Westpac Bank loan processing hit by offshore virus shutdown

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

An increasing number of borrowers are expected to look into 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, such as might occur when loan applicants personally verify their identities. Details of the changes are being finalized.

It also offers brokers the ability to schedule meetings with clients by phone, video or teleconference.

Macquarie Bank is telling brokers they must wait until customers’ self-quarantine period ends before carrying out identity checks.

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

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

“We are currently looking to expand the circumstances in which we will use a type of appraisal that can be performed without inspection, including curbside appraisals,” a bank spokesperson 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 for conducting business, which 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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