Australia’s largest non-bank lender has announced it is offering the country’s “first ever” two-week settlement guarantee for loans.
Firstmac says the guarantee, which is valid until December 31, will allow broker customers to go from application to settlement in two weeks.
The initiative was launched following feedback from brokers who said they wanted faster turnaround from lenders, with a set time frame to manage customer expectations.
It forms part of the company’s plans to provide its accredited brokers with “the industry’s most efficient service from accreditation through to application and settlement”.
“Relentless focus on helping brokers”
National sales manager Jake Sanders conceded the guarantee was “ambitious”, but said he was confident Firstmac could meet the deadlines by working in partnership with brokers.
“We have a relentless focus on helping brokers to build their businesses and I think this guarantee is an important step in that direction,” Mr Sanders said.
“Using the guarantee, you can eliminate the risk that a client could incur thousands in penalty interest due to late settlement and also provide them with certainly around a very emotional purchase.”
According to Firstmac, the guarantee is made possible by eliminating “unnecessary steps” and by making internal processes more efficient.
“As well as the obvious improvement in speed and peace of mind for clients, there are other advantages from the new system including the requirement for individual assessors to take ownership of files,” Mr Sanders said.
“Lack of file ownership among lending staff is a consistent irritation for brokers that we have knocked on the head with this initiative.”
Firstmac recently launched an online accreditation system that allows brokers to request accreditation, undertake training and gain full access to its broker site.
“Using our new systems, a broker who has never dealt with Firstmac before could go from seeking accreditation to settling their first loan for a client in just two weeks,” Mr Sanders said.
The non-bank lender said that in the unlikely event that the guarantee is not met, the application fee will be refunded.
Dropped interest rates
As well as introducing the guarantee, Firstmac also dropped its key interest by up to 0.30 per cent in an out- of-cycle rate cut.
The rate on Firstmac’s Vital 80 loan for owner-occupiers has been dropped to 3.79 per cent and its Vital 80 for investors now carries a rate of 3.99 per cent.
[Related: New online accreditation system launches]