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St. George denies channel conflict accusation

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Australian Broker | 13 Mar 2013, 09:00 AM Agree 0
St. George has poured cold water on accusations of channel conflict following a change to its customer contact policy
  • Country Broker | 13 Mar 2013, 09:23 AM Agree 0
    hands up all brokers who provided the feed back the branch was to contact the cleint on approval???
  • Northern Broker | 13 Mar 2013, 09:38 AM Agree 0
    Not me!! Had I been contacted, I would have been against it. In theory it's a great idea. In practice it has the potential for problems. ANZ's approach is the best I have seen, and the feedback from clients confirms that.
  • Matthew | 13 Mar 2013, 09:39 AM Agree 0
    "But Kirkpatrick said that branch staff contacting clients would not be home loan officers, and would only address products and services not already covered by the broker."

    So the person from the bank branch that calls the customer will actually have no training in home loans, yet will be welcoming the new customer due to their new home loan approval with the bank?

    That is a classic.

    Welcome to your home loan approval with us today, I will not provide you with any help or information in relation to your actual homeloan as im not a homeloan officer, however would you like a credit card, home insurance, a personal loan or anything else before I let you go?

    If the issues as stated surrounds the implementation of direct debits and so forth, then perhaps get it right the first time by looking at your pre-settlement paperwork and revising where needed to allow for these issues to be adressed correctly might be a better idea.

  • OzBoy | 13 Mar 2013, 09:50 AM Agree 0
    “To be honest, it would be foolish to cut our nose off on this because brokers bring in around 50% of bank customers. Why would we cut that off?”

    Mmm rhetorical I am sure. There is no doubt that St G branches will poach any client introduced by the branch, they do it now and on the 5 occasions we have brought this to St G's attention the most we ever got back was "we will speak to the branch" but it still went on.

    We get all our clients to tick the do not market to me box and now when the branch contacts them we fill in the a Privacy Complaint form and the client fills it in and sends it off.

    And this quote "would only address products and services not already covered by the broker" seriously Mr Kirkpatrick how will St G manage that. Our BDM does not know what services we offer let alone anyone else at St G and then add the fact that over the last 6 months we have added 3 more income streams and again we come back to how will you manage this, in short you can't.

    Just a fair bit of spin with no real idea of how it will work.
  • Kram | 13 Mar 2013, 09:50 AM Agree 0
    St George branch staff have always assisted our (broker) clients and we have never experienced any attempt to hijack the customer. I think it is perfect timing for branch contact at approval as St George can then sort out accounts, cards, where branches are, as well as secondary products, etc.
    If this article was about CBA, then I would have different comments as we have had numerous branch hijacking attempts (often successful) over the past 8 years.
  • BONED | 13 Mar 2013, 09:55 AM Agree 0
    I'm all for a Branch relationship - i have one with CBA & Suncorp and they work extremely well - but I am contacted first at ALL times before a call is made to the customer. The key difference is that Branch is clear on their task/obligations. With St G ironically, it's the Lender that I have over 13 years lost most Clients to the Branch network post settlement - not sure what they tell the Client but no other Bank does this occur with!
  • LH | 13 Mar 2013, 10:15 AM Agree 0
    As long as it happens as stated then I'm all for a great branch relationship. I have one with a Bank of Melbourne branch that is very healthy and they know not to go near the client for anything except transaction accounts and credit cards. I would be more inclined to choose a branch and have them do every client for me, not going to the local branch, as the process can get out of control with my way of managing client expectations.

    I have also heard it first hand from two BoM branch managers that there is a distinct issue with lending managers at branch level trying to steal broker clients for second and third loans, as well as moving existing lending to different products without broker knowledge. While he has stopped it, it cannot be guaranteed at every branch, hence why I'm for a single contact point.
  • Keith B | 13 Mar 2013, 10:18 AM Agree 0
    Let's be honest here, everytime one of our mutual St George customers' enters a branch they are at risk!. We know the counter staff have KPI's to refer leads to the branch lenders' and failure to meet the quota has serious implications (even termination). On top of that the Branch lenders' are not prepared to get off their backside and develop relationships externally, and they carry the weight of unrealistic budgets. Branche staff within St George will do everything possible to lure the customer away from the broker and are being rewarded and reconginzed to do so
  • Coast Broker | 13 Mar 2013, 10:18 AM Agree 0
    Good timing for this story. Only last week I had a St George Branch in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney try to take my clients away of 6 years. The Branch staff member who rang my clients stated that they we doing a review of St George Home Loan Customers in their area and advised that they could do a better interest rate on their current low doc loan products without the need to provide any financials they would now be able to do a full doc loan. So much for NCCP when it comes to Retail Bank Lenders. Luckily the majority of my clients stick with me and they were one.
  • Positive Broker | 13 Mar 2013, 10:33 AM Agree 0
    I have no doubt Clive's intentions are honourable. Call me a sceptic but a branch staff member under intense pressure to meet there own sales targets is liable to poach other business such as insurance and at worst poach the customer. Very risky I feel.
    Agree with Northern Broker. the ANZ system works OK. As for buiding relationships with branch that works locally but like a lot of brokers my business comes from far and wide.
  • Long term broker | 13 Mar 2013, 10:36 AM Agree 0
    Guys if you actually read the release from st George they contact us first to ask us what to setup. Used it a few times now and it's been excellent. They email me back to say offset account opened, direct debit cards ordered and they also fixed an issue with a FHOG for me. Colleague of mine lost his trail to a rewrite a few years ago but it was reinstated as th
    e loan wasn't increased by a certain amount (from memory about 100k) and back dated. Talk to your Bdm guys I only see positives here!
  • Patrick | 13 Mar 2013, 10:38 AM Agree 0
    Can nobody see what is the real issue here? Errors and omissions in the establishment of new home loan customers routinely occur. Post settlement the call centre is lambasted with the complaints when the make the "welcome" call. The typical large corporate solution, shut down the communication channnel. Remember banking is a great business if those pesky customers would just leave you alone to count up the profits. the new plan is to welcome the customer before settlement when there can be nothing yet to complain about. Post settlement it will be up to the customer and/or the broker to sort out establishment problems.
  • MelbBroker | 13 Mar 2013, 10:54 AM Agree 0
    I simply don't believe him. We have too many recent cases where our clients have been contacted directly by a branch, offering deals that we can't match, same as Coast Broker's experience. My clients hadn't signed a thing and yet received credit cards in the mail, which were clearly not applied for. Took it up with senior management and kept the client but got no explanation or apology. At all. Do not trust this bank.
  • A. Broker | 13 Mar 2013, 11:22 AM Agree 0
    how does st george expect us to believe their hands off "policy" when they are creating the conditions to do the opposite? they are either flattering themselves or tacitly conditioning us to accept their agenda. very funny ha ha
  • Noel | 13 Mar 2013, 02:08 PM Agree 0
    If you do not trust them, do not lodge loans with them. Simple. However you would be better off establishing a good relationship with you local St George branch staff. Why not go and introduce yourself to them.
  • City Broker | 13 Mar 2013, 04:34 PM Agree 0
    I have great relationships with 2 local branchs for 2 different banks. It pays to be proactive and seek a good relationship to cut out any 'poaching'. You have to realise people have to do their banking somewhere so they are mutual cliets. I think a lot of the negative comments come from fear of the unknown. Make yourself know to a few local branches and to change this.
  • West Coast | 14 Mar 2013, 10:30 AM Agree 0
    Don't trust what the banks said, their business to get more customers and the easiest way is to poach ready-made broker's client. Westpac and CBA are the worst
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