Call for change

When the onset of the pandemic forced millions of workers to stay home, banks scrambled to enable remote work and adapt to a constantly shifting landscape. On the consumer side, mortgage applications, refinancing inquiries and requests for payment deferral all soared. Banks that got pinched in the workforce transition struggled to meet customers’ growing needs.

A leading Australian retail bank was feeling the squeeze. As it worked overtime to process the surge in applications, pandemic restrictions made it difficult to recruit and train new hires, putting more pressure on existing employees and straining lending operations.

The bank’s leadership team identified two key metrics that needed to be improved: time-to-write for loans and time-to-competency for new resources (employees). There were gaps in training and processes slowing down these measures. Tackling both challenges effectively would make loan origination faster and operations more seamless, strengthening customer experience and the business overall.

The bank knew it had to move quickly to take its mortgage direction by establishing flexible workflow planning that would immediately expand capacity to support its customers in a time of crisis and power future growth.

When tech meets human ingenuity

Workforce management

Accenture scaled up the Mortgage Operations division with more than 100 new resources, including highly specialized analysts and advisors, in a matter of weeks. The new team trained remotely through the bank’s “mortgage academy,” quickly building the skills and competencies required for their demanding roles.

Process efficiencies

Accenture helped to identify gaps in the bank’s training and QA processes, then guided it to review and update the corresponding documentation. New concepts and practices were introduced to key employees, who went on to train their peers. This approach helped the bank roll out changes quickly and effectively, enabling more flexible operations.

Optimized workflows

Accenture examined existing workflows and systems to find opportunities for improvement. In one case, it found that inconsistencies in broker-submitted documents were causing processing delays. After refreshing brokers’ training on quality requirements, the improved quality of inbound documents has shortened loan origination times.

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Encouraged by these positive changes, the bank is now engaging Accenture more broadly to revamp processes at other stages of the lending lifecycle.

A valuable difference

Accenture’s close examination and targeted guidance have helped this large Australian bank overcome capacity constraints, workflow challenges and process snags to better serve customers at a volatile, vulnerable time. The results are clear.


faster time to competency for new resources, thanks to more efficient training practices, well-defined workflows and straightforward documentation.


resource utilization (a gain of more than 25%) achieved by eliminating process redundancies and sharpening employees’ core competencies.


efficiency gain in loan origination, fueled by smart workforce management updates, further expanding capacity and driving business results.

When the effects of COVID-19 sent mortgage applications through the roof, this bank engaged Accenture to help it quickly expand its team and support customers in uncertain times. Targeted improvements to workforce management and workflow planning have meaningfully strengthened its lending business. The efficient, flexible and sustainable processes the bank adopted amid the pandemic now position it for continued growth in the long term.

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