IRESS: ‘Lenders lagging in many areas’

Money Marketing Service Ratings

Lenders are lagging behind broker expectations in many areas, according to an intermediary mortgage survey by IRESS.

The survey of 220 brokers found that lenders improved in some areas, such as the one most important to brokers: the ability to scan and attach proof documents. Around 75 per cent of lenders offered this in 2016, compared to 43 per cent last year.

But lenders fell behind in other ways. The number of lenders offering a single view of all brokers’ cases, voted the second-most important factor for intermediaries, fell from 52 per cent in 2015 to 44 per cent in 2016.

Around 25 per cent do not give any case tracking at all.

Overall, half of intermediaries (53 per cent) rank lenders systems as average to very poor for ease of use.

IRESS principal mortgage consultant Henry Woodcock says that lenders will invest more in technology now they have implemented two major pieces of mortgage regulation.

He says: “Because of the Mortgage Credit Directive and the extra work that had to be done, and following on from bedding in the MMR, I think lenders’ purses were constrained in delivering some of these service improvements.

“As that beds in, I think that brokers and myself would both be expecting lenders to have time and money set aside to actually fix some of those areas.

“So they are starting to move down that track and they’ve got to up their game. If I had a scorecard I’d give them seven out of 10 for the last year, but unfortunately that three that’s missing is quite crucial to brokers.”

“There’s good news that things have improved and lenders are listening. But it’s getting those other things along the line fixed.

“If you look at lenders’ websites, where the broker will go to most of the time unless they ring the lender up, it’s still quite disappointing in my view. Lenders do need to reinvest. Even the ones that were good to begin with, once two or three years have gone by, in technology terms you do need to revisit that and actually reinvest, because things have changed.”