By Eleanore D. Sanchez

The chief executive of Australian bank ING Direct said the firm aims to cut mortgage processing times by one third through its Lendfast project, according to reports.

Chief executive Uday Sareen said that the project will address what has been noted by brokers as “crazy turnaround times” on home mortgages, saying turnaround time on mortgage products “is as important as the rate.”

 “As we speak, we are looking at overhauling our entire mortgage acquisition processes. It’s important to not only get a decision quickly but also have a quick timeline and service level that one delivers,” Sareen said.

He said the target launch date of the Lendfast project is towards the end of this year.

“Apart from the fact that it [will be providing] a quicker turnaround, it also helps provide transparency to customers and our channel partners. So, that whole element of being able to turn mortgages around quickly is as important as the rate. Of course, 3.74 % of available mortgage is a very competitive rate, but I think value for customers and speed of delivery is very important, and that I really see as a key driver for us,” Sareen added. 

Additionally, he pointed out that ING Direct will remained focused on mortgage products, but it also plans to grow the numbers of its primary bank customers through a more diverse portfolio that includes credit cards and insurance products for home buyers.