The major bank’s turnaround times have increased significantly, despite recent efforts to “clean up” its processes.
ANZ has confirmed that its processing times for home loan applications have, on average, more than doubled over the past month.
Following the release of its half-year results (1H20) in April, CEO Shayne Elliott claimed that after investing heavily in addressing shortcomings in the home loan approval process, ANZ reduced turnaround times to “within a week”.
“We were very upfront that we’ve screwed up in the past in terms of trying to apply some of the responsible lending policies, and we made out processes too slow and cumbersome,” he told The Adviser.
“We’ve cleaned all that up, and Mark Hand and the team have done a terrific job in streamlining that and investing in people and technology and process to get that right.
“We got our assessment times down to within a week, and that’s where they’ve stayed. That’s really competitive, and we’re really confident. What’s been interesting is that we’ve been able to maintain that despite a really strong uplift in volume.”
However, the bank’s own data has revealed that mortgage applications now take up to 23 business days for approval. On average, ANZ requires between 15 to 18 business days from the day of application to approval.
The deterioration is also reflected in the latest Broker Pulse figures from Momentum Intelligence, which reported that ANZ’s turnaround times peaked in February at just under six days, before rising to seven days in March, and spiking to just under 10 days in April.
In a statement to The Adviser, ANZ denied that the increase is linked to “processing issues”, instead attributing the deterioration to “record daily volumes”.
Last month, ANZ’s CEO told The Adviser that home loan volumes had risen sharply off the back of the COVID-19 crisis, driven by a surge in refinance applications.
“What we’ve seen surprisingly in the last six weeks is a significant uptick in home loan applications coming through to ANZ,” he said.
“Most of them are refinancing; as you can imagine, there are not a lot of new home loan purchases for obvious reasons.
“But a lot of people, I imagine, are sitting at home thinking, ‘The future’s a little bit more uncertain than it was; we should probably look at where we can save a few dollars here and there’.”
This is also reflected in the latest Broker Pulse figures, with the percentage of brokers sending applications to ANZ increasing from 27 per cent in February to 59 per cent as at 30 April.
This follows a contraction in ANZ’s mortgage book in 1H20, down $5 billion from $269 billion in 1H19 to $264 billion.
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