Join our productivity journey: Cummings

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The Commonwealth Bank's Kathy Cummings is urging brokers to become more productive for the sustainability of the industry, as well as the success of their businesses.

Speaking with Australian Broker, head of third party and mobile banking Kathy Cummings said that productivity gains through straight-through processing is the bank's next 'holy grail'.

“Straight-through processing is when the file goes through and is not reworked,” Cummings said.

“The idea is that you have all the information in there [the application], it is correctly interpreted [by the bank] and the file just sails straight through.”

At present, 35% of broker channel applications achieve this benchmark, compared with 75-80% of the bank’s own proprietary channels.

Cummings said that that gap actually presented a great opportunity for brokers, and that straight-through processing would not just help the bank.

“Obviously, it [straight-through processing] is very productive for the broker, for the bank and means a sensational customer experience,” she said.

“It is very much about keeping the customer in the center of the discussion, because when it is all said and done that is what it’s about. Happy customers, happy referrers, and a happy broker.”

Cummings said improved productivity and straight-through processing is a journey for the market, and that brokers would be wise to join the bank on that journey.

“If you do that it is going to be much better for your business and the customer experience. It’s a little pain’s a lot of gain,” she said.

To read the full interview, pick up the latest issue of Australian Broker (issue 9.22)

  • Positive Broker on 12/11/2012 12:43:51 PM

    I have about 90% straight through approvals with my lender panel. With CBA I'm lucky if its 5%. In fact I will only write CBA if customer insists on it.

  • BradQ on 12/11/2012 12:07:44 PM

    Funny how I get 'straight through processing' with every other lender....

  • Broker on 12/11/2012 11:57:48 AM

    Perhaps CBA can sit in my office for a day and join my productivity journey!!...They would then realise that we are more productive than ever before, and we have enough compliance paperwork to do these days without the need to dance through other completely unnecessary onerous steps ( Like COLA!!!!)to get a loan approved. As CAN or CANT says , refer to ANZ for some loan processing tips. 2-4 days unconditional nearly everytime!!!!!!

  • 1martym1 on 12/11/2012 11:57:32 AM

    I am a CBA supporter but I think you need to look at your own processes. It seems to take an age these days to get a simple deal formally approved. I wait for 3 - 4 days for credit to pick up the file then wait another 3 - 4 days for the file owner to issue unconditional and docs. I play the game order vals upfront submit quality apps but it still can take close to 2 weeks to get formal and that is provided it doesn't get stuck somewhere in between credit and the file owner as seems to be the case often. Straight Through Processing is also a dream of mine ie the file goes formal at first and only touch by the bank..

  • JohnW on 12/11/2012 11:55:28 AM

    Straight through yeah right.
    Changes to thier forms every 2-3 months, burdomesome/ambigious submission requirements that are above and behond most other lender makes it a landmine for something being missed or asked for.

  • CAN OR CANT on 12/11/2012 11:42:16 AM

    Clean up own backyard first.Home loan process is so simple, yet since online applications,valuations ,UMI and credit checks ,most Lenders have doubled/tripled turnaround times. Stop and place conditions on straight forward loans that havent been invented yet.Amazing how ANZ can approve loans unconditionaly withinn 24 hours ,yet rest pack cant get close.Quite simple,Keep it simple and just copy ANZ .Simple process been over engineered . 95% applications that dont go through first time ,could by phone call or simplfing of forms and checklist.Lets not forget, CBA + others moving goals posts retrospectively, as pure greed ,money making excercise, at expense of poor old clients.

  • Jerry Gibb on 12/11/2012 11:13:42 AM

    Read all before. Always how poor our subs are. In fact sometimes the reason why it is held up is the fault of the assessor who has no idea. Recently 3 of my subs were held up by poor assessing as they were all approved after pointing out some of their policy mistakes. I also agree a simple phone call from the assessor to clarrify things would see the % increase. I do not beleive the branch network has such a high thru put rate as I have seen some of the quality /expierience doing the job.

  • Ray-Perth on 12/11/2012 11:02:01 AM

    I don't deal with CBA and have no problems going "straight through" with the lenders I deal with. Perhaps CBA needs to have a closer look at their own internal operations.

  • Apollo5 on 12/11/2012 10:53:36 AM

    Check when Notes are added to a file - you may be surprised.
    As I was when the a Note was added 2 weeks later that made me look responsible for a delay and not the CBA officer. Note "poor submission quality" affects the commission received.

  • Country Broker on 12/11/2012 10:21:57 AM

    Why would i join them in Productivity ?? when their processes ahve become SLOWER and i know processing is no longer happening in Vic where it was seamless !! Now in Qld where it takes at least one day to have one department to ask anothert department to do something.
    i have never had a file sail straight through with out escalation of the file, i receive very few MIR requestes.

    This to me is smoke and mirrors covering up a decrease in productivity output , leave the holistic approach in the cupboard and concentrate on getting the processing right !

  • Diomedes on 12/11/2012 10:11:38 AM


    I used to get straight through processing with CBA, that was when the credit mangers used to call me to discuss a file prior to decisoning. Now they simply refer, I then call CBA to explain the file to a third party who send an email to the credit manager, nothing happens then I call my BDM.
    Straight through processing is not hard to achieve simply do what you were doing 12 months ago, also you will need up front valuations.

  • Moonae on 12/11/2012 9:56:26 AM

    IF CBA stopped changing policies and processes and layering them with processing "trip wires" and we mightn't be playing this game. CBA should be genuine rather than tricky and we might be able to do quality business with them. At the moment, CBA is paralysed with process for process sake.

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