I recently spoke on the Accord Mortgages Growth Series podcast and suggested that lenders should embrace technology to increase speed, efficiency and automation within the private rented sector.

The kind of technology we’re talking about requires a more joined-up approach, but as an industry we still appear to be lacking this to a certain extent. Now I’m certainly not backing away from this statement in any way, shape or form as technology is – and will continue to be – the major driving force of the modern mortgage market, although I’d also like to take this opportunity to play devil’s advocate and take a wider look at the relationship between lenders, technology and the intermediary market.

The vast majority of established lenders are working hard to update their technology and undertaking huge system transformations in terms of the way they generate, collate and transact business, not to mention how they interact with their customers and intermediary partners. The larger, more traditional high street lenders maintain a strong level of legacy issues when it comes to systems and internal processes, and we have to remember that it’s far more difficult to turn an oil tanker than it is a tugboat. In contrast, newer entrants on the block can hit the ground running with systems built specifically for the modern mortgage market and the more fleet of foot specialist lenders are often quick to recognise tech advances and act accordingly. So, whilst we need lenders to continually push tech boundaries – sooner rather than later – an element of patience is also required as any innovation and integration has to be right, rather than be rushed through and potentially create a series of further issues down the line.

Any successful adoption of technology should be built around strengthening the link between lenders, specialist distributors, advisers and the end borrower. More and more lenders are switching on to the benefits attached to integrating their systems with distribution partners to make the mortgage journey quicker and more efficient for all links in the chain. We are currently seeing a great deal of talk around application programming interfaces (APIs), and this remains a slow process for many. In essence, APIs help to deliver a solution which allows systems to communicate more efficiently and effectively. The aim being to streamline a variety of application processes and help intermediary firms to do more business whilst offering clients simplicity, clarity and peace of mind. Like many back-office systems, this is not necessarily the type of technology which should be grabbing so many headlines; it should sit in the background and simply do its job. However, these aren’t easy to build and integrate when it comes to a transaction as complex as a mortgage, as many lenders are finding out.

Moving forward, all businesses across the mortgage market need to focus on continuing their drive for automation and efficiency. As a ‘next gen’ mortgage club we are always looking to push the boundaries and adopt technology that we know will enable the very best outcomes for our clients and partners. A quality which many lenders are also currently striving for, but not yet delivering.

Ying Tan - 19.03.2020 | Posted in