ANZ aims at broker/branch alignment

by Miklos Bolza01 Nov 2017
The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has commenced a nationwide strategy of collaboration between brokers and branches to swap information, bring both channels together, and create a better experience for customers.

The idea for greater coordination between the two channels emerged when Simone Tilley, ANZ’s general manager of retail broker distribution, noticed disparity in financial performance between third party and direct.

By educating branch staff about the reasons why consumers choose brokers, there was an opportunity to focus on the customer and create a rich on-boarding experience, she told Australian Broker.

“The message I’m sending … is that I don’t want to be winning at the expense of others.”

To accomplish this, ANZ branch managers are encouraged to attend broker professional development days, she said. This achieves a twofold goal: introducing the branch managers to the brokers and educating branch managers about building trust and rapport within the broker network.

If branch managers keep brokers informed of the loan application progress at all times and assist with matters such as documentation sign ups and needs analysis, this can create “symbiotic benefits” for both parties, she said.

For the past six months, ANZ has been quietly rolling out this scheme across hundreds of branches and 4,000 branch staff nationwide, working closely with state heads of the business and branch networks.

“We are aligning our BDMs, our business development managers, with districts across the country so that there’s strong unity from within.”

The bank is also using branch huddle days to explain the importance of the broker network, how to build respectful relationships with brokers, and how not to go down a path of conflict, she said.

“[We’re] really trying to educate from a grassroots foundational level so that we’re able to drive the message across the business.”

Another initiative involves supplying branch managers with reports around funds under management (FUM) for brokers within the nearby area to enhance clarity around which brokers are settling business. ANZ then facilitates introductions between the branch managers and these brokers, Tilley said.

“Where we have got those linkages taking place, there are …treasured partnerships being formed because the branch managers get to know the brokers.”

This all goes towards ANZ’s channel agnostic strategy, she said.

“What we are doing is centring our minds around the customer and not focusing on what door a customer walks in first, second or third.”

ANZ currently works with around 16,000 accredited brokers across the country.

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