Given the turbulence since the Brexit vote, we need to ensure consumers obtain mortgage certainty via advisers
According to the latest Iress mortgage efficiency benchmark survey, the intermediary market’s share of lending rose to almost 82 per cent between 2015 and 2016. This is staggering given that, not so long ago, our distribution channel was struggling to sustain parity with direct-to-consumer offerings.
Back before the MMR, when dual pricing was a common occurrence, hitting such heights would have seemed a distant possibility. Now, the pre-eminence of mortgage advisers as the key distribution tool for lenders cannot be questioned.
Of course, this does not stop resource being put into often technology-based developments designed to wrestle back some of that market share. We are hearing a lot about moves towards more robo-based offerings aimed at getting customers to deal direct. That said, it is not all one-way traffic. There is a growing band of lenders with no plans other than to be intermediary only.
It is important that advisers continue to make the case for professional advice, and mark the cards of those who may still feel that a trip to their local branch is the most appropriate mortgage-gathering option.
Shopping around has become ingrained in the UK customer’s psyche and, given the turbulence already occurring in a Brexit sense, we need to ensure consumers get mortgage certainty via advisers.
We should not be afraid to blow our own trumpet; nor should we be frightened to use Brexit as a tool to – for want of a better phrase – ‘disturb’ clients about what may be coming over the horizon.
These are uncertain times. If we can shore up a client’s finances by providing good-quality advice, we can make a genuine difference and ensure further attempts to claw back market share via direct lenders are headed off at the pass.
Rob Clifford is group commercial director at SDL Group