Post regulation, business costs are up says research

Mortgage intermediaries in the UK are facing increased costs as a result of FSA regulation, with the majority looking to adopt new technology and business process solutions as a result, research from Marlborough Stirling and Trigold reveals.

An alarming 84% of mortgage intermediaries say business costs have increased post regulation and around three-quarters claim they are increasing their focus on technology as a result.

A further 66% say they are also looking at new ways to streamline business processes.

However, depolarisation has also brought new opportunities as well as challenges, with 53% of intermediaries saying they intend to take advantage of the depolarisation rules and start offering mortgage related insurance products from a broader range of suppliers.

In addition, 27% of brokers not currently operating in equity release product areas say they plan to enter this market in the next two years.

Commercial property is also being focused on by intermediaries as an area for strong growth, with a further 25% of intermediaries not currently operating in this sector intending to do so in the next two years.

Phil Heaton-Jones, head of marketing for Marlborough Stirling, says: “This research highlights the increased costs that mortgage regulation has brought intermediary businesses but also shows that mortgage brokers are looking for new ways to utilise technology and refine processes to cut other costs from their business.

“While it is perhaps unsurprising that costs have increased post regulation, it is encouraging to see that the UK intermediary market is proactively looking for new solutions to maintain its competitive edge.”

Bill Safran, CEO at Trigold, adds: “This survey shows that intermediaries are embracing technology to improve their businesses. The intermediary now recognises the positive effect that technology can have on their bottom line and are planning to take full advantage of that.”