TD Bank cuts loan approval time by up to 75 percent

IBM Enterprise Content Management software helps the bank deliver on its brand promise

Published on 29-Oct-2013

"It’s all about the speed to market in this business. Whoever is at the table first with the funds for the customer is the one that’s going to get the deal. So it is critical that we provide that speed as America’s Most Convenient Bank." - Paul D. Smith, senior vice president, TD Bank

TD Bank, N.A.


Deployment country:
United States

ECM - Enterprise Content Management, ECM - Essential Content, Enterprise Content Management

IBM Business Partner:
Lighthouse Computer Services, Inc.


Operating under the trade names TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank, TD Bank, N.A. is headquartered in Portland, Maine. Owned by TD Bank Financial Group of Toronto, the bank offers a broad array of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services to nearly eight million customers through its extensive network of nearly 1,300 convenient locations along the eastern seaboard from Maine to Florida. It employs more than 25,000 people and reported third quarter 2012 adjusted earnings of USD1.4 billion.

Business need:
With a brand promise of “America’s Most Convenient Bank,” TD Bank needed to automate the paper-based processes that delayed loan approvals.

IBM Premier Business Partner Lighthouse Computer Services, Inc. helped design and implement key components of the IBM Enterprise Content Management software suite.

The bank now closes loans within one day for residential mortgages and two days for commercial business—cutting approval process times by up to 75 percent.

Case Study

Operating under the trade names TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank, TD Bank, N.A. is headquartered in Portland, Maine. Owned by TD Bank Financial Group of Toronto, the bank offers a broad array of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services to nearly eight million customers through its extensive network of nearly 1,300 convenient locations along the eastern seaboard from Maine to Florida. It employs more than 25,000 people and reported third quarter 2012 adjusted earnings of USD1.4 billion.

Reducing reliance on paper-based processes

In the highly competitive banking environments, whichever bank responds first to the customer usually wins the business. “It is critical that our lenders, branch and operational team members have information available at their fingertips to quickly make sound lending decisions,” says Paul D. Smith, senior vice president at TD Bank. “With a brand promise of ‘America’s Most Convenient Bank,’ we wanted to reduce the time required to respond to customer inquiries and approve loans,” says Smith. “But standing in our way was a reliance on paper-based processes.”

When internal lenders or support staff at TD Bank needed a consumer-related document, they had to contact the consumer file management center where the information was manually pulled, copied and then either faxed or mailed. The consumer file room received more than 200 requests daily and needed seven full-time employees to keep up with demand. Likewise, the bank’s small business and commercial divisions had to maintain six stand-alone file centers to store and manage more than 12 million pages of documents.

In 2007, TD Bank began a phased approach to replacing these cumbersome paper-based processes with an IBM Enterprise Content Management solution based on the IBM FileNet Content Manager platform. “Our strategy is to improve workflow efficiencies by promoting a paperless environment within which our teams can reduce, and even eliminate, unnecessary tasks,” says Cynthia Gesner, senior vice president of TD Bank. “By capturing documents in digital form early in the product cycle, we can increase our speed of delivery and response time to customers.”

Cutting time to approve mortgage loans by 75 percent

Today, as documents are created in the bank’s originating mortgage system, they are automatically captured in electronic format in an IBM FileNet Content Manager repository. These images are linked to automated workflow and made available online to authorized bank staff. In addition, paper documents sent by attorneys or customers can be faxed into third-party software for online access in just two hours without any scanning.

Now lenders, branch staff and customer service representatives have access directly from their desktops to the customer information, loan applications, lending documents and reports they need to easily track and manage the loan cycle. The residential mortgage team creates applications in the loan origination system, which then automatically routes the documents to appropriate staff members throughout the approval and closing processes. Because authorized employees can review documents simultaneously, they can resolve any issues or questions without having to copy, mail or wait for additional information.

The impact on the residential mortgage loan process has been dramatic. Previously, it took staff members three to four days to close loans; now they do it in less than 24 hours. This speed enabled the bank to process more than three times the number of loans originally estimated.

An added benefit is a completely paperless-environment in the residential mortgage division, which helps with the bank’s environmentally conscious initiatives. “Our originators, processors and underwriters never deal with paper at all to make their decisions and serve customers. Imaging in lending is used throughout, from loan application to when the loan is paid in full,” says Denise Desgrosseilliers, vice president of loan operations, TD Bank.

Reducing commercial loan response time by more than 70 percent

TD Bank also uses IBM software to cut the time and cost of managing small business and commercial loans. With FileNet Content Manager and IBM Content Manager OnDemand for Multiplatforms software, the bank consolidated six stand-alone file centers into one global Imaging Center of Excellence in Lewiston, Maine, and converted more than 12 million pages of information into electronic files in eight weeks. Doing so enabled the bank to slash the time to deliver loan documents from seven days to less than 48 hours. Recently, TD Bank established two more Imaging Centers of Excellence, one in New Jersey and one in South Carolina, and balances work among the three sites.

In addition to improving response, TD Bank saves money on staffing, facilities and supplies. “With IBM FileNet Content Manager software, we’ve reduced the employees, space and related costs required to support our file centers,” says Gesner. “Travel expenses for internal audit, risk and compliance teams have also been cut as auditors can now view documents at their desktops.”

Reducing risk exposure

Using Content Manager OnDemand software, TD Bank also streamlined the reporting and distribution of electronic bills, invoices and statements. The solution provides a high-volume electronic archive for transaction-related content. It also helps enable searches for text embedded in several file formats, including PDF, for near-real-time access to stored files from anywhere in the organization. Employees can quickly answer queries and resolve issues, searching online by customer account or invoice number.

In addition, the document storage management capability in Content Manager OnDemand software allows access to data spread across various magnetic, optical and tape devices. TD Bank reduces the risk of loss by moving data among storage devices and managing backups and recovery for uninterrupted access to documents.

Further, by bringing sensitive records-class content under the control of a single information management system, TD Bank lowers risk with enhanced security and ease of regulatory compliance. “An unexpected benefit of implementing the IBM solution is that both internal and external auditors no longer have to travel to a physical location to access files. They can view documents right at their desktops. It’s just a matter of giving them access and a secure sign-on,” says Desgrosseilliers.

Gaining results fast with expert advice

According to TD Bank staff, the transition to the IBM solution was virtually seamless. The bank contracted with IBM Premier Business Partner Lighthouse Computer Services, Inc. to provide technical consulting and solution implementation. Once implemented, employees needed just 15 minutes of training to use the system.

“Support from an IBM Business Partner was invaluable,” says Gesner. “Lighthouse offered a wide range of expertise to help us successfully meet our goals, including needs analysis, business functional requirements, solution design and configuration strategy, along with technical support and education.”

Supporting business growth objectives

The expandable, scalable IBM Enterprise Content Management suite helped TD Bank grow organically. When implemented in 2007, the solution supported approximately 5,000 staff members and scanned and stored around 750,000 images a month. Currently, it handles about five and a half million pages a month, and supports most of the bank’s approximately 25,000 employees.

“With the robust IBM solution that we put in place, we were able to support our business growth objectives to the point where, for instance, the residential mortgage loan business grew by 22 percent year-over-year,” says Smith.

For more information

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Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Content Manager OnDemand for Multiplatforms, FileNet Content Manager

Legal Information

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