Brokers unimpressed with lender portals

Ryan Bembridge

April 5, 2017

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Brokers find lender portals complicated and difficult to navigate despite investment in the systems, IRESS mortgage research has indicated.

Two in five (42%) intermediaries labelled usability of lenders’ portals ‘average to very poor’.

Henry Woodcock, principal mortgage consultant at IRESS, said: “Many intermediaries are asking for clearer, easier and faster application processes and complain some of the data requested by lenders is unnecessary, complicated and irrelevant.

“We expect to see further investment from lenders in response to intermediary requirements over the coming months.”

Mark Dyason, owner of Edinburgh Mortgage Advice, isn’t surprised by the results of the broker survey.

He said: “The majority of lenders’ technology offerings if we go back 12-18 months were ‘very poor’ and now are just ‘poor’ – they are designed by people in ivory towers.

“They have improved them but when it comes to a user experience like customer-facing bank portals for the business-to-consumer route it’s clear where the money has been spent.

“When banks are talking about investing in B2C robo-advice, when 70% of their business comes from intermediaries perhaps we deserve more investment than we are getting.”

The IRESS survey suggested more lenders are investing in technology by adding more features however.

Currently 85% are providing real-time case tracking from 75% last year, 89% are offering scan and attach from 75% last year and 59% are offering a single status view of all cases from 44% in 2016.

However Dyason reckoned they aren’t doing enough to streamline this new tech, while he accused new challenger banks of purchasing off-the-shelf software with the same issues.

He added: “What brokers want is a single point of entry fact find that goes into a CRM, will interface with the lender’s point of application and get a decision.

“That would free up our time to meet clients.”

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