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Westpac Tackles Turnaround Times

Mortgage approval turnaround times have long been a source of discontent for customers so, in response, Westpac has introduced a new system to cut them down.

By: Property Investor Team

1 December 2019

The bank will now process applications, to the conditional stage, at its central mortgage operations unit. After that, loans will be sent to a local branch for completion.

Staff members at Westpac branches will take on the customer relationship and become the adviser/customer’s point of contact. The bank hopes the system will forge closer links between advisers and its branch network.

Speaking at the recent TMM Better Business Conference, Westpac business development manager for third party banking Tania Ropati said they had made the changes over the last few months. “Advisers and customers will need to deal with that person [at the branch] directly. If you have a sale and purchase agreement signed off, it will have to go through the branch and the contact person for assessment. “The goal of this is to improve our turnaround times and our customer outcomes, and everyone is on board with the new system.”

Ropati said the bank’s central mortgage operations will receive loan applications, but branches will deal with the finer details. “The branches can’t take the applications at the beginning – they have to go through mortgage operations first.”

The Westpac executive apologised for slow turnaround times at a bank panel session at the TMM conference. BNZ also conceded its turnaround times were a source of frustration for customers.

Ropati said the bank was committed to making the new system work, although there may be a few hiccups along the way. “But we feel this is a long-term solution to the problem. We want to provide a clear, smooth customer journey and to see the best outcomes for our customers.”

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