Every year at CoreData we run a mystery shopping exercise to understand which business in Australia is the most efficient at attracting and processing home loan customers.

We do this by sending hundreds of Australians who are in the market for a home loan out to get a mortgage (this year that was actually pretty hard, for obvious reasons) and recording what happens to them as they go through the process.

For the past few years, the best business has been Mortgage Choice, who customers rate very highly for the service offered and who appears year-on-year to acquire about six out of every 10 mystery shoppers that we send to them seeking a mortgage.

For the past three years, Mortgage Choice has beaten the Commonwealth Bank’s Mortgage Innovators team into second place, but this year the tables have been turned and the Mortgage Innovators team is pound for pound the most effective sales team in the country.

We construct the measurement by breaking down the sales chain for each of the elements that customers go through: Assurances, Compliance, Quality, Understanding, Intention, Reaction and Environment (ACQUIRE) giving each of those elements a score and then rolling them up to generate a weighted number.

Below are the scores for this year:

Overall Channel Performance

The story this is telling is pretty clear – brokers by and large outperform banks at customer acquisition (this number is somewhat dragged up by Mortgage Choice, in reality) and all of them outperform credit unions and building societies.

In truth that CUBS number is a little bit unfair on Newcastle Permanent – but they are the shining example in an industry that is very punctuated in its performance.

The other way to look at the CBAMI numbers is to examine them relative to all the other CBA mortgage distribution channels, and the numbers are once again pretty telling.

CBA Relative Channel Performance

We can also consider the effectiveness of each bank channel. NAB smashed its competitors this quarter and according to the APRA data, is growing twice as fast as its competitors but in terms of effectiveness continues to lag the other banks.

Given the growth NAB has, you could only imagine what the bank could do if it dialled up its efficiency.

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