In a response to broker criticism, ING DIRECT has made significant changes to its approach to third party lending as the bank sets its sights on becoming the biggest lender outside the majors.
The new program, which will commence from 1 July, will look at submission declines; approvals with excessive special conditions and certain deferrals to ensure they are aligned with the bank’s renewed appetite for credit.
Speaking to The Adviser, ING DIRECT’s chief risk officer Bart Hellemans said brokers were often telling him the bank was “too hard” to deal with and “too conservative” in their policies – a problem the new program will look to rectify.
“I joined the bank last year and since then, I have been told on numerous occasions that our policies are too strict,” he said.
“Brokers are constantly telling me they would send us more business if we were easier to deal with. That is what we aim to be. I think in the past there has been too much focus put on rules and regulations and not enough focus put on the basics. We aim to be transparent. We no longer want to approve deals with numerous conditions. If we think it is going to be a no, we will tell the broker immediately. We will not drag out the process. Similarly, if it is going to be a yes, we will look to make that yes happen as soon as possible without restrictions.
“In the current environment, risk is obviously an important consideration on all loan applications, but with a solid foundation, we’re well and truly open for business.”
Further proving the bank is open for business and determined to become the non-major of choice for brokers, head of broker distribution Mark Woolnough told The Adviser that the bank would soon offer brokers the opportunity to order upfront valuations.
“We will roll out this initiative by the end of May. It will nicely support our most recent initiative, which allows brokers to email supporting documentation, rather than fax it.”
And the bank is not prepared to stop there.
ING DIRECT’s chief executive Don Koch told The Adviser that the bank would also look to overhaul the process brokers have to undertake to set clients up with a Mortgage Simplifier and Orange Advantage account.
“The process sucks. But, rest assured it is on our radar and we are in the process of improving this process. So watch this space.”