During PEXA’s recent Banking Transformation Symposium, representatives from different financial institutions met with some of PEXA’s active practitioners to better navigate the digital settlement process.
The two-day event created a space for both parties to explore ways to encourage more effective collaboration, both on and around the PEXA platform.
We spoke with two of PEXA’s practitioner attendees to discuss how the simple act of sharing feedback could potentially help refine the entire e-Conveyancing process.
An open approach
Teresa Wise, Manager of CS Legal’s Joondalup branch in Western Australia and active PEXA customer said she was initially wary of appearing to criticise the lenders by sharing her feedback.
“We were concerned it'd seem like we were only there to complain but then we split into smaller discussion groups, and by the end of the day we felt we had a chance to explore the issues from both sides.”
Neville Sampson, a lawyer at Boothby & Boothby in Victoria, said the ability to collaborate with the lenders face-to-face was very beneficial.
“Being able to talk in small groups meant we all came to a better understanding of each others position.”
Two sides to every issue
One of the issues raised by the practitioners concerned the timing of the payout figure on discharge settlements.
“The figures sometimes arrive just minutes before the nominated deadline; that’s too late for the parties to readjust their funds and can result in settlements being postponed,” Sampson explained.
“The banks hadn’t realised that was a problem for their customer, who might be waiting with a moving van for settlement to take place so they can get the keys.”
Wise had also experienced issues with delays, but now understands this is partly because the banks have, to this point, mostly used PEXA for refinancing, which doesn’t come with a corresponding deadline.
“In refinancing, no one has a physical deadline, such as having to move house on a specific date,” she said.
“We also learned that some banks have only a few people using the system, for all states”.
Although the sole representative from Western Australia at the symposium, Wise believes her points are shared by her interstate peers.
“After I spoke, the lenders commented that they really do need to look at making improvements from their end. They're on the same page in terms of making this the best possible experience for customers so were happy to hear our feedback. In fact, the Financial Institutions in attendance also shared some of their issues and how they could speed up processes if we did certain things, such as submitting requested information more quickly."
This opportunity to collaborate and share feedback gave clarity to both parties on either side of a transaction and the ability to work together to minimise challenges on either end.
An ongoing collaboration
Wise and Sampson found the sessions highly beneficial, with everyone showing an active interest in finding out how the other side worked and demonstrating a willingness to make the PEXA platform an industry-wide success.
“I certainly consider it well worth the trip across from WA,” Wise said. “I learned a lot, and the bank managers said that it offered a clearer scenario for them".
The biggest achievement of the day for Wise was when the bank representatives said they’d change their settlement tactics and implement dedicated PEXA teams to help smooth the transaction process.
Sampson expects the entire online settlement process to become more collaborative from now on.
“It was good to have access to people who understand the whole process and are in a position to make changes. That one session opened up the way for lenders and practitioners to be more responsive to each other. We definitely sorted out a few issues and found common ground in being at the cutting edge of this new technology.”
Find out more about the industry's inaugral Banking Transformation Symposium here.