Welcome to the third edition of the Bank Blog. This month I’ll be sharing my thoughts on change within our industry in relation to the financial institutions, as well as addressing key upcoming events across the network.
A Community member recently started a discussion about workload for the financial institutions and how this is managed. Settlement volumes, even in the digital era, continue to be a focus area for the banks and while there is always room for improvement, I’d like to share some background to help put this into perspective.
The current number of operations staff using PEXA is surprisingly high. Some of the larger banks have several hundred signers set up in addition to several hundred PEXA users (not all these people are working at the same time). These teams can either be centralised or disbursed across different locations and offices. In addition to the bank’s operational PEXA teams, they’ve also employed project and change management teams to ensure the new processes and procedures can be implemented and continually refined across all key areas of their bank.
When a change is made in relation to a financial institution, it might affect the retail bank, the business bank, product teams, operations, support centres, settlement booking lines, bank payment systems and treasury teams, relationship managers and the branch network. Given the size of some banks and the number of departments which can be impacted, changes can take some time to be approved and implemented.
I wanted to share this detail in the Bank Blog, to help put into context the enormous amount of change underway in these organisations – similar to the adaptation practitioners have had to undertake.
Further, the banks are looking at new, innovative ways to support and streamline customer activity. Prospective initiatives include a process change of entering loan proceeds when loan documents are sent to the customer and a technological development involving automating both payout figures and the acceptance of invites. It is worth noting that both these efficiencies are dependent on the upload by the practitioner of the total funds required to settle. Progress in the loan document space will help combat the issue of settlements rolling over time and the banks are prioritising this as an area of focus.
Outside of the immediate settlement process the banks have had to turn their attention to the New South Wales Land Registry Services (NSW LRS). LRS is in the process of bulk converting their paper certificates of title (pCT) to electronic certificates of title (eCT) on behalf of the Registrar General – this all has to be done by the end of September 2018. As part of the transition to 100% digital, the major financial institutions have agreed with NSW LRS, to lead the way with the bulk conversion of all NSW paper certificates of title in which they are the first registered mortgagee, to electronic certificates of title (eCT). This is a significant step in the industry transition to e-Conveyancing. FAQs for the Bulk Conversion can be found here.
Most of the banks operation on a multi-state, if not national basis.As such they have also been working on the 1 October mandate in Victoria which is fast is approaching and will capture all combinations of transactions available in PEXA. Ahead of this important date in Victoria and to support a smooth transition, we recommend you make use of resources like Land Use Victoria’s Customer Bulletin and the various support materials on Community. Just as the banks work to refine their processes, it’s important for practitioners to ensure they’re ready to go ahead of time. Continued collaboration between both parties will ensure the smoothest possible transition.
The banks are always striving to improve their service, processes and engagement with the market, so much so some of the banks are participating in a “spring clean” in September and October, with an aim to make strides forward in three key Guideline areas:
Using the tick box to tell practitioners when you’ve received loan documents
Entering the loan payout figure by 10am on the day of settlement
Confirming the loan proceeds by 10am on the day of settlement
If you have questions or topics you’d like discussed or feedback you’d like to share, please comment below – and keep an eye out for the next Bank Blog.