Westpac Bank loan processing hit by offshore virus shutdown

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Brokers have informed lenders that borrowers will increasingly demand that home loan interviews be conducted digitally rather than face to face.

An increasing number of borrowers are expected to review loans and lenders following recent mortgage cuts, despite the slowdown in new loan applications.

Westpac plans to change loan application procedures to reduce any risk of infection, as could happen when loan applicants personally verify their identity. Details of the changes are being finalized.

It also offers brokers the ability to make client appointments by phone, video or teleconference.

Macquarie Bank tells brokers they should wait until the client self-quarantine period ends before they complete identity checks.

Macquarie is also reviewing requirements for property appraisals that require physical inspections.

The bank uses several assessment processes, including automatic and desktop assessments that do not require an in-person inspection.

“We are currently looking to expand the circumstances under which we will use a type of assessment that can be performed without inspection, including curbside assessments,” a spokesperson for the bank said.

Other lenders, such as ME Bank, allow the use of digital platforms such as Skype or Facetime for interviews and identity checks.

Other real estate professionals, including real estate agents, are also adapting digital devices to conduct business that could have a lasting impact when normal conditions return.

For example, some real estate agents are experimenting with digital auctions such as Zoom, a cloud-based video conferencing service, and technologies for signing contracts remotely.


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