KFI providers must raise their game

In the run-up to Mortgage Day few would have expected lenders to win the dubious distinction of becoming the most irksome component of the regulated mortgage process.

Somewhat surprisingly, feedback suggests this is the case. Intermediaries are dissatisfied with lenders’ processes and worryingly, wholesale improvements are notable only by their absence.

Lenders’ Key Facts Illustrations reign supreme as intermediaries’ biggest gripe. AMI’s September Census revealed that 24% consider obtaining KFIs from lenders to be the most troublesome issue for their firm.

For this issue to be identified as mortgage firms’ top gripe ahead of both regulatory reporting and increased compliance obligations is telling and should be noted by lenders.

Sourcing systems need not try to skulk into the background either. Some 18% cited obtaining KFIs from these as their biggest problem.

If lenders’ own KFI propositions have failed to hit the mark, it will come as little surprise that their secondary offering continues to manifestly fail to address intermediaries’ needs, both in terms or accuracy and usability.

This has not been helped by some lenders’ refusal to engage in real e-commerce development with intermediaries. The discerning 21st century broker has no reason to feel grateful for the existing range of disparate, single-channel submission systems which, in reality, are best suited to the tied adviser.

Imagine a world in which a separate email system is required for each person you wish to communicate with and you’re not far from current industry practice.

Not only are individual passwords required for each lender system (self-defeating as a security measure as post-it notes tend to be the reminder of choice), but each has its own features and functionality and consequent drain on firms’ time.

Indeed, the only consistency across the systems on offer is their capacity to frustrate intermediary users.

With more than 60% of intermediaries now submitting most of their business online, lenders and sourcing systems must raise their game.

This figure was revealed in AMI’s July Census, as was the still more important fact that over 80% of KFIs are sourced from lenders (35%) and sourcing systems (52%).

l What are your views on Key Facts Illustrations processes? What improvements do you wish to see? Email your comments to mortgage.strategy@centaur.co.ukben stafford is head of policy at the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries