Lenders are stepping up efforts to entice more broker business. St George's Clive Kirkpatrick says competition among the banks is fierce and that's good news for brokers.
Video transcript below:
Donna Sawyer, Australian Broker TV
Donna Sawyer: The gloves are off as lenders go head to head stepping up efforts to increase market share. That’s good news for brokers according to St. George’s, Clive Kirkpatrick who says competition is fierce in the banking space.
Clive Kirkpatrick, St. George
Clive Kirkpatrick: Well this year I think is far more competitive than past years from a lender’s perspective, which is only bright for the customer and the broker. From St. George’s perspective we will continue to run this year with a number of customer related campaigns as we did last year. So that always give something for the broker to talk to the customer about. So I see this year as being really tough for lenders, as we strive to gain more market share.
Donna Sawyer: And St. George isn’t taking it lying down. Clive Kirkpatrick says the lender has made significant inroads on turnaround times, with more plans in the pipeline to improve its
service proposition to brokers.
Clive Kirkpatrick: We are really focused in on our approval, so application to approval piece. So we have invested in a lot more people, and we upped the number of people in our back office by about 20%, so put extra 60 people into that business, we are now running consistently in day one across all segments and products. So really happy where that’s gone. The broker who is telling us to in our scenarios line, they actually wanted to talk to a credit decision maker, so actually moved our scenarios line into what we now call mortgage hotline, mortgage credit hotline and they are now talking to an experienced credit manager who talks through the deal, how to structure up the deal, then they provide a reference number which gets recorded in our CRM, the broker puts that on their application form and that deal goes through as discussed with the credit manager, so two big steps. The other step we made was with our call centre. It was only relatively small call centre, so we have moved that into a larger contact centre where we can benefit from the scales.
Donna Sawyer: Technology has also played a key role in the strategy, giving brokers access to information at their fingertips.
Clive Kirkpatrick: We have released a new online calculator which has reduced the number of fields you need to plug in to get a result, from say I think it was 13 to 9, doesn’t sound significant but does save time. Also released an updated version of our broker ipad application, which by the way was first in market and the last bit which we are really proud of is the new mobile atoms technology on the smartphone and ipads. So that means the brokers and their staff can now just look on their phone, look to see where deal is upto, no need to call in, gives them the information in their hands.
Donna Sawyer: This is Donna Sawyer reporting for Australian Broker TV.