CEO talks about symbiotic partnership, shared goals
The head of one of Australia’s largest banks has emphasised the value it places on its partnership with brokers, describing its relationship as symbiotic, rather than competitive.
Ross McEwan (pictured above left), the CEO of NAB Group, made the comment in a fireside chat with Sam White (pictured above right), the executive chairman of Australasia’s biggest broker aggregator, LMG, before an audience of more than 900 gathered at the LMG Growth Summit on the Gold Coast on November 29.
McEwan told White the relationship between banks and brokers was symbiotic and ultimately consumers would choose their own paths.
The pair’s chat (pictured below) has been one of the highlights of the LMG Growth Summit, which concludes on Thursday, November 30, and brings together Loan Market, LMG Partner and Member businesses for the first time.
NAB tells LMG it shares the same goals as brokers
McEwan said NAB was committed to investing in technology to make it easier for brokers to do business with the bank and achieve efficiencies and productivity in an industry that had seen “margins decline over the last 30 years”.
He said the bank had a “vested interest” in its relationship with brokers, who now account for 71.5% of originated home loans, according to the MFAA’s latest figures for the September 2023 quarter.
NAB and LMG shared the same goal of harnessing data to deliver better customer outcomes, McEwan said.
“You (brokers) need someone to manufacture a product on your behalf and we like to think we do that well,” he said. “And we need distribution (which is brokers). I've been in this industry longer than many, and there has always been change. We need to embrace technology.”
“We’re all knowledge workers: we take information and make assessments and put propositions in front of the customers. If you can speed that up and make it better, we’re all going to benefit.”
NAB: Customers decide whether to use brokers or direct channel
McEwan said the customer “will always make the call” on whether they want to go through a broker, go through a private channel or apply themselves digitally.
“But the vast majority, at a home level, want a broker. So our view has been to invest in that (broker) channel. We have a symbiotic relationship – we live together.”
McEwan said the economy would slow in 2024, but believed sectors including resources and higher education, along with immigration, would help Australia’s resilience.
McEwan congratulated White on his vision for the brand and support for the former NAB-owned businesses.
Addressing White, McEwan said: “Finding the right home (for the former NAB-owned businesses) was our primary goal”.
“And we found the right home. I think you are going to do a better job on Plan, Choice and Fast than we could have ever done.”
Stellar lineup for LMG Growth Summit
The Growth Summit continues today with panels on “How data and open banking will transform the broker experience”, featuring Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Equifax Verification Exchange, illion and NextGen; and “Cyber: My brokerage got hacked and this is what I learnt”, featuring Loan Market Select managing director Damian Wallace and LMG chief information security office Luke Jarmain.
The keynote presentation on brain power will be given by marketing guru and TV presenter Todd Sampson.
LMG also held its inaugural asset finance summit, Elevate, on November 28, where it unveiled its specialist asset business plans designed to assist brokers and help asset finance business grow.
What do you think of NAB CEO Ross McEwan's comments regarding the bank's relationship with brokers? Comment below