The lender is one of the first to introduce quality metrics to the broker market, which aim to help give structure to the application process.
The lender hosted a quality focused event at Aveqia in London, bringing together 20 brokers from across the country to share information and hear feedback.
At the event Santander outlined how it had been analysing broker quality performance and explained what it was looking for to keep its application process operating well.
Santander monitors intermediaries’ performance across three measures:
- Business efficiency: The time between an application being received to an underwriter decision being made;
- Broker conduct: Measuring how brokers provide information to the bank and whether all the details required are included;
- Application conversion: The ratio of an application converting to an offer.
The quality programme has seen the lender reduce the typical time to offer to nine days and improve its case acceptance rate.
Speaking at the event, Santander Intermediaries head of intermediary distribution Paul Adams told brokers there were some key ways to ensure they got their cases through quickly and cleanly.
“Two of the biggest tips we can leave you with is around day one document upload and explanations for underwriters,” he said.
“Uploading your documents alongside the application makes a huge difference to the time in which we can process your case – 50% of the time that happens and 50% of the time it’s later on that day or in the next few days.
“Underwriters want to look at the case once, see everything’s there and go for it, but if you don’t upload the documents together with the case it slows everything down.
“So really keep that in mind for yourselves or your administrators – it’s one of the biggest tips I can give you for knocking a few days off the process.”
‘Bring the case to life’
Adams also explained how adding notes could help underwriters understand the case better and prevent questions being asked about it.
“Bring the case to life for an underwriter,” he continued, “it’s very black and white, facts and figures for them, they don’t know your customer like you do.
“The notes section is your chance to bring it to life, so if you have something to explain then explain it as that stops them asking you.
“Try and give the information before they ask you for it, for example the reason for capital raising,” he added.
Santander Intermediaries’ managing director Brad Fordham told Mortgage Solutions that the idea was born out of the mortgage market becoming increasingly busy and that getting quality time with intermediary leaders and brokers was challenging.
“The event was an opportunity for intermediaries to meet the Santander senior team and talk through their priorities and feedback,” he said.
“We want to continually look at the way we work with intermediaries. We see this initiative as being about how we raise standards across the industry – where an improved quality of business has a benefit for the lender but also the broker.
“If we are able to work together to improve conversion ratios and time to offer then this improves the service experience for the underlying customer – and we know that is the desired result for both intermediary and lender,” he added.
Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) chief executive Robert Sinclair also attended the event and said quality submissions from brokers are one way to avert more regulation.
“One of the things that keeps me awake at night is a regulator who does not understand our business and the challenges banks and firms have to keep the regulator on the right side of understanding that business. It’s all about that every time you do this right, it stops them pushing another button,” he said.
Sinclair also noted that technology was key to the mortgage market’s development and that brokers needed to build strong relationships with customers to help them understand the limits of technology.
Following the event, Fordham was quizzed by brokers about some of the issues currently affecting the mortgage market. He echoed Sinclair’s views about the introduction of more technology enabled processes.
“If you’re close to your customer they will value the advice you give and they will come back to you, but eventually some solutions will come out where some customers will prefer to go the execution-only route,” he said.
Fordham also acknowledged the lender was still tweaking its retention process to make it as smooth as possible.
“We’ve learnt a few things since we began the retention process at the start of the year,” he said. “We’ve changed some of the messaging customers are getting not to call us but to contact their broker. We will continue to refine the process, but we wanted to get it to market and wanted to begin paying you,” he added.