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Advisers needed despite technology

Wenda Field

The Mortgage Market Review will put a significant amount of work onto the plates of mortgage brokers with, among other requirements, the need for affordability checks by intermediaries and records of advice to be kept for three years.

Whether the buck stops with the provider or the intermediary as to whether a particular mortgage is appropriate to a particular client, it is going to require the advisers to be on their toes.

Sourcing mortgage products electronically will undoubtedly save a lot of time and effort but what of recording conversations, meeting compliance requirements and, most importantly, providing cutting-edge client service?

The use of a technology that can be customised to each intermediary’s very specific business needs is paramount to providing the type of service that clients require within the regulatory framework of the MMR. It is simply not feasible for mortgage brokers to hire additional staff to cover the extra work.

Technological developments are leading to non-spoken forms of contact between consumers and firms. For example, private messaging allows users to communicate in real time through mobile devices. Intermediaries can provide mortgage advice to consumers by these means and although their use is still nascent, the importance of these forms of communication for firms will continue to grow as the more technologically-savvy generation takes over and social media and smart devices become ever more popular.

While many financial products are bought through comparison sites, very few consumers are willing to commit to a mortgage through this medium. Consumers want the advice of an intermediary for one of life’s biggest decisions. So, while technology can make the process quicker and safer, it would seem that intermediaries are going to very busy long into the future.

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