Messy mortgage process costing lenders $2,500 per deal

A former Commonwealth Bank BDM has revealed that inefficiencies in the home lending process are costing banks thousands of dollars per application.

Moneycatcha CEO Ruth Hatherley, who worked as a business development manager and branch manager at CBA before joining Mortgage Choice, said that reworks and delays have plagued the mortgage industry for years.

Driven by the frustration she witnessed from being in the mortgage broking business for over a decade, Ms Hatherley founded Moneycatcha, which recently launched a loan origination blockchain platform called Homechain. The goal is to streamline the mortgage process and cut turnaround times down to five days.

The new technology aims to provide an “ecosystem solution” to a problem that is costing lenders thousands of dollars for each mortgage transaction.

“To be quite honest, when I ask a lot of institutions what is the cost of getting an application from submission to settlement, they don’t know the answer to that,” Ms Hatherley told Mortgage Business.

“We have done some independent research ourselves and most institutions spend around $2,200 to $2,500 per application, taking it from submission right through to settlement.

“Overseas, I have seen quotes of up to $3,200 per application. I believe that is probably too expensive. The ironic thing is, lenders are still getting a return on investment.”

Ms Hatherley believes that the actual cost of mortgage processing has been less of a focus for banks as their lending divisions remain profitable.

“I think if we take a different view of it, of doing it more efficiently and cost-effectively and delivering a better outcome for the consumer, I think that’s a place where everybody wins,” the CEO said.

Lenders including HSBC Australia are already trialling the Homechain system, which can retrieve and verify data via API calls to data providers (such as land agencies or government bodies) and effectively move on to the next stage of the application within minutes.

[Related: Human-level AI is ‘decades away’, says futurist]

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