Bendigo Bank In The Dark Ages When It Comes To Technology & New Building Methods Claim Frustrated Management
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank warns it is seeing signs of stress among its target audience of borrowers, but what’s not being talked about is their old-fashioned methods, lack of innovation and an adoption of new building processes that is causing problems for their lending teams and is discriminating, between conventional builders and those who use technology and systems gto manufacture in a factory.
Senior management claim that they are becoming frustrated with the banks attitude to lending when it comes to technology advanced prefabricated buildings using the latest in building materials “It’s What is going to be the future” for the building industry in Australia said one frustrated manager.
According to Bendigo management who have spoken to SmartHouse, the bank is falling behind when it comes to innovation especially in new building methods new generation building materials that cut down costs and take the risks out of what is now being exposed by the collapse of hundreds of builders in Australia with many of them have impacted Bendigo Bank customers.
“They will not get from being Australia’s fifth largest bank with their current operational policies claims” Darko Simatovic an Area Manager NSW at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (Seen below”.
What we have been told is that the bank will support customers, with finance for a property deal or a new house build via a conventional builder such as the ones that are falling over but not the likes of Prebuilt who are seen as a cutting-edge builder who builds complete houses in a high tech factory in Melbourne that the size of two Qantas aircraft hangers.
While the bank is funding people into new apartments some that are later discovered to be riddled with problems, they won’t fund customers who are using Prebuilt who builds multimillion dollar homes in a factory in Melbourne, despite other banks such as Maquarie, CBA and Westpac working with Prebuilt customers.
This is a Company that is able to build luxury homes in Mosman, Freshwater in NSW and on Lighthouse Road in Byron Bay which is well known for its multimillion-dollar views and expensive houses.
The latest ASIC data has revealed that 2,117 Australian building companies went into liquidation in the 2022-2023 financial year to 18 June and in the last six months an additional 150 have left consumers including Bendigo Bank customers in the lurch.
According to the chief executive and co-founder of Modscape, Jan Gyrn, Australian architects and builders are again embracing as part of a “collective shift” the building of houses in high tech environments.
He claims that different conditions and factors have contributed to this shift: the unpredictability of market forces have driven labour and construction costs up; the national housing shortage has highlighted the need for new modern building processes that can be better controlled, with shorter build periods because all the trades are working together in one factory.
“People are looking for a better way to do things and are turning to new building methods that are proven as a potential solution,” says Prof Tuan Ngo, research director of the ARC training centre for advanced manufacturing of housing at University of Melbourne.
According to Simatovic it’s not about the risks associated with the applicant for a loan “It’s all about the banks attitude to the building process and Companies like Prebuilt”.
The bank is also not taking into consideration that a Prebuilt house is often cheaper despite premium materials, due to having no weather or lack of trades down time.
Recently the bank knocked back a Prebuilt customer who had no debt, a business that was delivering record profits, and an existing no debt property in one of the most sought-after streets in Mosman NSW, simply because he was using Prebuilt to build a brand-new architect designed home.
The customer had previously built two-multimillion-dollar properties via conventional builders a process that took two years Vs the 20 weeks it would take Prebuilt.
The land value on the property where the house was set to be built was worth close to three times what the customer wanted to borrow, but despite this, and the fact that the house was designed by a leading Melbourne based architect and featured new generation technology, and premium building materials appliances, solar the banks operational team said no much to the angst of other management that the customer was dealing with.
Simatovic told the customer “You are more than qualified, what the bank has a problem with is the builder and the building process. We need to inspect the site for progress payments as it’s being built.”
He also indicated that thecustomer had a strong CCR scores of 915 and 867.
When it was pointed out that Prebuilt allowed for progress inspections during the build process in the factory and that the multimillion-dollar house would be built in 20 weeks as opposed to 120 weeks with a conventional builder, he said “It makes no difference”.
He added “We have tried to convince management at Bendigo to innovate. We recognise that this is the future for building in Australia, but they won’t budge. I have tried to take the issue up to a National level, but they are not interested.”
He then told the customer “If you were with a conventional builder, you would have got your money weeks ago”.
He added ” The back-office credit teams won’t support a builder who builds in a factory and then assembles a property on site”.
As a bank Bendigo is seen as being “A tad old fashioned” according to another insider.
It was only this year that the bank rebuilt its digital banking system on Google Cloud in an effort to deliver what the bank describes as a personalised customer experience and faster, more reliable rollout of new features’.
Competitors did this five years ago and are now moving to AI innovations to help customers.
Earlier today outgoing Bendigo Bank chair Jacqueline Hey claimed that Bendigo is seeing a small cohort of borrowers who “need our ongoing support to help them with practical steps to adapt to the higher rate environment.”
She claims that the bank will “carefully balance the interests of our shareholders and our customers.”
Chief executive Marnie Baker claims a small number of borrowers “will require our assistance” as higher interest rates bite. “We know some of our customers are doing it tough which is why it is important we stay close to them. Our primary objective is to keep our customers in their homes.”
Ms Baker claims that bank management is scoping out “significant laten opportunity” in business and agribusiness lending and banking.
There was no explanation as to why the bank is not supporting qualified builders who use modern and often quicker build processes and whose methods are widely adopted in Europe and Countries such as Denmark, Germany France, and the UK.
“We know that other banks are lending to the likes of Prebuilt, Bendigo is still in the past and we have tried very hard to get them to support a Prebuilt build” said Simatovic.
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