NAB Broker's John Flavell has taken aim at competitors criticising the bank for shelving its segmentation model.
Commonwealth Bank executive general manager of third party distribution Kathy Cummings recently commented that lenders who fail to segment their broker channel are ignorant and apathetic to clients. But Flavell has claimed NAB Broker has seen improving conversion ratios without dangling a segmentation carrot.
"I want to deliver a great level of service to all brokers consistently, and I don't think there's anything ignorant or apathetic about that," he said.
Flavell also expressed frustration with lenders putting the blame for low conversions on broker inefficiencies. He commented that lenders have the responsibility to clearly communicate to the channel.
"It really bothers me when lenders start to point the finger at brokers and say, 'You guys need to get your act together'. It's incumbent on the lender to say, 'Here's our procedures, here's our policies, this is what we can do, this is what we can't do, this is what we need and here are the tools to make it easy," Flavell said.
Flavell claimed that NAB Broker's outbound calling program had led to fewer problems around conversions.
"Our conversions continue to head North, and I reckon the biggest driver of that is phone calls. If a broker hasn't dealt with us before, that one phone call can solve the issue at hand, but also set up the relationship for every other subsequent deal as well," he said.
Flavell argued that the bank was comfortable with its conversion ratios, and said a 70-75% rate was "a good place to be".
"I don't expect to convert 100% of applications. Ten per cent of loans are going to decline for credit. It it's less than 10% you're probably being a little bit brutal with the market. If you get more than 15% declining that means you're not adequately communicating your policy to brokers," he said.
"Then you get customer circumstances that might change, and in a competitive environment where people are refinancing and lenders are trying to retain them, you lose some of those too. Between credit decline, and a little bit of the customer changing their mind and a little bit of competition, if you can turn around and deliver more than 70 cents, 75 cents on the dollar, that's a good place to be," he said.