The third-party channel has shared its thoughts on ANZ opening up Australia’s first dedicated Home Loan Centre.
Earlier this week, the major announced it has continued its expansion in NSW by introducing the centre in Westfield Parramatta to provide customers with a specialist service to improve the process of obtaining a home loan.
“By creating a dedicated space for home loans, customers will have access to a team of specialists in an environment not usually associated with a bank,” ANZ's managing director of retail distribution Australia, Catriona Noble, said.
“We’ve designed this to look and feel like a typical home and we’re confident this will resonate strongly with our customers.”
Firstpoint Mortgage Brokers director Troy Phillips told The Adviser that he was not surprised to hear of the move by ANZ, saying it’s only a matter of time before the other majors follow suit.
“I think it’s just the start of a bit of a push towards retailing and what a branch needs to look like in the future and how it needs to interact with the community,” he said.
Mr Phillips added that while the new centre presents direct competition to brokers, especially those who operate in Western Sydney, it gives them the opportunity to further their service proposition.
“It’s direct competition, there’s no doubt about that, but you’ve got to get used to that,” he said.
“I think after Christmas they need to be ringing all their clients, getting in touch with them and just get a feel of what they’re going to do.”
Parramatta-based broker Robert Spooner of eChoice Home Loans said he not concerned about the new ANZ Home Loan Centre having an impact on his customer numbers.
“People still have a preference of getting [brokers] to go into their home and discuss what the 20-odd other lenders are doing whereas if they go to the ANZ centre it’s only about the ANZ products that they’re offering,” he said.
“I personally can’t see much of a threat when I think about it because people do like to shop around and get comparisons. They like to know what else is out there.”
Meanwhile, Vow Financial chief executive officer Tim Brown said while the new centre is a “positive move” for ANZ, he doesn’t believe it will be able to compete with the broker proposition.
“Obviously they’re losing market share to brokers and they have to make changes but I’m not sure whether that’s going to help,” he said.
“I get the feeling that what customers are looking for is choice and banks still can’t offer that.
“If anything I think it’s probably trying to build a defence but I think it’s all a bit too late.”