IRESS: Conveyancing offers most room for improvement

Ryan Bembridge

May 22, 2019

Conveyancing is the area with the most room for disruption in the mortgage journey, said Steve Carruthers, principal consultant of lending at IRESS.

He was speaking to mark the launch of IRESS’s Intermediary Mortgage Survey for 2019, which found that half (51%) of intermediaries call lenders four times or more per application and half of those calls (51%) are to obtain case updates.

Of that proportion Carruthers (pictured) said most of the calls are about conveyancing.

Carruthers said: “The area that offers most room for disruption is conveyancing.

“For that to happen there needs to be more collaboration between lenders, law firms and tech providers to quicken the process and minimise costs.”

He added that while some lenders are faster than others in taking the consumer from application to offer, the pace in which this happens is rarely seen as an issue compared to conveyancing.

IRESS found that 96% of the lenders surveyed offer case tracking, though intermediaries hit out at a high proportion that don’t offer ‘real-time case tracking’, where updates are passed through to brokers’ systems automatically rather than requiring a lender’s member of staff to manually update the case.

Some case tracking services are also viewed as inaccurate or including insufficient detail, so there’s clearly room for improvement in that area.

Brokers increasingly expect to only key in client data once, while it seems lenders are doing more to satisfy this expectation.

Indeed, a third of surveyed lenders are now accepting, or are in the process of implementing, applications via APIs into their intermediary online digital platforms.

Carruthers added: “Connectivity is the buzzword; brokers connecting to lenders.

“Compared to last year there have been steps forward with APIs and Open Banking will start to make a difference.

“It is happening now. This idea of connecting it up is becoming a minimum expectation.”

The majority (96%) of lenders believe that Open Banking technology will improve the mortgage process, up from six in 10 last year.

Robert Sinclair, chief executive at the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, said: “This fifth report allows us to see the developing market in more context as lenders open up more gateways and information to help technology providers improve the broker and customer journey.

“It is clear from this year’s data that these developments will continue to accelerate over the next two years as consumer demand for quicker, smoother, more informed decisions and transactions are delivered into the property and mortgage markets.

“What will be critical is how well broker firms and lenders engage in investing in the emerging tech solutions in order to preserve their role at the heart of the transaction.

“Only by embracing these changes will the consumer trust the broker for help and advice.”

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