Paul Hunt is head of marketing at Platform
In an increasingly competitive market, speed of service is undoubtedly a critical differentiating factor bet-ween lenders. Instant mortgage offers are already being mooted and in many ways are a natural progression from the online decisions and applications that lenders such as ourselves are offering.A highly frustrating part of the mortgage transaction for all parties is the post-offer stage and the time this can take. Title insurance has helped this process but it has not eliminated all the work involved. Undoubtedly, the introduction of two-hour mortgage completions will prompt some in the industry to suggest that such a development will spell the end of the packaging community. Such a prognosis would be foolish, as was demonstrated after regulation. Packagers are entrepreneurial enterprises which have adapted to change within the industry in the past and are quickly embracing and incorporating new technology into the offerings they provide to their brokers. Two-hour completions would simply mean that packagers would adapt again. The possibility of two-hour completions being available as early as next year seems rather ambitious as it would require the other parties involved in completing mortgages, such as solicitors, to significantly enhance their service and embrace technological solutions before such a facility could be offered. But such a development is not impossible, especially following the publication of the draft Legal Services Bill. And it would be welcomed by many in the industry as long as borrowers are given sufficient time to ensure they are making the correct decision. This may result in longer lead times between recommendations and applications.
Bob Sturges is director of communications at Money Partners