Lending product lead explains how this bank is able to deliver quick and consistent SLAs
It’s no secret within the broking industry that many lenders struggle to provide consistent and quick turnaround times. So, when a new customer comes to a mortgage broker for finance with just four days left before the end of their cooling off period – it could well be cause for panic. But not so when dealing with 86 400. The smart bank prides itself on a wholly digital verification process that is completed before the customer even lodges their application. As lending product lead Melissa Christy shared with MPA, this is the main reason the fintech is able to deliver certainty as well as a rapid response.
“Most lenders in the market do things manually,” she said. “By that I mean, operationally in the background, someone physically checks ID documents, statements to verify income and expenses, they ring employers, and that requires a lot of operational staff.”
Add in a property boom, record low interest rates, cashback offers and a surge in refinancing activity and you have the perfect recipe for SLA delays.
“There’s a very high volume of activity and the processes that traditional lenders have in place means that as their business grows, the more people they need in the back office to manage that flow,” she explained.
Despite such heated market conditions, Mortgage Choice broker Silas Lightfoot was able get a first home buyer client the finance they required in the nick of time. After gaining accreditation with 86 400 at the start of the week, he knew what his options were when the client came to him that Friday afternoon seeking finance. The client had purchased with a cooling off period that would expire in just four business days – and no finance lined up.
Lightfoot workshopped the deal with 86 400 on Monday afternoon before submitting it for approval by Tuesday morning. He and the client completed the digital application process perfectly, submitting all information in the “smart statements” process and thus enabling all income and expenses to be verified upfront. The deal was picked up by 86 400 lending operations team within 24 hours as set out in its current SLAs and the client was granted unconditional approval by 3.30pm on Wednesday – one day before the cooling off period was due to expire.
According to Christy, this scenario is “the perfect example of a customer needing a quick decision and our turnaround times being able to support that.” In contrast, some lender SLAs prove longer than the advertised time given to brokers, making it difficult to manage customer expectations – particularly when there is a purchase timeline involved. Christy said lenders could do much to change this situation if they improved and digitised their processes to deal with market fluctuations.
“Our digital process means we can verify income and expenses upfront and the applicant can complete VOI on their mobile to fast track the home loan application and approval journey,” she said. “We don’t do things like check signatures for an application form, that’s all done electronically. All of those things reduce the amount of time that we need a person to actually look at the application.”
This is particularly important when it comes to purchases but it also helps the workflow of brokers doing refinances, she said.
“People are anxious about a purchase and they need to know that they can get the finance to buy the property otherwise they’re going to miss out,” she said. When it comes to refinance, “for brokers who are being flooded with application requests, it does mean that the quicker the process is the quicker they can get this one off their desk and get moving on the next one. It frees up their time rather than chasing a deal over weeks trying to get an answer on it.”