How can advisers get lenders to improve their use of technology?

Mortgage Introducer

August 2, 2018

Lyle Houghton, director, Criteria Hub

Technology seems to be becoming a hotter and hotter topic in the mortgage industry at the moment which is a good thing for a relatively new tech company like Criteria Hub.

With the current interest I was asked to take part in the ‘Mortgage Introducer FinTech Panel’ at the MBE in Leeds and despite a bit of trepidation, as public speaking is far from something I am comfortable with, I agreed, as I hoped it would be a great opportunity to find out what advisers and other industry ‘experts’ had to say on the subject.

Obviously, technology covers a broad range so there was only so much that could be discussed in the relatively short time available but one question and answer particularly interested me and I would be interested to know people’s opinions on it.

To give a little background and to set the scene there was an audience of mainly mortgage advisers, a host directing the questions and then three ‘industry experts’ sat on the stage answering/responding as necessary.

I can’t remember the question exactly but it was about how far behind lenders generally are with technology and what can be done about getting them to improve. This question was directed to one of my colleagues who suggested that the way to make lenders improve their technology was by brokers voting with their feet. Now I am, by ‘trade’, a mortgage broker and have been for over 18 years, the last 11 of which have been as a co-director of my own company with several employed brokers and I was a little taken aback by someone suggesting that a broker should choose not to use a lender based on their technology not being good enough.

I understand fully that poor use of technology or lack of technology by a lender can be frustrating but does that mean that the client loses out on the most appropriate deal because we do not want the frustration? Does the building society with the paper application not get used even if it is best for the client? What happened to giving the client the options so that they can make an informed decision?

I am all for letting a client know that a lender is taking 20 days to look at a document and that it may jeopardise their purchase if that is the case and recommend using a different lender, but I can’t see where there is a reason for the broker to just decide that the best product will not be considered unless the client’s circumstances specifically dictate.

It took a minute or two before I was able to speak and question my colleague’s suggestion to which I was asked did I not think that if a lender increases a proc fee this influences their level of business. Unfortunately it probably does but it doesn’t make it right and I feel that having an ‘industry expert’ suggesting to new and old brokers that they should vote with their feet is sending the wrong message.

I would love to hear what other brokers think so please comment or get in touch direct to let me know. In the meantime keep pushing the virtues of the technology that is out there such as Criteria Hub, to the lenders and other brokers as the more powerful the voice gets the sooner, hopefully, things will improve.

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