Andrew Lloyd: Technology will take over straightforward resi cases

Michael Lloyd

April 16, 2019

In future technology will take care of straightforward vanilla, residential cases, leaving the more complicated cases to brokers, Andrew Lloyd, director of property technology provider firm Search Acumen has predicted.

Lloyd (pictured) said young people that have grown up with technology will feel more comfortable using tech for their mortgages when they’re older.

He said: “The customer base changes eventually. There will be a hybrid world. The machine will just say ‘can I put you through to a broker, do you want to talk to a person?’

“I think that’ll be the interesting transition to go through. The more complex stuff will be handled by a human, but eventually not so much. But that’s a scary thought and won’t happen overnight. It’ll take years. We need those teenagers to be in their 30s for that to happen.

“If you own a firm of brokers and you can do twice the volume with half the people, why wouldn’t you change?”

David Copland, director of TMA Mortgage Club, advised for brokers to diversify to avoid being replaced by digital solutions.

He added: “The easy stuff will become digitalised while the more complicated parts of the market like complex buy-to-let, complex shared ownership and later life lending, won’t in our lifetime, so brokers should diversify into different areas.

“I think product transfers with the click of a few buttons can be carried out without advice and are ripe for digitilisation and robo advice.”

Currently when it comes to using tech there’s portals brokers and borrowers upload information to, while Open Banking will allow customers to share their data with different banks and third parties.

Steve Seal, director of sales and marketing at Bluestone Mortgages, said: “Consumers need to be willing to share their financial data electronically, something younger generations appear more comfortable doing so.

“Many consumers far prefer the human touch, especially when it comes to the biggest financial decision of their lives. Intermediaries have a unique role to play in this regard, so any advances in technology will support the advice process, rather than replace it.

“Lenders should therefore be focusing on bringing technology and human interaction together by keeping manual underwriting at the core of their operations whilst introducing digital tools that can help to improve the ease and speed of the application process.”

However Kevin Roberts, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said whatever the situation and case, each borrower has a unique financial history and there should never be a ‘one size fits all’ product that can be purchased through a technology-driven solution.

He added: “Why risk not getting valuable advice and getting it wrong?

“Unlike humans, technology-only advice can’t offer the fully rounded guidance that a broker can, nor does it take into consideration a customer’s potential future or changing circumstances.

“Although we are seeing the rise in execution-only product transfers, this doesn’t necessarily make it right. Everyone, regardless of their circumstance, should have the option to seek advice.

“While technology can improve efficiency and the overall experience of the mortgage journey for brokers and customers alike, this should not be at the expense of good advice, and it won’t ever replace the value of a face-to-face conversation.”

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