Although the mortgage market is going through a very challenging time, many are confident it will eventually recover as the world returns to a new normal.
As a newly formed organisation, the Mortgage Market Alliance has perhaps found itself in a perfect position to push the message that the sector will once again be open for business.
Alex Hammond, who is one of its co-founders, says: “As we emerge from this crisis, everyone’s finances would have been impacted in some way and the concept of a vanilla case will apply to a smaller number of borrowers than ever before.
“More people will have more to gain by seeking professional mortgage advice. There’s even a chance that we could see a spike in demand for mortgage advice by the end of 2020.”
Under recent changes to government rules, moving home, viewing homes to let or buy, visiting estate and letting agents is now allowed again under controlled conditions.
“At MMA, we will work tirelessly to communicate that the mortgage market is open for business, has a strong appetite to lend and is highly competitive, and that the best way to access everything that the mortgage market has to offer is through professional, independent advice,” Mr Hammond says.
The MMA was set up in February by Mr Hammond and Rob Griffiths, who are both public relations directors, having previously worked as journalists for rival publications.
The idea for the MMA came about as a result of repeated conversations they had with industry professionals; that the market could do more to educate and inform consumers about the depth and breadth of product options available and how best to access them.
The group was formed as a “collaborative new voice” for the mortgage industry to raise awareness and understanding among consumers about the range of options that are available to them and to highlight the importance of seeking professional advice.
Mr Hammond says: “We know there are millions of people across the UK who either don’t know where to turn to get a mortgage, or don’t even try because they believe their circumstances rule them out of consideration, and this situation is only going to be exacerbated by the financial fallout from the coronavirus crisis.
“There is an urgent need to promote greater understanding of the market and the benefits of professional advice to the people who matter – consumers.”
And just to be clear, as Mr Hammond stresses, the MMA is not a trade association. It is an alliance of lenders, intermediaries, and all other interested stakeholders, who can combine their resources to amplify the voice of the mortgage market.
Focusing on a single objective
He adds: “Our advantage is that, unlike trade associations that have a number of different responsibilities, our sole purpose is to achieve this one objective. And this singular focus will enable us to channel all of our energies into achieving that objective.”