NAB overhaul aims to slash loan approval time from days to minutes

by Mackenzie McCarty14 Mar 2013

NAB announced a major business overhaul yesterday, with plans to save around $800 million a year thanks to staff cuts and ‘diminished duplication’ - and brokers will almost certainly be affected.

NAB spokesperson, John Flavell, tells Australian Broker the ‘updates’ which are most likely to affect brokers are primarily technological and will come into play gradually, over the next five years.

“The changes we have made within our technology platform [NextGen]…deliver more efficient customer experience and quicker cycle times. The entire network will benefit.”

The major lender says it aims to decrease loan approval time from ‘120 hours’ to ‘response within minutes’ and time to documentation for a ‘simple’ mortgage is also expected to decrease, from ’20 days’ to ‘one hour’.

NAB has also announced a change to its senior managerial structure. Head of personal banking, Lisa Gray, will become group executive of enterprise services and transformation and Gavin Slater, who’s overseen NAB's technology transformation to date, will be the new head of personal banking. Both will take over their new roles next month.

Furthermore, executive director of finance, Mark Joiner, will retire by the end of 2013.

However, despite what appear to be dramatic structural changes, Flavell says brokers should experience few teething problems.

“Realistically, what we’re doing is informing the market and bringing it up to speed. In terms of what we’ve focused on in the broker business, it’s making sure we’ve got a really appealing proposition for the end customer and focusing on making sure we’ve got a really robust service experience both for brokers and customers.”

This involves making sure brokers can access tools – like ordering evaluations upfront – and ensuring that some human contact remains, he says, though staff redundancies are inevitable as certain positions become automated.

“There’re elements of what we do that we can automate. Having a tech platform in place that can take those details gives us a much more efficient and effective solution and diminishes duplication. The other thing is you have a platform whereby enhancements and changes can be made quickly.”

The number of products the bank offers will be cut and remaining products will be ‘simplified’, according to a statement made by Clyne yesterday, but Flavell wasn’t able to elaborate on which products specifically may be chopped.