer experiences and outcomes”.
Applications from inactive brokers also take longer to process and require checks to “ensure they meet [CBA’s] regulatory obligations and standards”, Mr Huggins said earlier this year.
He added: “Our new e-learning training is another example of our commitment to driving good consumer outcomes.”
Although the bank has not disclosed how many brokers undertook the training, it has now revealed that the “vast majority” of brokers that were contacted to undertake the course within the 60-day time period have done so, and that their accreditation has been renewed.
It told The Adviser that, as of this week, the bank will be contacting “inactive” CBA brokers who did not complete the e-learning course to notify them that they will no longer be accredited to write loans to the bank.
A CBA spokesperson said that it “recognise[s] mortgage brokers as a key channel for customers who are looking to purchase a home” and that both the bank and its customers “need to be confident that the brokers [they] partner with have the ability to provide home buyers with the right guidance on [CBA’s] products and services”.
The spokesperson continued: “It is important that our brokers understand their regulatory obligations, as well as our policies, systems and processes, so that they can deliver great customer outcomes.
“Our brokers are not required to write a minimum number of loans in order to retain their accreditation with the bank. We understand that a broker’s role is to provide their customers with a loan that suits their needs and objectives. And, in some cases, a CBA product may not be the ideal solution for the customer’s unique financial needs.”
The statement provided to The Adviser went on to highlight that brokers were given “more than 60 days to complete their e-learning” and that, during this period, the bank “actively communicated with these brokers and their head groups”.
“As a result, we are pleased to say the vast majority of brokers have now successfully completed their e-learning. For those who chose not to complete their e-learning by the deadline, they will soon receive a letter outlining next steps,” the spokesperson said.
Brokers that have not submitted any loans to CBA in the past year and have not completed the course will now receive a letter from CBA stating that they will no longer be accredited with the bank.
The letter will include a notice of revocation of authority to act.
It will read: “We understand there are lots of reasons why you may have chosen not to complete the e-learning and maintain your CBA residential mortgage broking accreditation. However, we want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of the Commonwealth Bank in the past.
“We value the broker proposition and the great customer outcomes you deliver every single day.”
Acknowledging that some brokers may have not been able to undertake the e-learning due to exceptional circumstances (for example, extended periods of absence such as maternity or sick leave), CBA has stressed that brokers can still re-apply for CBA accreditation.
Further, the bank has said that should any brokers receiving the letter believe they have received it in error (for example, if they believe that they have completed the training), they should appeal the decision to their aggregator/head group or contact CBA directly as soon as possible.