BNZ first bank to market with online lodgement tool

BNZ is set to launch an electronic lodgement process to help advisers and improve turnaround times on loan applications.

The bank has started training Mortgage Express advisers and expects to get its first electronic applications next week.

It has been working with its launch partner, NZFSG, but that roll-out probably won’t take place until 2018.

BNZ head of third-party distribution Adam Ward said he expected the process to improve turnaround times by 50%.

While it won’t be compulsory for advisers to use the platform, there will be a stage when it gets to critical mass that all apps will have to be done through the platform.

“I would love to see it happen next year,” he said.

However, he also said BNZ would be “practical and logical” around this stage and it “won’t be dogmatic”.

The Loanapp is launched directly from an adviser’s CRM system to provide a seamless experience with no double entry of data.

It cuts out a number of steps for advisers (like having to continually refer to the BNZ broker guide or submit the affordability calculator) making it simple and easy to use, even with the most complex lending scenarios.

TMM understands some advisers, including a number of big writers, don’t use a CRM.

Ward said these people could make lodgements directly into the bank’s app, but, in his view, it was clear that all mortgage advisers should be using CRMs.

“It’s not acceptable” not to use a CRM, especially as the regulatory requirements around advice is ramped up, he said.

Ward says applications made through the tool will need all the required information for the bank to make a lending decision.

If there is information missing it will be flagged in the system for the adviser to fix, also it will have reminders about policy rules.

He said advisers had been finding it hard to keep up with all the policy changes.

“They never remember all the changes."

Applications lodged online will still have credit rules applied by one of BNZ’s underwriters.

“It is not straight through processing.”

Advisers won’t be incentivised to make electronic lodgements.

Wards is “not a big fan of (financial) incentives” and says it’s not something regulators like.

Rather the incentive should be about speed and turnaround times.

He also doesn’t see this as BNZ trying to take a competitive advantage position in the market, rather he thought electronic lodgement should be the industry standard in New Zealand, as it is in Australia.

Ward says all parties in the transaction, BNZ, advisers and the customer, will benefit from the process.

BNZ has partnered with Simpology to use Loanapp, rather than Next Gen which is used by its parent, NAB, in Australia.

Ward said Simpology was newer and “would more easily adapt to the New Zealand market.”

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