Call to unite fractured mortgage market to help borrowers

Quicker mortgage processing is being held up by the lack of interconnectivity between lenders, it has been claimed.

Henry Woodcock, the principal mortgage consultant at Iress, said the company’s latest mortgage efficiency survey found cases going to offer in 10 days or less were down 37 per cent on pre-Mortgage Market Review levels.

Before MMR 51 per cent of offers were issued in less than 14 days but the Iress survey found this is now 46 per cent.

He said: “A lot of lenders have their own systems. It is like going to a hotel in Prague and finding your plug doesn’t fit.

“There is no universal panacea because different lenders want different data. It is going to come, but it will take a step by step approach.

“As soon as you get medium to large lenders doing it, then the rest of the market will follow.”

Mr Woodcock said that in South Africa brokers submit mortgage applications to a central system and lenders bid for it, but he said lenders in the UK felt they had enough products to compete without this.

The survey was carried out on 18 lenders, representing 68 per cent of gross mortgage lending in 2015.

It also found 82 per cent of mortgages were introduced by intermediaries, up from 78 per cent in 2015 and 56 per cent in 2014.

Meanwhile mobile quotes and decisions in principle rose by 185 per cent, but Mr Woodcock said these started from a very low base.

But he said increasing numbers of lenders were investing in direct-to-consumer services so brokers should not be complacent.

He added that the Financial Conduct Authority should clarify the rules surrounding advice to help innovation.

Mr Woodcock said: “At the moment you cannot really ask your lender any questions because as soon as you start asking questions you have to go through an advised process.”

He said there was a need for some “leeway” on this.

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