Opinion 

Take charge of the second charge

Steve Walker

Steve Walker

If I asked the average broker if he or she gets many second charge enquiries the chances are the answer would be “no, not many, my clients don’t need second charges.”

So let’s try asking a different question. How many clients do you get who want to capital raise? I’m guessing the answer will be a considerable number. Well, like it or not, every one of those is a potential second charge enquiry.

You see, the challenge is not in generating second charge enquiries. It’s simply a case of deciding if a secured loan is appropriate for each of your remortgage clients and, in order to do this, you may need to refine your sales process.  So what exactly is your process at present?

Is it your strategy to only offer a second charge loan if you can’t place a mortgage? A last resort when all other options have been exhausted?

Well it’s not a great service to promote as some of your clients will be shoehorned into a remortgage without any consideration of a second charge so think about how the regulator may look at this – the scope of your services needs to be very clearly defined, your process needs to be tight.

A referral on to a second charge specialist is really the only option on the basis that you don’t offered second charges but can refer customers if you are unable to help with a remortgage.

Perhaps you wing it on a case by case basis with no standard process in place to identify when a loan might be the preferred option.

Picking and choosing which customers will be offered a second charge is probably even more risky and if you prefer to give advice on the second charge yourself you instantly have a conflict.

How can you offer advice on firsts and seconds to one client but restrict your advice to another? Someone is being treated unfairly and a consistent treatment of your customers is what is expected.

Do you ignore seconds altogether by not giving your clients a chance to take out a loan because you simply don’t offer them as an alternative? Again – not a great customer outcome and don’t be surprised if they approach a competitor who deals with the loan and also picks up the future remortgage business.

There’s little doubt in my mind that the best approach for customers and most businesses is to offer fully considered advice on both first and second charges.

It should only apply to capital raising cases so such comparison should be less frequent and easy with the support of a decent second charge specialist.

Direct to lender options also exist but lack of experience and choice can often result in brokers choosing the wrong lender, subsequent reworks and poorer outcomes.

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