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Good relations

Ian McKenna explains why seamless integration is key to moving the mortgage market forward

Ian McKenna is director at FSTRC, 29 March 2008

In the last couple of months this column has focused on how technology can make the product renewal process more efficient.

This month I want to continue this theme by looking at how a detailed integration between a client management system, sourcing engine, Key Facts Illustration (KFI) generation, agreement-in-principle (AIP) and electronic application can drastically reduce the amount of data entry that is necessary for an adviser when reviewing a client's options on expiry of a product.

With 1.7 million products expiring this year and the general decline in purchase business, processing any such opportunities with maximum efficiency must be a priority for any broker.

A dedicated package

Customer Card Desktop (CCD) is a dedicated client management package from Capita Financial Software which includes a detailed integration with Trigold's mortgage sourcing engine. As one would expect from a well-constructed client management system, CCD provides a number of ways in which client information can be diarised in order to identify products nearing expiry.

In addition, a marketing campaign creation tool can be used to identify all potential clients with mortgage products expiring within a particular timeframe. This is achieved using a specific series of wizards; simple tools designed to enable inexperienced users to build campaigns.

In addition to mortgage product expiry, the same mechanism can be used to manage advice opportunities, such as re-broking protection cover.

Where the marketing campaign facility is used, not only can this identify all the clients that need to be approached but it can also create pre-populated letters and e-mails to alert the client to the importance of reviewing their product before expiry and place all the necessary reminders in the adviser's workflows to follow this up. This is also a valuable way of putting in place processes necessary to support an adviser's TCF obligations.

When creating client records in the CCD factfind, the system can record a review date against each mortgage product as well as the details of the mortgage product itself including amount borrowed, repayment method, product type, completion date of loan, term, redemption date, loan amount, internal rate, current monthly payment, rate type and rate expiry, redemption penalty and property value.

Information is king

When using a system like this it is important for advisers to recognise that the more information they put in the system in the first place the more powerful a tool they are creating for themselves to be able to use later.

Having selected the client whose product the adviser wished to review, they open the link from CCD to Trigold and detailed information is extracted from the client management system to populate the sourcing engine.

On the example I looked at it was actually possible to migrate all the information necessary to carry out a detailed sourcing exercise from one system to the other.

Having pre-populated the sourcing, a product was then selected and the necessary KFI document created. After obtaining this, Trigold's ETC platform software was opened to submit a case. On this occasion we used Bristol & West (B&W).

A lender AIP was then populated with a significant level of information from the original sourcing enquiry, although unfortunately this was not in as much detail as had been moved initially from Quay to Trigold as somehow the second applicant details were lost in the process. Additional information is then entered into the system while offline.

To be fair not all the questions on the application would be ones you would expect to see pre-populated from a client management system, for example, source of client's contribution.

At this point the systems direct the user to B&W's virtual office which again opens a further set of screens. Again the data that has been entered through ETC is pre-populated to the online screens with a further set of validation checks being carried out before the adviser is asked to formally submit the case for AIP.

On this occasion as an imaginary postal address had been selected the application was rejected so it was not possible to proceed further to an electronic application.

Faultless integration

Although there were a few glitches in the process, with not as much data appearing to be transferred between Trigold and the B&W AIP process, the integration between Capita's Customer Care Desktop and Trigold could not be faulted. Even with a few gaps to be filled this process shows a significant way forward in operational efficiency.

This is clear evidence of how advisers investing time in getting the best out of a quality client management system can deliver massive benefits for the adviser and the customer.

In the months ahead I will be looking at how more client management systems sourcing engines and lenders' underwriting systems integrate to deliver the sort of truly seamless process we all need in order to minimise cost and maximise efficiency in the present challenging market conditions.

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