AMP launches upfront vals

by Adam Smith13 Oct 2011

AMP Bank has launched upfront property valuations for brokers, in line with a desire to grow its share of the mortgage market.

The company previously conducted valuations after the submission of applications, which it admitted in a media statement could result in “a longer and more complicated loan process”.

AMP Bank head of sales and marketing Steve Craig told Australian BrokerNews he expects upfront valuations to dramatically improve the bank’s turnaround times.

“The aim here is absolutely to reduce turnaround times for customers, for brokers and for planners alike," Craig said.

"I think one of the frustrations is that the mortgage product has multiple steps based on multiple pieces of information. By being able to provide all that information in one go we should see a dramatic improvement in turnaround times. It really does make for a lot more efficient and better experience for the borrower waiting to get approval,” he said.

While many lenders have already introduced upfront valuations, Craig said the timing of the AMP launch coincided with the bank’s renewed appetite for business following the GFC.

“It’s something we’ve been keen to do for awhile now. We just had to get the timing right. During the downturn in the market there were not a lot of new initiatives from lenders. As we’ve come back to the market it’s one of the improvements we want to offer to brokers. It’s all about AMP Bank’s desire to grow,” he said.

The system will allow brokers to order valuations online, and Craig said the bank has built its platform with ease of use in mind. The platform is expected to allow brokers to complete straightforward information fields, with business rules programmed into the system’s back end.

“What we were keen to do is deliver a system that’s easy to use out in the field. It was about getting the business rules right in the back end to make the experience for the broker easy. The key thing is the simple information you need to put in as opposed to lengthy completion of data fields. The valuation goes back to the broker, which they can then submit with the deal. By ordering the valuation upfront they can provide a fully documented deal,” he said.

Craig said the AMP Bank platform used systems provided by RP Data, and that the system should be familiar to brokers accustomed to ordering upfront valuations through other lenders.

“There are a couple other lenders who have similar systems, but I think ours is easier to use,” he said.

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