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Technology to drive industry consolidation

The mortgage industry is expected to see further consolidation as smaller players struggle to compete in an increasingly digital environment.

As the Financial Services Inquiry narrows its focus on the impact of technology on financial services, mortgage businesses will need to work out where they fit in the digital spectrum, according to third party banking specialist Kathy Cummings.

“Some of the smaller players will have to amalgamate; there may be some more consolidation, because they will not be able to do the investing or have the cap ex to be where they need to be to compete,” Ms Cummings told Mortgage Business.

“The brokers also need to do that,” she said. “They have got to find their place in the technology chain.”

While online mortgages continue to gain momentum, Ms Cummings is confident that brokers will remain a legitimate distribution channel.

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“Frankly, the majors couldn’t handle the volume if the broking channel suddenly wasn’t there,” she said.

“They wouldn’t have the capability to be able to manage it, so it is a very legitimate channel.”

Aussie Home Loans executive director James Symond has seen the significance of technology in mortgage broking change over time.

“Today, software becomes such an important part of the whole game, the whole presentation,” Mr Symond said.

“You can’t run your business or present to a customer appropriately without having some sort of IT platform behind you,” he said.

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“IT and software have become such an important part of the game.”

Mr Symond admits that Aussie’s new software platform, Toolbox, was a challenging execution for the group.

“For the first three or four months like any software platforms it was painful to say the least – for everyone,” he says.

“It’s over a year later and it’s about 90 per cent where we wanted to be – but it was hard stuff.”

Commenting on the successful digital offerings of Aussie’s 80 per cent shareholder CBA, Mr Symond said the best is yet to be seen.

“There is no doubt that CBA has made some excellent investment in technology that we haven’t even begun to see the positives of,” he said. “Particularly in the mortgage broking industry.”

Technology to drive industry consolidation
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