Standard Life sets the standard

Ramesh Sharma

March 18, 2006

Following research that indicated over 60 per cent of mortgage hunters find the process frustrating and confusing, Standard Life has developed an online site, with movies explaining the market and its processes.

Jackie Moran, head of sales proposition at Standard Life Bank, said the decision to launch a website to increase consumer knowledge had been a long process, and was designed with both consumers and advisers in mind. She explained: “Intermediaries can use the site to show TCF, as it provides an overview of the mortgage process and definitions of the markets and in a clear, concise and informative way. In some cases it is clear that the client is only interested in seeing an intermediary to get some information on the best deals before they go direct, so this site will also save time and costs for the broker.”

With Standard Life research indicating people spend an average of 46 days deciding on a mortgage, the website is designed to provide an overview of information, However Moran stated the site was not designed to provide financial advice. “Consumers might be scared to ask questions to their intermediaries that they think might be ‘stupid’ and this website is designed to clear-up any confusion that may exist. It will aid intermediaries in the overall time process.”

Moran said discussions with both intermediaries, and consumers had helped construct the layout and concept of the website, with a film for intermediaries explaining how they can best use the information provided by the bank.

However, Hugh Nichols, partner at brokerage Badbury Berkeley Mortgage Services, cast doubts on how the movies could fit into intermediaries plans. “Some clients do not want to spend the time completing a factfind, so I do not think they will be bothered with looking at movies,” he argued.

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