Head to head: Do you think working with the banks has changed?

Brokers agree the level of detail they are required to go into has increased since the royal commission

Tim Victory
Finance broker
Victory Commercial Finance

“Fundamentally, working with the banks’ processes has not changed in the way we go about a fi nance application. What has changed is the level of detailed information about people’s individual positions (age, budgets, employment, retirement strategies) and the additional paperwork required to now gain those same approvals.

“I believe our industry has been very cooperative and supportive of the changes, and we all work together to ensure we satisfy the new standards. These are only for the betterment of all. The banks have been very informative and understand sometimes the frustration this creates for clients and all involved; however, we do work together to ensure the clients’ best interests are met.”

Sze Chuah
MLS Finance

“I don’t think things have improved signifi cantly over the last couple of years. The same level of scrutiny from credit and risk teams has been maintained since the APRA reforms and the royal commission happened. Many banks seem to be even more sensitive now, especially when it comes to living and investment expenses and all the verification that comes with it.

“On the positive side, servicing is starting to ease now that assessment rates are heavily linked to actual interest rates, but for the more left-fi eld deals it’s easier to deal with the lower-tier lenders who seem to have a broader appetite at this point in time.”

Mhairi McLeod
Astute Ability Group

“We have seen signifi cant changes in the overall banking culture over the last several years. This stemmed from a few unfortunate questionable actions within some fi nancial institutions that directly affected the confidence of the banks’ clientele and brought to light the need for regulators to take a sharper look into lending policies and ongoing customer services.

“Meeting customers’ needs has never been more important to all banks. The last two years have been challenging as we’ve faced changes to lending policies, but have also been rewarding, knowing that our customers’ financial needs are paramount. Consumer confidence is now showing positive trends upwards.”

The need for a near prime solution in the market today has never been greater, according to Aaron Milburn, Pepper Money’s general manager, mortgages and commercial lending. Mainstream lenders tend to gravitate towards clean-credit vanilla customers that sit within a prede ned box. But that’s not always reality, he explained recently to MPA. “Unfortunately, more Australians who can a ord to get a loan will  nd themselves needing to look for other options as credit policies tighten and comprehensive credit reporting is fully rolled out,” he said. “That’s why we’ve seen more non-bank lenders move to o er a solution in this space. Near prime products help bridge the gap caused by traditional lenders tightening their lending criteria in all aspects of prime lending.”