Promoted by Macquarie Bank.
Wendy Brown, head of broker home loans at Macquarie Bank, talks about Macquarie’s commitment to the broker channel and what’s in store for the future.
Q. You became head of broker home loans at the end of May. What do you hope to achieve in your new role?
I’m excited about the new role and what lies ahead for us in the Macquarie home loans business. One of the biggest things we’re looking to tackle is increasing awareness and consideration of our brand in the home loan market. When we did some market research a few years back, we realised not many people are aware that we’re a retail bank or that we offer home loans. So, we’ll continue to focus on generating awareness of our offering and bringing Macquarie into the consideration mindset, both for customers and brokers. In addition, we’ll continue to ensure our customer (and broker) experience is market-leading and we’ll be doing more work to demonstrate our role as a committed partner with brokers and aggregators.
Q. Why are brokers important to Macquarie?
We’re very committed to the broking channel. This isn’t just because 90 to 95 per cent of our flow comes through brokers. Philosophically, we believe brokers are crucial in delivering the best possible outcomes for clients. More than 60 per cent of customers choose a broker to help them with their home loan for a good reason, and we choose brokers because it’s an efficient way for us to continually meet our customers’ needs.
We’re really clear that we wouldn’t be in the home loan business if it weren’t for brokers, so we see them as true partners in the way we serve our customers.
Q. Macquarie was the second most highly rated bank and held firm its position as the second highest-ranked non-major bank this year. What do you attribute to your success with the third-party channel?
We’re thrilled to be named one of the highest-ranked non-major lenders again this year. We have a long-standing partnership with brokers. We’ve been in the home loan business now for more than 30 years, and we’ve worked with brokers for just over 25 years. Brokers are our bread and butter, and we’ve always supported the industry.
In terms of our retail offering, it’s never been stronger. We’re no longer a niche player, we consider ourselves as a tier one lender. Alongside our strong deposit base, we offer a full banking suite of products, including an award-winning transaction account and credit card, as well as Australia’s first open banking platform, which gives our customers full control of their data.
We’re also a leading digital bank. We won Best Digital Banking Offering at the Australian Retail Banking Awards, so you know that once you set a customer up with a Macquarie loan, they’re going to have a great customer experience that goes beyond just onboarding.
Q. Macquarie was the top-rated bank for turnaround times this year. How have you managed to keep turnaround times fast?
Our customers are at the centre of everything we do, so the way we serve them is one of our main priorities. We know ongoing support is ranked highly amongst brokers when it comes to what’s most important when working with a lender, so we recently doubled our BDM and credit analyst teams to step up our service for brokers as well as their customers. As a result, our time to formal approval has dropped significantly.
For example, the top 20 per cent of clean applications are now approved within four hours, and the average approval time for applications with supporting documents is around a day.
We see the application process as a team effort between us and brokers, so we’re always asking brokers for feedback on what we can do better, and at the same time, we do what we can to help brokers and their clients submit clean applications so everyone can benefit in the longterm.
Q. What can brokers expect to see from Macquarie in the near future (any particular strategies, product launches, campaigns)?
Hopefully by now, a lot of your readers will have seen our national ad campaign, which you can find on major billboards, bus stops and shopping centre sites around the country. The campaign encourages borrowers to “speak to their local broker” about a home loan, because we value the vital role brokers play in allowing Australians to buy and own their own home. The campaign also features real customers – both direct and intermediary – because we believe the most powerful stories are the ones that come from those who use our products and services every day. So, you’ll see customers like Geoff and Leanne and their broker Francis from Locumsgroup in Sydney (Connective) feature in our ads, which we’ll continue to run at different times throughout the year.
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