Lies, damned lies and statistics
Gemma Harle is managing director of TenetLime
Looking back on 2014, it is fair to say it’s been a year that has seen an encouraging re-invigoration of the mortgage market.
But as we look forward to 2015 with renewed optimism, top of my wish list is the hope that we will see lender metrics put into perspective.
Right now, I cannot be alone in believing that they are being given far too much importance, to the potential detriment of achieving the best possible outcomes for the end consumer.
Some lenders are placing too great an emphasis on their own internal measures such as conversion rates and the time taken to send in outstanding documentation.
There is no denying that timescales are important when it comes to buying a property, but the big lenders are allowing their metrics preferences to take priority.
There is no consideration given to the fact the customer may not want to progress their application at the lender’s pace, that purchases can fall through, or that the customer may change their mind.
The expectation of some lenders seems to be that networks and brokers should divert their resources and become an extension of their in house processing teams. This is exacerbated by the fact that the two biggest lenders, who apply their quality metrics most stringently, have a third of the market share between them.
If we are not careful, brokers will begin examining other alternatives and start switching to smaller lenders, who don’t have the same obsessive mantra.
For although we all have KPIs to aspire to, certain lenders are adhering to theirs far too rigidly. The whole process is becoming onerous.
So if they’re going to make any form of corporate new year’s resolution, let’s hope it’s to try and redress the balance by focusing on advice quality and fraud prevention.
If they don’t, intermediaries will surely vote with their feet and migrate to more attractive options.