Technology could bring down PI costs

Sarah Davidson

October 20, 2015

During a panel conference held by EDM Mortgage Support Services the professional services director at Evaluate Surveyors said: “If regulators were to see a robust valuation process that is not necessarily documented on paper then that could certainly help to bring professional indemnity costs down.”

His comments were made during a wider discussion on the use of technology within financial services and related to the need to encourage brokers, surveyors, conveyancers and lenders to share data through a secure cloud-based platform in a bid to improve customer experience.

At the same event Maria Harris, head of intermediaries at challenger bank Atom Bank, warned that part of the reason data sharing was not on lenders’ agendas was because the mortgage industry is “very much behind the curve in its use of technology”.

Harris said customers’ expectations have completely changed with the technology that is now available but bemoaned the fact that banks have a lot of data but “refuse to share it”.

She said: “It is perfectly acceptable for banks in the US to scan a cheque and we can all share a selfie but a document cannot be shared between a surveyor, lender and a broker. The industry is going to have to rewrite its processes from scratch. If banks and other lenders do not do it then new entrants will.”

She added: “It has been quite a challenge to find a surveyor willing to share a document through the cloud and not use a fax machine. I have been surprised by how normal that is in the industry.”

Research commissioned by EDM revealed that the vast majority of mortgage professionals (89%) believe technology will be significant in improving the transparency of the audit chain and the ability to clearly track actions across the complete mortgage application process.

However, 73% believe that mortgage lenders face significant challenges in providing fully transparent and fully compliant data to key stakeholders such as regulators.

The research also showed that four fifths of mortgage professionals believe technology will be ‘very’ or ‘quite’ significant in helping property valuers and other stakeholders in the mortgage process to eradicate fraud and other criminal activity.

Spencer Wyer, chief technology officer at EDM Group, said: “We have seen a complete and utter change in attitudes to cloud and the need for regulatory data to be kept in it.”

Earlier this year EDM MSS launched EDM PRISM which is designed to allow lenders, brokers and valuers to share client documentation via a secure network stored in the cloud.

It is understood that one of the big six lenders in in the process of signing up.

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