CBA announces major changes to help brokers get home loans for self-employed clients

by Mike Wood23 Sep 2021

CBA has announced a raft of changes that could help brokers do more deals for self-employed customers.

Self-employed people will now be able to be assessed against the salaries that they pay themselves from their businesses, with six months’ worth payslips and a letter from their accountant now an option to help clients get a home loan.

“The broker channel is hugely important to CBA, and in particular the self-employed customer segment,” said Chris Moldrich, general manager business home lending at CBA. “More so now than ever, given what we’re seeing with lockdowns, the support of self-employed business customers is critically important.”

“There’s a few changes that we’ve made and that we’re really excited about, which we have brought in based on feedback from brokers that we heard around the challenges of getting access to finance for home loans for self-employed people.”

“One of the changes that we’ve made is accepting pay cheques for customers that pay themselves a salary through their business, accepting payslips for a period of six months plus a letter from the accountant to confirm that the business can afford its debts in in lieu of all the financial information that we would have asked for in the past.”

“There’s a few broker customers that we’ve had come through where a customer would have previously had to provide financials from in order to assess their business and home loan, but instead we were able to pick up the payslips from the income that they paid themselves and the letter from the accountant.”

“We were able to approve that with a day, which shows a much better experience and turnaround time, both for the customer and, more broadly, for our brokers.”

“We see it as a big opportunity to help self-employed people and make it easier. The changes are on the back of feedback around making it easier for those customers to gain access to finance, which in the past wasn’t always the case, for example when they had to provide multiple sets of financial information to assess the loan.”

“The feedback has been really positive around the changes that we’ve made and we continue to look for ways to make it easier.”

CBA isn’t just judging payslips: it will consider financial information that goes back before the pandemic in for self-employed people who may have been negatively affected in the last 18 months.

“It’s something we’re continuing to look at,” said Meldrich. “We have the loan deferrals in place which we reintroduced in July, and it’s certainly been front of mind in the way that we assess customers when it comes to home loans.”

“There’s new process around payslips, and the other thing that we’re doing is looking at customers that have been challenged in trading performance this year or last year due to lockdowns. We’re looking to prior years to see if they’re back on track.”

“We’re continuing to look for ways to look at the ways that customers are generating income post-lockdown to be able to assess their lending. It’s got to be front of mind as we come out of lockdowns in Victoria and New South Wales.”

“We do want to be the number one business bank, and a part of that is helping self-employed people. They’re a critical part of the economy and they’re important to CBA, as is the broker channel. We want to ensure that we take on feedback from brokers and make changes like this that support brokers and their customers.”

“We’ve also bolstered our pre-deal team, the people who are there to workshop transactions for self-employed customers with brokers, and we’ve put more people into our case management team for broker-introduced customers who come through. We’re putting on more trainers and coaches available to help brokers on all things self-employed.”

 

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