Bendigo Bank is leading the charge with an e-Conveyancing-only approach to property settlement.
It’s no secret that the rapid rate of technology change and the drive to ‘go digital’ is impacting most industries, and financial institutions are certainly no exception. With government compliance dates continuing to approach, requiring financial institutions to move from traditional, paper-based property settlements to an electronic conveyancing platform, some banks are resisting these industry changes.
Others are simply not operationally ready to handle them. Bendigo Bank, however, is embracing this evolution and is ahead of the curve by preparing to introduce a no-paper booking commitment across its banks.
"Our approach has been to concentrate efforts on developing solutions to meet requirements and mandates, rather than resisting or challenging the fact that conveyancing is evolving in a digital world,” says Katie Mackenzie, business lead for group processing at Bendigo Bank.
As at 1 August in Victoria and New South Wales, authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) now need to lodge commercial standalone mortgages and refinances electronically. Meanwhile in Western Australia, lenders will be required from 1 December to lodge eligible commercial standalone mortgages and refinances electronically.
Positioning itself to meet these requirements, Bendigo Bank no longer books a time to refinance with another ADI, unless the other financial institution provides a valid reason for not using e-Conveyancing. Instead, the refinance must occur electronically.
Calling on the Connect Team
To help facilitate the transition, Bendigo Bank’s new dedicated Connect Team – essentially a loan-services call centre – is leading the way in communicating and executing this e-Conveyancing present and future. The team manages PEXA invites, responds to emails and handles incoming calls relating to discharge settlement bookings. Plus, the team continues to support both electronic and paper settlements while the industry moves toward 100 per cent digital.
Bendigo Bank expects that, in the best interests of customers, other financial institutions will follow suit and partner with PEXA, currently the only licensed electronic lodgement network operator (ELNO) in Australia. Bendigo worked closely with PEXA to determine how electronic settlements could streamline the bank’s existing settlement process.
Beginning to see benefits
“The benefits of completing a settlement via PEXA speak for themselves, with reductions in time spent preparing paper discharges, retrieving certificates of title, postage and incoming calls relating to settlements and payout figures,” Mackenzie says. “These are great reasons to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.”
Bendigo recognises, however, that not all financial institutions have the resources to adopt this strategic approach, due to different operational structures, size and the volumes they receive through their channels.
“Bendigo Bank is keen to lead the industry and drive outcomes that are in the best interests of our customers,” Mackenzie says. “PEXA is one way we can strive to achieve this.”
For more information on industry transformation timelines, visit the e-Conveyancing Community here.