Westpac plans turnaround time overhaul

Westpac has introduced a new mortgage approval system to cut turnaround times, sending loan applications to local branches for completion.

Thursday, November 14th 2019, 8:40AM 2 Comments

Tania Ropati

Westpac will process applications, to the conditional stage, at its central mortgage operations unit. After that, loans will be sent to a local branch. 

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

Speaking at yesterday's TMM Better Business Conference in Auckland, Tania Ropati, business development manager for third party banking at Westpac, said the new system was designed to cut turnaround times. She said the bank had made the changes over the past several 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," she said. “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 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 it work, although there may be a few hiccups along the way". She added: "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."

Turnaround times remain a big problem for the industry. At yesterday's conference, 52% of attendees said the issue was the biggest problem for the sector.


Tags: Better Business Conference home loans Lending mortgages Westpac

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Comments from our readers

On 15 November 2019 at 12:17 pm two cents said:
We all welcome improved turnaround times - but this is move is for Westpac's benefit, not the customers, who cannot find an open branch for miles.
On 15 November 2019 at 2:40 pm Veteran Charles said:
We have had our first case in the Pilot project this week. Very quick turnaround of <24 hours for Masterton Branch to finalise an approval where a pre-approval had been arranged by Mortgage Operations. Wow. So far so good, thank you.

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