Lenders shift focus to retaining clients

NEIL WARMAN, CHIEF COMMERCIAL AND FINANCE OFFICER, HML
NEIL WARMAN, CHIEF COMMERCIAL AND FINANCE OFFICER, HML

The past two years have seen a dramatic change in the focus of technological development in the mortgage market.

Before the credit crunch there was an emphasis on new lending and the speed of underwriting decisions. Eager to win the favour of advisers, lenders ploughed money into technology to enable quick processing.

Today it’s more about managing borrowers. New lending is no longer the battleground and lenders are looking to manage customers, competing on service.

Of course, aspiring to give customers the best possible experience is not a new concept but the challenge today lies in finding a balance between human interaction and harnessing the benefits of technology.

Some transactions can be automated such as the provision of basic account information like mortgage balances. Automation here can give staff more time to liaise with clients.

The selected elimination of manual intervention also helps ensure customers are treated in accordance with lenders’ strategies.

We can draw a parallel between this and the vogue for instant decisioning tools which were aimed at providing consistent decisions in line with underwriting policies.

In modern life, much can be achieved through a combination of automation and the personal touch, and right now the focus in the mortgage market is to care for existing customers, not attract new ones. That’s why enhancing the customer experience is the order of the day.