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Branches not efficient for mortgage origination: Elliott

Shayne Elliott, the chief executive of ANZ, has conceded its bank branches are “not terribly efficient” for mortgage origination, adding most of the lender's business comes from mortgage advisers.

Thursday, November 29th 2018, 3:02PM

Shayne Elliott

Speaking at the latest Royal Commission hearing, Elliott admitted branches were not a “terribly efficient” or “well used” avenue for mortgage origination for the bank. Being questioned by QC Rowena Orr yesterday, Elliott said less than a third of its mortgage book originated from the branch network, while 55% came from mortgage brokers.

The comments underline the bank’s reliance on the adviser channel despite growing scrutiny on adviser pay and commission throughout the Royal Commission. Only last week, Matt Comyn, the CEO of ASB-owner Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said he supported a fee-for-service model for brokers, and suggested advisers did not provide ongoing work worthy of trail commission.

Yet Elliott's comments indicate banks in Australia cannot rely on branch visits to sustain their loan books. The CEO admitted branch visits were falling as people turn to online channels for day-to-day banking. He said the bank had explored improving the efficiency of mortgage origination through technology. He later defended the closure of branches across Australia:  The last report that I saw from our network was that retail traffic, the number of people coming in and the number of things they do when they are there, is falling. I can’t remember the exact numbers but from recollection it’s close to, perhaps, 10% per annum.”

Comments from our readers

On 30 November 2018 at 11:23 am Slades said:

Branch staff do not have the experience or skills to support home loan purchasers very well. Their advice, if any given tends to be one dimensional, that is tailored to what the bank wants and prefers to do, rather than clients' needs. ANZ recognises the value of the mortgage adviser, even if Matt Comyn, CEO of Commonwealth Bank Australia does not! Most advisers in New Zealand know their clients very well. Advisers perform a lot of tasks and give a lot of advice freely before and after settling a home loan. Perhaps Matt needs to spend some time in a Mortgage Adviser's business, to gain a better understanding of the value added, before making such pronouncements: "suggested advisers did not provide ongoing work worthy of trail commission."

On 30 November 2018 at 8:44 pm monimonimoni said:

Perhaps you should spend more time in different branches instead of generalising.

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