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Smaller banks confident of gaining ground on big four

by Nick Bendel10 minute read
The Adviser

Non-major banks have promised brokers faster turnarounds and better BDM support as they look to challenge the big four.

According to a recent poll on The Adviser, 43 per cent of respondents said the non-majors still lead the way for price and service.

Another 36 per cent said the non-majors are falling behind, while 21 per cent said there has been no noticeable change in the status quo.

ME Bank’s national manager of brokers, Stewart Saunders, said his experience showed that brokers were becoming more receptive to options outside the big four.


“ME Bank has gained significant market share of the fixed-rate market in recent years by out-pricing other banks,” he told The Adviser.

Mr Saunders said ME Bank was in the midst of a $70 million technology transformation project that would provide big gains in operational efficiency and improve interactions with brokers.

“We’re also introducing a number of operational improvements such as additional business development managers, credit support resources and processes to improve the broker experience with ME Bank,” he said.

Adelaide Bank’s senior manager of broker distribution, Fons Caminiti, said brokers respond well when non-majors differentiate themselves from the big four on product, policy and service.

Mr Caminiti added that brokers could expect Adelaide Bank to deliver “changes to our product offering” and “a fresh and more efficient process” for loan submissions.

ING Direct’s head of third-party distribution, Mark Woolnough, said the non-major network wouldn’t exist if borrowers only wanted the safe option of the big four banks.

“The challenge for the non-majors is to be more than just the rhetoric behind what they stand for,” he said.

“We’re looking very closely at making some tweaks within our sales support area to empower them in their dealings with brokers, because it’s been called out that they’re a wonderful team but [brokers] would like that ‘one and done’ principle to apply.”

Mr Woolnough also told The Adviser that ING Direct was about to start a program that would deliver a “significant enhancement” to the way it manages loan applications.

[Related: Fierce competition forcing banks to cut rates]

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