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How mutuals are steaming ahead

innovation station innovation station
Annie Kane 10 minute read

As customer needs and expectations continue to evolve, we wanted to find out how the customer-owned banks were delivering for their members. We find out how the mutuals are on the right track when it comes to innovating for brokers (and their clients) this year.

Beyond Bank 

Darren McLeod, head of third party, says: “Brokers accounted for 40 per cent of total business for the bank last year and is now a major part of the bank’s growth plans over the next few years. This success and growth are a result of the following initiatives that we implemented.

“We increased our staff, our broker support area, by 25 per cent to assist in maintaining communication and service levels. All our broker support staff have a minimum of 10 years’ experience in mortgage lending, so they can add true value in the processing of applications. Throughout the year, this team maintained an average of 30 seconds to pick up phone calls from our brokers, which is an outstanding result. This team also received a 96 per cent satisfaction rate from a survey of our broker partners.

“We introduced a new process for VOI, which enables brokers to identify customers remotely using technology.


“We also upgraded our online and mobile banking platforms, which resulted us winning the Canstar awards for both online and mobile banking in the customer-owned banking category.”

Gateway Bank

Arun Gupta, manager – third party sales, comments: “In the past year, Gateway has continued to look at ways that we can better meet the needs of our broker partners and their clients by opening new market opportunities.

“The launch of Monthly LMI is a great example of how, in conjunction with our LMI partner Genworth, we have been able to provide a solution that delivers great outcomes for our broker’s clients. This option enables borrowers with limited savings, but strong cash flows, to purchase with the flexibility of an ongoing monthly LMI premium.

“Additionally, for brokers looking to target the growing environmentally conscious borrower market, our new Green Home Loan options with discounted rates and linked offset account, coupled with an innovative Australian banking first plant-based debit card, provide a unique proposition and clear benefits for brokers and their clients.”

Heritage Bank

Stewart Saunders, head of broker experience, says: “Heritage continues to emphasise an enhanced service experience for brokers and their clients.


“Our team has worked exceptionally hard to bring our service levels back in after a period of significant volume towards the end of 2020. Our initial assessment queue continued to reduce, resulting in a faster turnaround time for brokers. This set a great foundation for 2021 with a number of initiatives well underway or coming to fruition.

“We released our new online servicing calculator, and a new-look broker website, including simpler navigation and a ‘live chat’ feature available for logged-in brokers during business hours.

“We also announced some positive policy changes in March, including overtime commission and bonus policies reverting to pre-COVID levels.

“Additionally, we’re continuing work on our home loan origination platform program that, once delivered, will enable us to achieve greater scalability for brokers during periods of significant volume.”


Therese Turner, CEO, states: “Being relatively new to the third-party distribution space, MOVE Bank has had the unique opportunity to develop this channel with the distinctive needs of brokers and their clients in mind.

“Our agile size means that our team can quickly adapt products and processes to evolve with the changing needs of brokers and their clients. There is also greater access to the ‘decision-makers’, who proactively work with brokers to deliver the best outcomes for clients and find a ‘yes’ if they can.

“At a time where there are reports of some of the big four banks taking up to 30 business days to assess a home loan application, we’re proud to have maintained a maximum five business days turnaround.

“We’re looking to further digitise the home loan journey over the next 12 months. While we already offer the ability to apply quickly and easily online, our next steps will allow customers to receive and sign their documents electronically.”

Newcastle Permanent

Simon Burt, customer experience lead, tells The Adviser: “COVID really fast-tracked our technology enhancements, starting with a digital ID process to help make the application process easier and faster for our broker partners, and reduce turnaround times (which have remained consistent and well ahead of those of the major banks). We simply haven’t looked back.

“As Australia’s second largest mutual, in the past year we’ve worked to enhance our broker experience through ApplyOnline, we’ve implemented eSign for application documents, DVS checks for customer ID, enhanced the supporting documents process, and we’re about to implement ‘fast lane’ application processes for quality submissions.

“We’re now using technology to collect the living expense data captured by brokers when they meet with their customers, removing the need to review bank statements manually.

“From August, we will also be the first of the mutuals, and one of only a few lenders, who have digital signatures end-to-end in the mortgage process, which we’ve already successfully launched for post-approval loan alterations.

“All of these enhancements are saving valuable time on the approval process.”

Qudos Bank

Rob Maloney, broker relationship manager, says: “Over the last 12 months, we have made some exciting enhancements to our online application process for brokers. We’ve implemented a compliance tab on our online portal to move away from paper forms and simplify the process. We’re constantly updating information on our portal so brokers are up to date with the latest news, assessment times and resources.

“One of our innovations has been the introduction of robotics to speed up assessment times and get clients an answer quicker.

“Technology is a focus, and we’re consistently updating tools such as the Qudos Bank App and the website to create an easy banking experience for our customers.

“Service is an essential part of who we are, that’s why we’ve expanded our BDM network across Australia and have a dedicated broker support line to respond quicker.

“We’re excited about the year to come and rolling out new initiatives to our broker network.”

Teachers Mutual Bank

Mark Middleton, head of third party distribution, states: “We have heard from our brokers that smooth processes and fast turnaround times are important to them and their clients.

“In the past year, we have continued to evolve our systems and processes in order to speed up assessment times as much as possible. We have changed the way we assess applications by first looking at credit critical conditions and communicating this to our brokers. This creates more efficiency in the process, as brokers can understand what requirements they must deliver to receive a full approval for their client from first touch.

“As part of our digital transformation, we have also implemented the use of DocuSign to enable our broker partners to execute mortgage documents virtually – which not only speeds up the process but also provides much needed safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are also currently looking at e-Sign on supporting documents to enhance the process.”

How mutuals are steaming ahead
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Annie Kane

Annie Kane

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. 

Email Annie at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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