As the debate surrounding the relevance of broker segmentation heats up, Westpac has confirmed its commitment to the segmentation model, unveiling a new top tier program.
The new segment program, Platinum, aims to recognise the importance and value of this key customer group to Westpac and the wider mortgage industry.
Westpac’s general manager of mortgage broker distribution business Tony MacRae said the lender is determined to deliver new business initiatives to ensure its most ardent broker partners are being delighted and well supported.
Available to selected brokers by invitation only, Platinum Brokers receive a range of benefits including priority service, Westpac’s quickest turnaround times including same-day conditional approval, Platinum branding recognition as well as numerous personal premium banking benefits including discounts on Davidson Institute seminars and courses.
“Brokers are an important business partner at a local level, with around 45 per cent of the banks mortgages delivered via the mortgage broker channel. Our aim is to bring our broker partners and Westpac’s team of local bankers closer together to build deep and strong business relationships, and Platinum helps us achieve this by rewarding brokers who work closely with us and really delight their customers,” Mr MacRae said.
“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to engage with our Platinum Brokers and key business partners face-to-face at the upcoming road shows.”
Westpac’s Mortgage Broker Distribution team is taking to the roads around the country, from late February to March, as they roll out their 2012 ‘Building Great Partnerships’ broker road show events in Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Westpac’s new top tier program unveiling comes soon after NAB Broker's decision to remove its star segmentation strategy late last year. NAB Broker general manager distribution John Flavell said NAB broker was determined to deliver excellent service to all of its broker partners, not just a select few.
"When we removed our segmentation, we received a lot of feedback. We talked specifically to brokers that are on the VIP programs for some of our competitor lenders, and they told us that after the wining and dining was done, from a service perspective, these lenders were not offering anything that Homeside didn't offer to all of its broker partners," he said.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s executive general manager, third party and mobile banking Kathy Cumming also spoke out regarding segmentation.
“In my view, any organisation that doesn't segment in today's market is actually displaying both ignorance and apathy towards their customers’ clients,” Ms Cummings said.
“Customers are increasingly financially savvy and actually demand a point of difference for brokers to compete for their business. This dictates a corresponding need for us as manufacturers and as partners to the brokers. Segmentation demonstrates an in depth understanding of a broker’s business goals and aspirations.”