Business News

SMSF specialists key to service: Westpac

Westpac Group will roll out SMSF specialists across its phone-based services as well as its branches as part of its plans to better address the growing number of SMSF enquiries.

“As a group, we’re starting to provide more specialists for SMSFs,” Westpac Group head of SMSFs for BT, Westpac and St George Chris Lumby told selfmanagedsuper.

“We’re rolling that out to some of our frontline staff because SMSFs are complex.

“So we’re moving down a path where we’re going to have specialists who understand all the rules and obligations and what it is they’re looking for, so true needs-based conversations.”

In addition, Westpac established a new phone-based offering across the brand on 30 September, called Self-Managed Super Connect, Lumby said.

“It’s still very embryonic, so as that capability develops and we can see that it’s providing value-add to trustees, we’ll look to grow it,” he said.

“That’s staffed by four specialists who are all RG 146 compliant and have gone through a rigorous SMSF training course so that they can have proper, in-depth conversations with trustees, and it’s offered under a general advice model.

“When you look around the industry for SMSF specialists, there aren’t many, so these guys have gone through solid training and therefore are a step up from any other sales or service-based centre around.”

He said currently most calls had been driven by the group’s website.

“We’re getting quite a few calls around lending at the moment; a lot of people want to know more about that,” he said.

“Over time, we’ll gradually turn on the tap for our branch network as well for when clients walk through the door and have their needs addressed as a SMSF [trustee], but that will take time.

“SMSFs are a speciality, so for someone to walk into a branch and be able to have a conversation with a frontline staff member is difficult. So if we’re able to provide them an avenue where they can get that specialist knowledge and information around an SMSF, that’s what we want to do.”

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