The newly expanded group is focused on technology, including weighing the benefits of their two CRM systems in order to offer brokers more tools to improve efficiency.
On Monday (March 1st), tThe credit market group has completed the acquisition of Three broker aggregation companies, Choice Aggregation Services, FAST and PLAN Australia from National Australia Bank (NAB).
In an interview with The Adviser, the chairman of the Loan Market Group, Sam White, stated that the existing platforms for brokers, MyCRM and Podium, will continue to operate separately for the time being. One of the top priorities for the newly expanded group is choosing which CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to continue with in the future.
Both the former NAB-owned aggregators and the credit market have poured a tremendous amount of resources into their respective CRM resources Podium and MyCRM. Mr. White stated that one of the group’s top priorities is to choose now which platform its 5,000 mortgage and finance brokers are moving forward.
Mr. White said, “The top priority for us is to make sure that when we disconnect the systems from the NAB, we continue to provide the brokers with the services they need. Things like commission payments are obviously one of the most important things for us to make sure they are correct, but also to then work through the decision on the platform. This is a big decision [choosing] between the two platforms.
“We’re going to go with one, and we’ve worked our way through [the decision] and each platform has some advantages that the other does not.
“An important decision for us is to figure out how we can integrate these good features into one platform from each side,” he said.
Mr. White added that the group would continue to focus on technological developments and offerings in the longer term.
The CEO said, “Brokers are frustrated with how long it takes to do business, and I think technology can help. It doesn’t solve all problems on its own, but it’s definitely a great trailblazer for saving time. Trying to help brokers save time is therefore a central focus of our view of technology. There’s a lot to do, even save five minutes here and ten minutes there, because that really adds up pretty soon. So that will be a focus [for the short term].
“We believe that brokers’ ability to bind themselves to lender decision machines will improve turnarounds. We are very keen to work with lenders and the wider fintech ecosystem to help us make and make faster lender decisions. So that’s better, that’s a medium-term goal.
“And in the longer term, it’s about banking for us and how we can make decisions for your customers more quickly. In the long term, there are great opportunities in this area. “
He said: “I was a broker in 1994 and have gone through the various phases of the industry. Pretty much every time there has been a crisis or frustration … it always leads to it[ed] in new ways of working. I think where we are now is a real turning point. Brokers are incredibly frustrated and I know a lot of lenders are very frustrated with how long it is taking and that takes too much energy to come up with solutions to these problems.
“I think what we’re going to see from this is a better way of working between brokers, aggregators, and lenders. And we would like to help make that happen. Technology is an important part of it, not just one thing, but an important one. “
[Related: Choice, FAST, PLAN join Loan Market Group]
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
In addition to writing about the Australian brokerage industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider credit landscape, Annie hosts the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcast.