Mortgage advisers want help with digital solutions

Mortgage advisers want help with digital solutions

Nine out of 10 mortgage brokers in Wales need help when it comes to improving their customer’s digital journey, according to Mortgage Brain.

A survey by the firm showed the region was home to the largest proportion of advisers needing assistance, with Leeds (85 per cent) and Birmingham (80 per cent) not far behind.

Brokers in the south west of England were found to be the most well-prepared for the digital drive, with 60 per cent of respondents saying they did not need any help in improving their customer's digital journey.

The findings come from Mortgage Brain’s 2017 series of Mortgage Vision events, which were attended by 1,000 mortgage advisers during September, October and November.

Around 80 per cent of attendees said creating a digital customer journey was important or very important for their business.

Mark Lofthouse, chief executive of Mortgage Brain, said single or multi-adviser firms could create a digital solution without too much effort.

He said: "Mobile apps, interactive websites with mortgage calculator plug-ins, online secure client portals, digital fact finds and information sharing, and digital application submission, for example, can all be brought together to smooth the customer journey and enable advisers to offer a modern and flexible digital mortgage advice process.”

Advice network JLM recently issued a warning to brokers claiming that lenders had started using robo-advice to siphon off clients and urged advisers to boost their digital offering.

But Mike Richards, director at London-based Mortgage Concepts Associates, emphasised the ongoing importance of face-to-face advice despite digital improvements.

He said: “People still want face-to-face advice or telephone advice. Online calculators can be quite useful, because it can give you an idea of where you are going to be, but in the end there are brokers in the background who are there to talk to you.

"By talking to people face-to-face, you get a much better idea of what they want as opposed to getting a piece of paper back or being sent an email.

“That way, you get the measure of people when you are talking to them, which is still a very important part of our job. We are meant to be at the front line for things like money-laundering. Part of that is the initial contact with the client."