While Macquarie didn't score in the top three for any of the survey categories, it managed to finish ninth overall by posting consistent scores, its strong points being BDM support, interest rates and transparency of commission structures. Macquarie does this by focusing on a group of select brokers, says Doug Lee, head of sales.
"Partnering with select brokers who understand and value our proposition enables Macquarie Financial to provide privileged access, including preferred rates, exclusive programs and dedicated one-on-one support," he says, mentioning one particular initiative it has implemented to help improve its standing even more.
"In 2009, we have improved our BDM-to-broker ratio by 30 per cent and our underwriter-to-broker ratio by a remarkable 60 per cent," he says. "This evolving partnership approach is key to even stronger results in next year's CMP survey."
Even though Equitable Trust moved down on the overall list, from seven last year to 10 this year, it showed a lot of improvement in key areas like approval/loan turnaround times and underwriter support. And while it went down in the broker support, IT and product range categories, it moved up in several others after not receiving a standing in every category last year. Andrew Moor, president and CEO, points to what he sees as the reason for its improvement in scores.
"Highlights have included the faster turnaround from our underwriting teams, a simpler and easier to use commitment letter, the launch of our Ruby and 85 per cent LTV uninsured mortgage, improving our closing processes and solidifying our workout processes with investors holding second mortgages," he says.
He says that placing third in the turnaround and underwriter support categories show him that it is "definitely on the right track for a niche lender," before pointing out that "we do not deal in all provinces and with all brokers - so our scores may not be reflective of our underlying service levels - but overall we are very pleased with the progress we are making in what has been a very difficult period for many mortgage lenders."
But there is always room for improvement, and where Moor sees that happening is with communication.
"We clearly believe that there is opportunity for Equitable to improve on communicating with our broker customers both on a deal-by-deal basis and in terms of our overall product benefits and approaches to business," he says. "I think our broker customers will see this in an improved product layout on our website and slicker communication at the transaction level."