Equipment Finance Conversation Series – 30 July 2014

Outstanding Success

Hosted by the Westpac Group in Sydney, this July 30th LIXI Conversation Series focused on the recently released Equipment Finance standard. The session was thoroughly enjoyed by the attendees and panelists and was the most well attended LIXI Conversation Series since the session’s creation in 2012.

The LIXI Conversation Series was formed to facilitate high-level, non-technical conversations focusing on common industry issues, specifically where further efficiency could be gained by the lending community. Since inception, industry response to the series has been positive and the series has grown in both popularity and scope, covering such topics as NCCP, the LIXI 2.0 initiative and Electronic Guidebooks.

Highlights

The panel consisted of representatives from lenders Westpac and BOQ Finance; technology companies Insyston and NetSol Technologies; and mortgage manager Moody, Kiddell and Partners. This combination of individuals, with their extensive knowledge of the asset finance industry across the whole value chain, set the foundation for a well-rounded, robust conversation.

The session covered the background and current status of the Equipment Finance standard, the first LIXI standard to be released outside of mortgage lending and the first based on CAL 2.0. A standard of many firsts, the meat of the session focused on the industry business case for this $40.1 billion industry.

The panelists agreed that there were several specific areas which saw their organisations participate in the Equipment Finance working group and continue to support a collaborative approach to standards development. Building platforms based on standardized data allows for efficiencies, both up and downstream from the point of sale, reduces re-keying errors and allows sales staff to concentrate on sales, rather than compliance/administration.

One of the major industry benefits identified was the ability of legislation to keep up with the speed of technological change. Specifically, the group discussed sign on glass, electronic acceptance of a loan agreement and other technological advances which are pushing the ability of legislation and regulation to adopt. Several lending organisations confirmed that they are committed to extending the scope of the law, in order to service their customers using the latest and most convenient technologies.

Attendees and panelists agreed that standardized data is no substitute for exceptional, common sense business processes. They agreed that reducing re-keying and reprint errors, whilst decreasing processing times, created benefits for the bottom line as well as for customers.
Community discussion also focused on the impact the new standard will have on operations, speed of processing, business workflows and the customer experience. Benefits and issues were discussed and the session was closed out by both panelists and participants describing what the future holds for asset finance as an industry and as a silo of lending.

A Place for Candour

One of my favorite comments from a panelist during the session was that there is absolutely a place for hearty, even vicious, competition in certain areas of lending, but that the data is not that place.

I liken this to an image I have in in my mind’s eye of the Olympic Truce(i). This ancient tradition of setting aside conflict for a predetermined amount of time in order to ensure the safe travel of competing sportspeople, celebrate a religious holiday or take in the harvest has always fascinated me. As self-aware persons, we can recognize our inclusion on several groups simultaneously; by family, nation, blood as well as an entire race. Sometimes the bonds of blood are called on to be served by our actions and an individual operates from within that role. But sometimes a larger role is required, as a member of the human race or a nation, and the responsibilities of other roles are set aside for a time while other alliances are served.

Both the panelists and participants of this session agreed that defining the use and properties of the data used in electronic messages within lending is not the place for competition. When business becomes a modern battle ground, the principles of the Olympic Truce apply to today’s environment just they did to the battle ground of old. In some cases, the reason for a truce is to define and agree on the data necessary for an entire industry to evolve. The fact that this truce often takes place within the LIXI working group context was not lost on the participants of the session.

Positive Feedback

Community sentiment regarding this event was overwhelmingly positive and I was excited to receive many positive comments from participants following the event.

A hearty thank you to the panelists and to the Westpac Group for contributing to this successful event. Here’s to keeping the fires of collaboration burning fiercely, for the good of an industry.

The full event presentation is available to logged-in LIXI Members, here (select from right hand menu).

Jennifer Hill
LIXI Membership Administrator

Posted: 4 August 2014

Reference
(i) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_truce