Clients happy to speak to advisors as lenders embrace digital streamlining, says mortgage expert


Mortgage expert Henry Woodcock believes the majority of people want to speak to an adviser about their arrangement but that lenders are investing heavily in their digital offerings in a bid to streamline the process.

His comments come after it was revealed that half of lenders already -- offer, or are set to launch -- a digital self-service channel, according to the IRESS Mortgage Efficiency Survey.

The sixth annual survey took a detailed look at the responses of 21 lenders, with a combined 52% share of gross mortgage lending.

The results show that 80% of lenders quizzed now provide affordability checks, and 66% provide a decision in principle, via mobile. More than half (53%) offer, also via mobile, full mortgage applications as well as case tracking.

A significant increase in active Twitter and LinkedIn engagements compared to 2016 shows lenders are also increasingly seeing social media as an vital tool for engagement with both intermediaries and consumers.

The intermediary channel continues to dominate the mortgage market, says the survey, with 80% of sales now going through this channel and three quarters (75%) of lenders experiencing an increase in the number of applications submitted by brokers over the last year. All other channels have seen a reduced level of activity, with branch sales seeing the largest drop of 37% on 2016 figures.

Mr Woodcock, principal mortgage consultant at IRESS, said believed that there would be a significant increase in the embracing of technology to deliver a more efficient mortgage service, with digital upgrading very much on the agenda across the industry.

After reviewing the survey, he said: “Mobile is now a given for lenders, providing the end consumer with research, quotation, affordability and case tracking tools through this medium, irrespective of the channel they end up applying through.

“While the market itself is likely to grow modestly in 2018, we expect a far greater increase in mortgage tech to streamline processes for consumers.

"We anticipate continued and significant investment by lenders in digital offerings with the digital upgrading of the house buying journey through the removal of manual processes and connectivity to associated services such as real-time affordability checking and conveyancing."

He concluded that the challenge over the next few years will be in "joining up all the elements and third parties in the mortgage ecosystem to provide a transparent and seamless end to end process across all channels to market".


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