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SAI Global Property leads mortgage processing sector


22 August, 2013

SAI Global Property leads mortgage processing sector

Despite amalgamating and rebranding just over two years ago, SAI Global Property has assumed the lead as Australia’s leading provider of settlement services to the banking sector and is playing a pivotal role in Australia’s transition to an electronic settlements environment.

Since its relaunch in January 2011 it has doubled its mortgage processing business - from just 250,000 settlements per year to an anticipated 500,000 plus this year – effectively providing it with an impressive 55 per cent share of the market.

It has also enjoyed a 20.5% EBITDA growth for the 2012/13 financial year.

SAI Global Property is a division of SAI Global, an ASX 200 company with a market capitalisation of around $800m.

The Property division is an amalgamation of a number of acquisitions, the most significant being settlement provider, Espreon (Lawpoint and Gallaways brands) and information broking group, Anstat (Anstat and API). 

SAI Global Property executive general manager, Peter Mullins, attributes the company’s meteoric settlements growth to a major overhaul of the company’s settlement rooms and to the transformation and rebuilding of the overall business - taking it from a cluster of cottage industries to a sophisticated well-oiled corporate entity.

This included replacing outdated legacy technology with a state-of-the art IT system, implementing a disaster recovery program, business continuity plans and governance mechanisms to meet APRA standards. It also involved improving overall efficiencies by providing greater operational consistency across all states and streamlining settlement platforms and services.

On the settlement services side of the business, service delivery has been transformed by improvements in three key areas – people, processes and technology.

Says Mr Mullins: “We’ve nearly doubled the productivity of our settlement rooms by up-skilling and cross-skilling staff, developing a training and mentoring culture, introducing service level agreements and by rewarding and incentivising staff.

“We’ve also put considerable work into mapping and defining our business processes, paying particular attention to our customer ‘touch points’, then building metrics around those processes and introducing quality management systems to track defects and take remedial actions where necessary.”

This attention to detail paid off. Within its first year of operating under the SAI Global Property banner, the company’ settlement operations achieved ISO 9001 accreditation.  SAI Global is the only settlement services’ provider to achieve this level of accreditation in Australia.

Says Mr Mullins: “The net result of these improvements has been a dramatic reduction in failed settlements. For every 3,000 settlements, only one fails as a direct result of an SAI Global error! Few, if any of our competitors could boast a similar track record.”

Soaring consumer confidence has seen SAI Global double the size of its mortgage processing business, much of this coming from an increasing number of banks outsourcing their settlement processing activity.

“We’re currently working with three of the Big 4 banks and are also making significant inroads into the second tier banking sector. As a result of a very strong pipeline of new business, we’re confident of significantly growing our market share in this sector within the next 18 months.”

SAI Global Property’s growing industry clout, coupled with the development of a complete end-to-end electronic property settlement system, has resulted in it being invited to partner with National E-Conveyancing Development Ltd (NECDL) in the roll-out of its Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) platform nationally.

Once fully operational, PEXA will enable the exchange of property to be transacted electronically, removing the need for parties involved in the process to physically attend a settlement.

Says Mr Mullins:  “What truly differentiates us from other players in the market is that we’re not simply providing our customers (conveyancers and banks) with a small segment of the electronic property settlement solution.  We’re providing them with all the necessary software and systems to complete a settlement online - the ability to manage conveyancing due diligence activities, purchase property certificates, track and monitor the progress of matters, meet online with banks and other parties prior to settlement and get direct access to the PEXA platform. We’re also giving them the added option of performing some transactions manually.

“Basically, they don’t need not look elsewhere for other parts to the settlement process – we’re giving them all they need now and into the future.”

Ms Mullins says SAI Global is making every effort to plan the launch of its software and services around the delivery stages of PEXA while at the same time accommodating the differing technological capabilities of its clients.

He says the development of SAI’s electronic settlement system which began several years ago, is scheduled for completion late next month. “By then our customers will have all the necessary software and systems to complete a settlement on-line, regardless of whether the final transfer of property ownership and funds can be completed electronically.”

He says because SAI Global Property’s existing manual settlements infrastructure will remain operational, for settlements that will never “qualify” to be settled electronically – such as deceased estates - there will always be a manual option.

“What this means is that we can provide our customers with certainty of settlement outcome, regardless of how the matter is settled.”

For more media information contact:
Wendy Parker on 0422 694 503
Peter Mullins on 0450 775 123

SAI Global Property – Leading the electronic settlement evolution.

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