BDMs at ING Direct previously dedicated to the broking channel will now service financial planners as well after a wholesale service restructure at the second tier bank.
Following on from a period of rapid change in broker service delivery, ING Direct has made a further decision to combine its distribution teams for the broking and financial planning channels.
Former head of broker distribution Mark Woolnough has been promoted to head up ING Direct's entire third party distribution operations, including wealth management, super and banking.
Combined third party distribution teams across Australia, including BDMs and relationship managers, will be trained up in both wealth and mortgage products in order for them to be able to provide sales and support for all of these products to third party businesses.
Already piloted among brokers Western Australia and South Australia, the model will now be rolled out nationally.
Executive director of distribution Lisa Claes was quick to reassure brokers that the change was not a de facto reduction in overall resources that are dedicated to mortgage brokers.
"The integration and alignment actually delivers additional resources which will be allocated across broker and adviser," she told Australian Broker Online.
"The service proposition currently enjoyed by each channel will not be impacted. In fact one of the rationale driving the integration is to enhance our service proposition to our third party channels."
Claes said the bank would remain focused on all of its third party distribution partners, including those brokers who continued to just offer mortgage services.
However, Claes said training up its BDMs may help brokers who are looking to add additional services to their business, and would likewise facilitate advisers interested in loan writing.
“While there will always be room for specialisation, I have long been an advocate about the benefits of convergence, be it a co-branded, fully integrated or a referral business model," Claes said.
ING Direct expects it will now be able to service the broader financial needs of broker customers if required.
“It also benefits the bank through economies of scale by leveraging internal synergies, broader geographical access to all third parties and improved career opportunities for our people,” she said.