Coronavirus  

Adviser tells brokers to 'cut lenders some slack'

David Thomas, chairman of the SMP, said following the government stating everyone except key workers must stay at home, brokers have switched face-to-face meetings to engaging with clients via email, telephone calls plus online meeting facilities such as Skype and Zoom. 

As the government’s action to slow the spread of the coronavirus results in house moves being delayed, Mr Thomas said the flow of new business will dry up for mortgage brokers in coming weeks.

However, Mr Thomas said remortgage and rate review business is likely to continue and even increase during the lockdown period as the nation’s homeowners review their finances and look to trim expenditure where possible in these uncertain times. 

For remortgaging and rate review business, Mr Thomas said surveys are causing an issue as surveyors are unable to visit properties due to the stay at home plus social distancing requirements put in place by the government.

He recognised that, as a result of this, lenders were working hard to try and increase the scope of desktop valuations, usually restricted to lower percentage borrowing, to more conventional property types. 

He commented: "I am pleased to see brokers and lenders uniting to help consumers during what chancellor Rishi Sunak identified as an economic fight never seen before during peacetime.

"The SMP remains committed to supporting our members throughout this period and ensuring the best possible outcomes for our clients and customers."

Mr Thomas further pledged: "Over the coming weeks and months, we will be focused on providing the sector with the knowledge and skills to navigate the challenges that lie ahead."

simoney.kyriakou@ft.com