What started as a dire situation soon turned positive, when Westpac explored digital settlement options.
Sarah Jewell, Senior Operations Manager for the Westpac Group received a cry for help over email at 4pm, the day before a manual settlement. A complex issue needed to be solved and Sarah saw a great opportunity to create magic for a customer. The email prompted a series of actions that have reinforced the importance of digital innovation within the property industry.
A Westpac Home Finance Manager had a customer that was all packed into a moving van, had returned their rental property keys and were ready to move into their new home. Unfortunately after all these steps, only then did they discover that their parents held a second mortgage with NAB on the property they had offered as a guarantee.
On the surface, it looked like the settlement would need to be delayed and could be pushed passed the weekend due to the manual processes involved with traditional paper settlements. This would spell disaster for the customer and their two children. They needed an urgent solution or would find themselves without a home for the next few days.
Westpac tried everything to get this transaction over the line, including reviewing lending criteria whereby the parents’ home may not be required. The team had exhausted every option available to them in the traditional paper environment. The outcome looked bleak… but persistence paid off.
Sarah explains that “We called NAB to see if they could discharge the paper title and get it to the correct location quickly. Unfortunately that just wasn’t possible. Then a stroke of genius occurred. One of our e-Settlements team members suggested we ask NAB to instead do a discharge in PEXA and thus remove the need to deliver the title. This would discharge their interest and turn into an e-title”.
“NAB was only too happy to come to the party and facilitate this request”.
At approximately 11.30pm that evening, NAB managed to get the mortgage discharged, which enabled Westpac to settle on the same day allowing the customer to move into their new home as planned.
Despite the dramatic speed in which the issue was resolved, there was no risk to the customer at any stage of the process as everything was held with security in place. A great outcome for the customer; a firm beneficiary of digital innovation!
Once word spread that the settlement was successful, Westpac’s internal communication platform spread the word like wildfire. Key quotes included:
"You have to love the value generated when creative, customer focused team members merge with our digital capability to deliver great outcomes for our customers!"
"Great example of how digital will trump paper every time!"
"Our customer was almost in tears when we shared the good news – we can’t thank you enough for coming up with a solution!"
PEXA has helped open the lines of communication across the network. In this case two of the major banks could work together to achieve the best possible result for a customer.
“I’d like to call out the professionalism of NAB. In my experience, they’re great to work with. They don’t look at the fact they might be losing a customer, they look at what’s best for that customer and will act accordingly. They asked us to help them with a separate matter the following day and of course we jumped in and gave them a hand”, added Sarah.
PEXA’s Online Community has resources and information on how to use PEXA to potentially settle difficult transactions.