Technology a key player in TMB's phenomenal growth

by AB08 Nov 2016

Teachers’ Mutual Bank (TMB) has just clocked up its biggest submission month on record. In September, Teachers’ registered a massive 25% increase in flow.

National manager of third party distribution Mark Middleton attributes a significant portion of the growth to the mutual’s recent merger with UniBank, and emphasised that the key factor in the winning scenario has been NextGen.Net’s state-of-the-art ApplyOnline technology.

“Even with that 25% increase in submissions, the average turnaround is only 48 hours because behind the scenes our system and resources are set up to cope well with the added demand,” says Middleton.

TMB and UniBank merged on 1 August 2015. This greatly enhanced their reach and augmented TMB’s initial base of teachers and their families by gaining access to the university education sector, thereby significantly increasing the market of potential borrowers.

“To achieve this expansion successfully and serve everyone in the chain it was paramount to have the appropriate technology to support and supply. That’s where the NextGen.Net solution comes into play,” Middleton says.

“The capability that we’ve invested in with NextGen.Net has certainly translated as quality and time.

“One of the critical elements within our decision to enter the broker space was selecting the right IT vendor. We needed a cost-effective, efficient solution. NextGen.Net ticked all the boxes and continues to do so.”

TMB’s launch into the broker market began with two aggregators and the e-lodgement component of the ApplyOnline solution in late 2013. 

“We’re now with 12 aggregators, which is a great outcome but has impact on the loan flow that multiple aggregators generate,” Middleton continues.

“Fortunately we thought long-term and invested in our system and took on more of NextGen.Net’s offer, extending it from the initial electronic lodgement component to their Workflow module. This takes the application from initial lodgement to our credit assessors, who no longer have to manually enter a swag of information into our loan submission system in order to assess the deal.”

Referring to TMB as “a very progressive mutual”, NextGen.Net sales director Tony Carn expands on this, saying: “Smart thinking means they’ve embraced the distribution market and invested in the right technology platform. In the process they established a scalable model that enables them to scale up efficiently and easily to deal with extra volume and at the same time not compromise great service and turnaround times for brokers.”

TMB punches well above its weight. It won the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction award for Bank of the Year 2015 and was also listed among the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the second year running in 2015 by the prestigious New York-based Ethisphere Institute.

Middleton says the awards are an acknowledgment of TMB’s ability to marry cutting-edge technology and individual service. “I say to brokers that their submission notes help our assessors understand the loan,” he says, adding that “we’ve retained a human touch at our back end”.

“We don’t have a credit score module,” Middleton says. “Instead, our assessors look at the deal, take into account all the variables, and assess the deal on its individual merits based on broker’ notes, which we find works really well. The NextGen.Net system enables this to occur.”

Just before press time, APRA approved the final sign off on Teachers’ merger with NSW-based Fire Brigades Employees’ Credit Union (to be renamed Firefighters Mutual Bank post-merger). The merger will take place on 1 November.  

Middleton says the plan is to move into the broker space with Firefighters Mutual Bank on 1 February 2017.

Asked why firefighters are a good fit, he says: “Firefighters and teachers are essential services workers in our community, which is a key focus of our organisation.”