Promoted by Bankwest.
Bankwest ranked first out of all banks in the Third-Party Lending Survey, as well as being ranked first out of the non-major banks for the third year running. This is an achievement Bankwest is extremely proud of and reflects the digital products and services that it has rolled out in recent times. We asked Ian Rakhit, general manager, third party, for his thoughts
Q. Bankwest has come out on top of the non–major ranking for the third year in a row – and the highest-rated bank overall this year. What do you attribute to your success?
Three years running as the highest-ranking non-major tells me we’re consistently delivering what matters to brokers. During a period of uncertainty for brokers and customers alike, with market movements and greater regulatory expectations, I’m delighted that Bankwest is being seen as able to deliver day after day.
We’ve made choices to prioritise our processing standards to ensure a great, consistent outcome for brokers when they have a mortgage scenario, lodge a deal or need assistance with an existing customer’s query. The highest rating this year of all authorized deposit-taking institutions tells me Bankwest’s strategy to prioritise investment in its digital and broker offering is proving its worth. Our vision is to deliver amazing customer experiences that matter. Where we really aim to differentiate is in providing brokers with the ability to grow their own businesses by providing an outstanding customer experience.
Q. The bank was rated highest for its support functions: BDMs, broker communication, call centre support and client support. Why is it important to have a strong support network?
Brokers tell me they want to engage with Bankwest in a way that supports their business model. I know many brokers who have assistants who use the web chat functionality daily to talk to the support team. They also use the tools available to “self-serve” and get access to existing customer information and application updates. Others want an on-the-road business development manager (BDM) running through scenarios face-to-face in their offices. Some don’t want to see a BDM, but they want high-quality phone support from our desk-based teams.
We’ve designed our support structure so each broker is supported by a BDM and a desk-based business support manager (BSM), so a point of contact is always available. Brokers have access to credit managers for guidance on policy and scenarios, and each deal has its own case owner processing the deal from start to finish. We also try to ensure every deal is assessed within 24 hours. Bankwest has built a model of contact points to serve their broker partners in the way they want to be served.
And as I often say, we’re in a continual dialogue with brokers to ensure we’re designing products and services that meet their needs, to help them deliver highly valued services to Bankwest customers.
Q. What changes have you made in the last 12 months for your third–party offering (any technology, products, strategy changes)?
Customer expectations are changing rapidly, and we’re continuing to evolve our business to ensure the products and services we deliver meet and exceed those expectations. We’ve experienced great success through a number of pricing changes; however, we’ve watched our service levels most closely.
I believe it’s our ability to deliver consistent service that will deliver the greatest experience for brokers and customers. We must always remember that there is generally a house purchase at stake, and we have to deliver to the customer’s timescale. In order to achieve this, we’re embracing emerging technologies across our organisation. As a result, it’s been great to be able to expand our suite of digital services to brokers over the past couple of years.
This year, we’ve followed this up by bringing even more digital services to brokers, including giving them the ability to request a free, upfront auto-valuation prior to starting a new home loan application and our new valuation and policy tool, which enables brokers to instantly view Bankwest’s LVR limits and maximum loan amount for the majority of postcodes in Australia, according to each property type.
Q. What achievement are you most proud of from the last 12 months?
The trust between a lender and a broker is essential to a quality working relationship. The uptake on our broker portal, which allows brokers to see their existing customers’ information, such as loan amount, repayment and interest rate, has been exceptional over the last year. To me, this is a tremendous demonstration of trust. Bankwest trusts the broker to use the most up-to-date information in assisting customers with any maintenance enquiries.
Q. Why is the broker channel important to Bankwest?
Brokers are very important to many Bankwest customers, and we’re investing in digital tools that help brokers deliver highly valued services – and amazing experiences – to Bankwest customers.
Broker share of total home loans has increased over the past year to 59 per cent, confirming the value customers are placing in their proposition. As a result, it’s a very exciting time to be leading third-party banking at Bankwest as we continue to invest in people and processes.
I’m always aware that third-party banking is all about relationships and trust, and that’s something I’m passionate about. I’m continually building the capabilities of our team of BDMs. It’s also very gratifying to see the quality of the people who are approaching us with
a view to working with us because they see how actively we’re supporting brokering in Australia.
Bankwest was one of the first institutions to step into the brokering world, and through this careful balance of digital and real people support, I’m looking forward to seeing Bankwest continue to work closely with brokers to meet customers’ changing needs in the future.
Bankwest is a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL/Australian credit licence 234945.
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