Westpac scraps online app process

Lack of use has led Westpac to ditch its digital mortgage application system for mortgage brokers from June 1.

Friday, June 9th 2017, 9:30AM

by Miriam Bell

Loan Market’s Bruce Patten

A Westpac spokesperson said the decision was prompted by the fact that not many brokers had been using the system.

“Mortgage brokers seem to prefer using other channels and we are guided by what they want. But we are currently working on a next generation system to replace it.”

The change does not impact on customers who want to go online to arrange a mortgage for themselves, the spokesperson added.

Loan Market’s Bruce Patten said there wasn’t a lack of demand for the type of system that Westpac was offering.

But there were problems with the system itself as it was not compatible with the CRM systems that New Zealand brokers use.

This meant that the data could not be easily integrated between systems and brokers ended up having to enter in data twice.

“The idea was great and the system in itself was good and improved the speed around turnaround times.

“But, unfortunately, the lack of compatibility and need to double enter data meant brokers simply were not using the system.”

Patten said Westpac has recognised that fact and have gone back to the drawing board on it, but that finding a system that can work effectively in its place is key.

“It needs to get sorted so that banks and brokers can get applications processed more quickly.”

However, there needs to be the will to develop or introduce such a system across the banking sector.

ILender’s Jeff Royle said he is doubtful that will exists, despite the benefits such a system would have.

“This is odd because most of New Zealand’s big banks are subsidiaries of Australian banks and Australian banks all use systems that integrate with brokers systems seamlessly.”

Westpac’s system was great in theory but not in practice as it was simply not user-friendly and ended up frustrating many brokers who then stopped using it, he said.

“The lack of an effective online application system for brokers is a problem.

“You would think that because the banks, like Westpac, have Australian parent banks they could just adopt one of the Australian systems.

“But there just doesn’t seem to be the will there to do that and ensure integration of systems.”

Royle added that he thinks Westpac will come back with something better than the now-pulled system but that it won’t be for some time.

Tags: banks Lending mortgages Westpac

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