Although the intermediary mortgage market is improving there continues to be a clear mis-alignment between broker requirements and current lender offerings, according to Iress’s latest survey.
The financial services technology firm analysed the systems and processes of lenders, representing about 80 per cent of the intermediary market share, along with the experiences of 223 intermediaries in dealing with those lenders.
Overall, it found a number of improvements to services compared with 2015, the most important for brokers being the facility to scan and attach proof documents, which is now offered by three-quarters of lenders, compared with just 43 per cent last year.
Following the Mortgage Market Review, half of lenders support product and rate switch transactions for intermediaries, while many are responding to growing demand for mobile solutions.
However, gaps remain in the services provided by lenders, with the number offering an online single-status view of all the intermediary’s cases falling from 52 per cent in 2015 to 44 per cent in 2016.
In addition, while 44 per cent of lenders provided a view of tracking events for open cases, a quarter of lenders do not provide any case tracking at all.
Henry Woodcock, principal mortgage consultant at Iress, said the intermediary market share is estimated to grow to 70 per cent in 2016.
Mr Woodcock said online quotations and applications are not enough and lenders need to “up their game”.
He said: “Intermediaries recognise the benefits that smart lending systems can provide and now the Mortgage Credit Directive is in place, they expect lenders to invest in innovative technology and reduce application processing times over the next 12 months.”
A spokeswoman for the Council of Mortgage Lenders said: “It is pleasing to note that portal service improvements since last year are being noted – despite the less interesting, but absolutely necessary, systems changes that lenders will have needed to invest in behind the scenes over the past year, simply to ensure compliance with regulatory change.”
David Hollingworth, associate director at London & Country Mortgages, said the biggest challenge is not only finding the right blend of solutions to help both lender and broker, but also being able to implement that kind of change within existing systems.
He said: “The broker market is diverse in its own right so it’s not likely that the wish list will be fulfilled overnight. However, in an increasingly competitive market where service is a crucial part of the customer offering, it’s bound to be an area that lenders will continue to work hard on.”