Brokers should test lenders’ online application systems

Yet another major lender has launched an online mortgage application system with the usual promises of how much easier it will make our work.

In this case, its modest claims in-clude ‘smooth operation, slick design, polished navigation processes, faster delivery than ever and applications so quick you’ll be bowled over’.

Well, I tried the system to carry out a decision in principle and the first pro-blem is that it does not say ‘click here to do a DIP’ – in fact, DIPs aren’t even mentioned. You have to guess the route to take yourself. This is hardly slick.

Then you find that for an application involving a husband and wife you have to enter their address and phone information twice.

Thereafter, you’re unable to return to the first partner to remind yourself of their details – not a polished navigation process.

Then, once completed the DIP has to be referred, which the system says will result in a response within two hours. I’m still waiting 24 hours later.

Why can’t lenders learn two basic lessons. First, we don’t expect the earth but we do expect them to keep their pro-mises. If they can’t deliver them they shouldn’t make them.

And second, when they develop new online systems, they should spend time getting them tested by brokers, the people who have to get them to work, often with clients waiting impatiently.

Many brokers including me would be happy to give up a morning to test new systems so we don’t have to put up with the ambiguities, quirks, clums-iness and downright stupidity that we see at the moment.

Richard Ayres
The Mulberry Mortgage Company
Thames Ditton
Surrey