Bankwest has tipped processing improvements it says will aim to cut its time to approval in half.
Bankwest head of specialist banking Ian Rakhit told Australian BrokerNews that the bank's goal is to see its time to approval fall from eight days to four days or less, and that it plans to do this by offering more efficient processes to its third-party network.
One of the initiatives Rakhit said would be in place from mid-year is a delegated underwriting authority for the bank.
"At present Bankwest will say yes to a deal, but then we have to pass it to our LMI insurer who have the final decision. That adds time to the process, but it also means as far as the broker is concerned they say, 'I phone up with a scenario and you say you'll do it, but a third party also has to support it.' What QBE have said is because our lending decisions are so correct, Bankwest can make the final decision," Rakhit said.
The bank will also be targeting a more automated application process. Rakhit said the bank is building a platform that will allow supporting documents to be emailed directly into a file rather than faxed, and will also allow Bankwest to electronically send contracts. Another initiative the bank will undertake is producing document checklists that are more specific.
"We have a checklist that brokers use, but it's very generic and not specific to the deal. What we are looking to do is to bring a deal specific checklist in as part of the application form. That will allow the broker to say to the customer exactly what documents they need to get an approval through with Bankwest," Rakhit said.
All the mooted improvements, however, will require broker buy-in in order to be effective, Rakhit said.
"Currently, some weeks 50% of the business I get from brokers doesn't come in with the right information, and it's rarely too much; it's almost always too little. That's not efficient for me, and it can't be efficient for the broker," Rakhit said.
"A lot of these improvements, we need brokers to come to the party. I can put as many processes and as much IT as I want around this, but brokers have to say 'This is what Bankwest wants, this is what I'll provide and I'll provide it upfront."
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