Mortgage lenders concerned about margins


Many mortgage lenders are concerned about their current margin levels, according to Kevin Roberts, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club.

Mr Roberts said margins was one of two issues dominating mortgage conversations at present.

He said: "We have seen base rate rises recently and we've also seen fixed-rate mortgages come down as well, so margins are getting squeezed for lenders. 

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"They're asking questions around 'what can we do?' and 'how can we overcome that?' - they’re looking to broaden their criteria and lending options, and I think all of that is great for the consumer and great for advisers."

The second topic dominating mortgage conversations is technology, according to Mr Roberts.

He said: "We need technology to disrupt the intermediated mortgage journey and we would rather do it ourselves as an industry as opposed to outside influence; somebody we don't know, maybe one of the new fintech start-up banks or aggregators.

"We think it's important that technology helps to make mortgage advisers more efficient."

In terms of innovations advisers' clients could benefit from this year, Mr Roberts said it was all about busting and demystifying mortgage jargon to better engage with, and help, clients.

He added: "You're also seeing more and more income calculators coming on and so, from a consumer perspective, really enjoying some of those developments in websites that we're seeing."

Overall, the outlook for the housing market was positive, Mr Roberts said, as he pointed to a range of mortgages available to clients as lenders have broadened their offerings.

But where the market is seeing the most impact, he said, was for advisers themselves, who now have a wider range of products to choose from.

He explained: "We're seeing innovations around valuations, surveys... and then the development of the application program interface technology."

Overall, the focus was still very much on improving clients’ end to end journey, he pointed out.

Mr Roberts asked: "How do we crush that journey from days and weeks? How do we make that much more efficient in order to give consumers a much better experience?"

Watch the full video at the top of the page.