Australian banking group ANZ is introducing an online mortgage application and processing service under an automation drive that will see some of the 900 back-office jobs at its home loans unit offshored to its facility in Bangalore, India.
According to Australian press reports the bank is investing A$70 million in technology that will automate the entire mortage process and enable customers to track mortgage applications online - from the initial application form to settlement of funds in accounts.
The system, which uses digital imaging technology instead of paper-based methods, in expected to reduce the time taken to process a loan from up to a week to two days and dramatically reduce the 4.7 million pieces of paper a year generated as part of ANZ's credit approval process.
ANZ mortgages managing director Michael Rowland told The Australian newspaper that once the mortgage procedure has been automated, a "small" proportion of about 900 back-office mortgage jobs would be sent to Bangalore in India.
Rowland said the bank hasn't yet decided on the final number of jobs to be offshored, but affected staff would be retrained and redeployed.
In April, ANZ reported an eight per cent jump in first half technology costs to $278 million, as it increased headcount at its Bangalore development centre and raised spending on third-party software.
The move by ANZ to automate mortgage processing follows a drop in its home-lending profit due to increased competition in the mortgage sector.
In a separate move ANZ says it now has a 91.75% interest in Internet broker E*Trade Australia and will compulsorily acquire the remaining shares to complete the acquisition.
The bank offered in February to acquire the 65.8% stake it does not already own in the online broker for around A$268 million, but has faced shareholder opposition since disclosing details of its bid.
ANZ has now extended its $4.05 a share takeover bid for the business to 25th May.