St George Bank has defended recent changes to its commission structure, as well as letting brokers know that there have been some big changes happening behind the scenes.
Clive Kirkpatrick, general manager for mortgage broking at St George, told The Adviser that while he admits the bank has a lot to work on, the lender has made plenty of changes – with more in the pipeline.
“We haven’t been very vocal about the changes we’ve been making internally,” Mr Kirkpatrick said.
“We wanted to make the changes, see the success and then talk about it – as opposed to talking about these ‘game changers’ and then have it under deliver.
“The biggest pain for us, and our brokers, was in our settlements area so we’ve made significant changes in that area, we’ve put reporting mechanisms in which handle all the escalations… a whole raft of quality initiatives have gone through there.”
Mr Kirkpatrick claimed the bank had been looking at what was 'broken' and is currently moving through a transformation process which should last through until March.
“The people in our decisioning area now have broad delegations so they can make a decision on a deal at first point, rather than refer it on to a more senior manager. We’ve dropped that from around 35 various levels of authority down to five. So it just simplifies everything.”
St George has also been consulting members of the broking industry to find out exactly what is wrong with their back-end.
“Last week, we had a two-day retreat with our ‘Flame’ brokers, our top performing brokers. We hold this annually and we get all the heads of our business areas to join so that the brokers can provide feedback and we can work together to create better solutions.”