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Computers sometimes make decisions that make no sense

While I agree with Stephen Knight that I would not wish to go back to the bad old days of 100% paper applications, two simple examples will illustrate that computers do not always make the best decisions.

Last year I had clients with a major high street lender who wished to make their lives easier by moving to a small-er property.

The LTV on the new property was smaller than their existing one so it seemed that porting would be the best thing for everyone, especially as there was no early repayment charge on their existing deal.

Unfortunately, the computer said no, it was not affordable. At first the lender refused to look at the deal but after it was referred to higher tiers of management, common sense prevailed.

The clients have lived happily ever after. Yes, affordability is tight but nothing like as tight as it was before – and no, I was not involved with their previous mortgage.

The other example comes from my time working at a clearing bank five years ago, before I escaped to the relative sanity of independent broking.

I saw a couple who wished to take out a joint personal loan of £10,000 to buy a car.

Each of them had a pre-approved loan facility of £7,500, which did not require credit scoring.

Nevertheless, £10,000 gave them a better rate and also was better for the lender because of the joint liability on the loan.

Of course, the computer said no. The lending centre told me that common sense was not grounds for overriding the decision but I could offer them two £5,000 loans. Need I say more?

Des Platt
Hunter Mills


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