The future of mortgages: faster, simpler, online

The Commonwealth Bank has held out the vision of 24-hour mortgage settlements.

Home Loans general manager Clive van Horen told the AB+F Mortgage Innovation Forum yesterday that he expected 24-hour settlements to eventually become the norm.

Mr van Horen said the bank wanted to make the mortgage process simpler and faster for clients, but that the biggest challenge lay in integrating its various systems.

“We can’t afford not to be investing in digital, we can’t afford not to believe in data, because we believe that’s where the game will be won in the long term,” he said.

Mr van Horen was speaking in a panel discussion alongside Aussie Home Loans chief executive Ian Corfield, RP Data chief executive Graham Mirabito and Deloitte partner James Hickey.

Mr Corfield said although faster processing was important, clients were more interested in having their hand held through the confusing mortgage process.

He said Aussie’s strategic forecasts assumed all mortgages would remain face-to-face transactions for the next three years – although that could change within five years.

Mr Corfield also noted that regulations did not currently allow end-to-end online mortgages.

Deloitte's Mr Hickey said technology would drive the next round of mortgage innovation, but that it was hard at the moment for businesses to make a financial case for investment. It might be better to be a fast follower rather than a first mover, he added.

Mr Mirabito from RP Data said brokers and lenders would not be able to deliver a digital revolution unless their staff were committed to change.

Meanwhile, ING DIRECT’s executive director of distribution, Lisa Claes, offered advice for brokers and lenders while speaking at a different session at the Mortgage Innovation Forum.

She said they needed to increase the speed, convenience, accuracy and reliability of the mortgage process, while also remaining close to clients throughout the life cycle of their loans.

“Those that have meaningful digital dialogues with their customers will be in the best position to add value for the life of the home loan,” she said.

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