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Conference tackles the big issues

Delegates learnt the best way to balance high demand with quality customer service at last week&#39s Mortgage Strategy on Best Practice in Mortgage Processing conference. Some of the industry&#39s best-known names gave their view on subjects as diverse as improving broker/lender communication and the role of technology. Opening the two-day event last Monday at London&#39s SAS Radisson Hotel, Lynne Peacock, chief executive officer of The Woolwich, promised broker and lender delegates an educational schedule they could apply to their own business. She told the conference: “Over the next two days, we will hear from a range of speakers, who will take us through some of the biggest issues facing mortgage processing across the industry.” Richard Hearn, sales and service director of Britannic Money warned delegates that poor service is proven to halve the value of a business. Quoting figures from the Institute of Customer Service, Hearn revealed average profits per employee in &#39good service&#39 businesses are £72,300 – more than double the £30,500 recorded for &#39poor service&#39 business. Other data shows that some 68% of customer attrition is due to a company&#39s “perceived indifference”. Hearn told delegates: “The UK mortgage market is the most mature in the world. Out of products, price and service, service has the biggest gap between customer expectation and delivery.” Meanwhile, Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at Charcol, told the floor that reform of the Data Protection Act could speed up the homebuying process for the benefit of lenders, brokers and borrowers. He said: “One area where the government could improve the DPA is to give brokers authority to get credit information from lenders.” After chairing the first day&#39s events, Peacock handed over to Adrian Coles, director-general of The Building Societies Association for Tuesday&#39s concluding session.


FSA clamps down on &#39rogue&#39 broker firms

The Financial Services Authority has acted to stop three firms of financial advisers from carrying on any activities regulated by the FSA.The firms – County Down-based Gallagher & Company, Gwent-based Allan Austin Investment Services (AAIS), and Bradford-based Midgley&#39s Insurance Mortgage & Pensions (MIMP) – have all been stripped of FSA authorisation after the financial regulator […]

Guardian/PAA deal means Unlimited leads

Professional Adviser Alliance members are now able to receive leads from 450,000 Guardian Unlimited has reached an agreement with The Guardian&#39s website, Guardian Unlimited, to provide mortgage, credit card and loan channels exclusively on Money Unlimited, the dedicated money section of the site.Money Unlimited receives 450,000 visitors a month. These will be able to […]

American beauty

Here&#39s a good one. Which is easier: snagging tickets to a show on the current Rolling Stones tour (usually sold out) or getting an audience with an American loan officer to discuss refinancing [remortgaging] a home mortgage? If you answered the Stones tour then you probably know more about the US mortgage market than you […]

Treat outsourced staff as if they were your own

Kensington Mortgage Company attributes much of its success to its outsourcing arrangement with Homeloan Management.Speaking at the Mortgage Strategy Best Practice in Mortgage Processing conference last week, KMC chief executive John Maltby said the result of this successful seven-year relationship had been 50% or more annual growth for the past five years.But he added: “While […]

What the huge rebound in sterling means for the UK's inflation outlook

The world’s strongest currency in November was not the US dollar, despite the greenback rallying 3.5% against the euro, 8.7% against the Japanese yen and over 8.6% versus the Mexican peso and the Turkish lira up to yesterday’s close. The strongest currency last month was sterling, which had strengthened 2.2% versus even the mighty US […]


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