Turnaround times, VOI processes and form standardisation have been flagged by FBAA managing director Peter White as areas for reform in the lending space.
Appearing in a webinar hosted by the Australian Finance Group, managing director of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) Peter White identified the key pain points among brokers since the onset of COVID-19.
Among the pain points cited by Mr White was the processing delays for loan applications, amid mounting evidence of a blowout in approval times among several lenders, including three of the big four banks.
Mr White said the delays were producing poor outcomes for borrowers in need of swift support.
“We had a case [where a broker] submitted a loan application in January and it only got approved in July,” he said.
“It wasn’t because of a lack of information or anything else, everything was there, and there was no toing and froing, but it took a phenomenal amount of time.”
“I’m hoping that lenders are [getting through this] because you’ve got borrowers out there that suffer because of those time lags.”
Some lenders, including ANZ and NAB, have publicly acknowledged their shortcomings and have recently introduced changes to their lending processes, which have included the onboarding and relocation of staff.
Mr White also noted challenges relating to the varied compliance practices employed by lenders, citing recent changes to verification of identity (VOI) policies.
“I notice more lenders are moving to digital signatures, which, in this day and age, you’d think should be commonplace,” he said.
“I guess that’s one of the outcomes of a very bad situation in COVID-19, it’s driven some of these initiatives forward.”
The FBAA managing director added that more work needed to be done to standardise compliance obligations.
“It’s been a long time in our industry where [each lender] has a different application form, different privacy form, different this, different that,” he said.
“[There] are some moves in some areas, but I think that’s an area where we now see through the lens [because] of a difficult situation [like] COVID.”
Mr White concluded: “We should get these things done and move forward. It will make things a lot easier for everyone in the industry, and for borrowers.”