Non-major lender ING Direct has announced it’s changing its mortgage distribution strategy and will be concentrating more on selling loans through brokers and direct channels, rather than through its white label business.
At a press conference late last week, ING Direct Australia chief executive, Vaughn Richtor, said the decision was being driven by a desire to see more customers view the bank as their primary financial institution.
"In the past our challenge was to build a client base in Australia. Today the opportunity is to grow our primary client numbers."
ING Direct has seen its share of the mortgage market fall from around A$38b down to A$36b in the year to June.
Richtor says the lender is ‘still focused on growth’, however, this is more focused on the number of products held by its 1.4m customer base.
“After launching superannuation last year, we now have four main products streams to offer customers (savings, transactional banking, home loans, super). We want to become our customers’ primary bank.”
He says ING Direct continues to grow its branded mortgages distributed through the broker and direct channels, but is becoming ‘more selective’ with white label mortgage manager business partners.
“We continue to have strong partners in the white label space but are focused on partners who can help us develop primary bank relationships with our customers,” says Richtor.
In terms of what the bank believes it can offer its broker partners, ING head of broker distribution, Mark Woolnough, says they’ve structured their team to give brokers better access to desk-bound and road-based staff.
“We’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback on this approach and we’ve seen the positive impact ourselves. ING DIRECT values feedback from the broker network, and we have been proactively initiating change for the better. Over the past 18 months we have implemented a number of enhancements that promote ease, simplicity and fairness when brokers deal with ING DIRECT.
According to Woolnough, these include:
Credit policy enhancements - reinforcing our credit appetite and instilling continued trust and confidence.
LVR Based interest rates
ATM rebate for home loan customers
Online Loan Variations
Ability to email in supporting documents
Dedicated Commercial Lending offer
Enhanced valuation ordering
Variation fees removed from Orange Advantage