Big Four banks taking on new staff to deal with property boom

by Mike Wood27 Apr 2021

Both CBA and ANZ have announced that they will take on extra staff as Australia’s property boom.

CBA is to add 400 staff to assist in reducing loan turnaround times and relieve the pressure on existing staff, who are clocking up vast amounts of overtime.

“The exponential growth in home loan application volumes has placed considerable pressure on our support teams and operations, in some instances impacting turnaround times for more involved applications,” said a CBA spokesman.

“As demand has grown, we have made significant investment and mobilised additional resources including bringing on nearly 400 new team members across Australia and thousands of hours of overtime, to keep turnaround times at an acceptable level. We continue to focus our efforts to deliver exceptional service to our brokers and their customers.”

ANZ will be using a combination of new hires and technological advances to tackle their growing turnaround times.

“ANZ continues to increase its processing capacity through a combination of actions,” the Big Four bank said over the weekend, “including increasing the number of skilled assessors to ensure strong overall coverage across assessment types and upskilling more assessors to review complex deals to reduce turnaround times for these applications."

ANZ has been spending considerable time and effort in developing its machine learning capabilities: "In today's world, using the old world techniques, we can make a decision after all those processes have been conducted within four seconds," ANZ CRO Jason Humphrey told ZDnet earlier this year.

The moves come as Big Four bank CEOs lined up in Parliament last week to boast of the speed that they were approving loans, a move that sparked condemnation from many within the broker channel.

The Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) CEO Mike Felton was particularly vocal on the issue. “We are obviously concerned that the leaders of major lenders are promoting these turnaround times, when most customers applying through brokers – who represent approximately 60 per cent of all Australians seeking a home loan – are experiencing nothing of the sort,” he said.