Welcome to the second edition of the Bank Blog. This month I’ll be covering more common bank-related themes raised on Community, ongoing initiatives and some positive collaboration in the network.
We recognise that the late entry of payout figures is not ideal. As per Guideline 18a within the Transfer Guidelines, the Mortgagee on Title should submit the final payout figure no later than 10am on settlement day. While financial institutions are always striving to improve performance, we can share that this metric is being adhered to in over 85% of Workspaces involving one of the major banks. There is a concentrated effort to drive towards 100% in this space. Provision of payout figures by 10am are challenging in more complex scenarios involving partial discharge or substitutions/swaps, linked or simultaneous settlements, where there is last minute activity on the loan account, cases where the discharge authority is received late or when last-minute changes are requested by the customer. Sometimes these conditions are the cause of delay but not evident to all participants in the workspace.
In addition, there have been queries about completing the surplus funds details at the same time as payout figures. The surplus figure frequently changes and is not always processed by the same team as the one which finalises the payout figures. Work is being done to develop greater coordination between the various teams within the banks to ensure more streamlined completion of the FSS.
Questions have been received about banks not accepting the Discharge Authority via the Doc Hub file upload feature. This is the most efficient way of sending/receiving the Discharge Authority as it links it to the actual Workspace and the good news is that most financial institutions prefer this channel. You can find a list of their Discharge Authority preferences here on Community. There are plans in place to build greater visibility of the sending and receiving of the DA in the context of the overall progress of the transaction and alignment to Guidelines. We’ll keep you posted on this and other developments to help you track the progress of dependent tasks across the workspace.
Confirming the date of settlement is vital, and the banks are aware that changes have major impacts on Workspace participants and customers. Movement generally occurs only when loan documents have not been received, and settlement is imminent. It’s important to note that the conversation tool is ideal for communication in instances like this, whereby it is constructive to discuss why settlement may roll-over or alter and the reasons behind this.
I want to share with you that the major banks can receive over 800 conversations per day, with approximately 75% of these marked as high importance. While we understand the need to escalate matters when close to settlement, please consider marking messages as high importance only on the day of, or day before settlement.
We are aware that there are a small number of FIs that are not yet open for transfer transactions. We are aware of their business reasons and unfortunately aren’t always able to share these publicly with you, but we are actively working with these FIs to ensure they are fully prepared ahead of compliance timelines across jurisdictions.
I’d like to highlight a wonderful proactive initiative by Westpac, who have been meeting with practitioner firms to discuss the settlement experience. The visits provide practitioners with a platform to discuss pain-points and help the banks to better understand and refine processes, which is key during the ongoing digital transition. From a bank perspective, the insights led to process change. An example of this is Westpac now endeavouring to create mortgages upon Workspace creation – an action which is beneficial for the practitioner.
If you have questions you’d like discussed or feedback you’d like to share, please comment below – and keep an eye out for the next Bank Blog.