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Mortgage industry after Covid-19 crisis could look very different – Flavin

by: Paul Flavin, managing director of Mortgages.Online
  • 06/04/2020
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Mortgage industry after Covid-19 crisis could look very different – Flavin
Last week, AmTrust’s Patrick Bamford suggested the current Covid-19 upheaval could bring seismic moves, so what changes could the current situation usher in for the mortgage industry?


Surveyors may want to consider making any mortgage applications now as I don’t think they will be as busy when we come out of the other side of this.

Lenders are rapidly adopting desktop valuations to solve the requirement for a physical valuation, so those surveyors remaining will focus on the high loan to value and “unusual” stock.

I do not think this will have a massive impact for mortgage advisers because when was the last time you had a valuation decision overturned?


Complete overhaul

This small change may be the start of a complete overhaul of the house buying process. Another small change would be digital signatures as opposed by witnessed wet signatures, a pretty good idea at present.

What about clients having to have a maximum borrowing mortgage offer, subject to valuation, prior to being able to submit an offer on the property?

Let’s face it, what value is a decision in principle when they can be achieved without adequate proofs. House purchase offers would also be binding at this point rather than at exchange of contracts.

And to achieve this mortgage offer the client will be able to enter their basic details, add their bank account and sort code which, through the magic of Open Banking will pre-populate a factfind far more accurately than relying on client memory – confirming income and outgoing.


Tie-in data

This could tie in with data from the credit report and perhaps confirmation data from HMRC.

With all data in, an affordability calculator is run and matched to the favoured lenders’ best rates – choose the product, or preferably, have your selection confirmed by a mortgage broker, then hit submit.

All the gathered data is pulled through to the lender, a decision in principle (DIP) produced and any outstanding information added. If the DIP fails, choose another lender, again corroborated by a broker and the process repeats.

As previously mentioned, the desktop valuation is completed, offer issued and solicitor instructed, who also receives the verification of identification and address.


Accelerate digital processing

This is not pie in the sky dreaming and is not at the cutting edge of what’s already available.

Rather its introduction is being delayed by those who cannot or do not want to usher in the future quite as quickly.

Let’s face it the banking industry cannot agree a standard application form so embracing the technology already developed and available is going to take time.

But how much time do they have?

The current situation is making the likes of Amazon even more powerful. Imagine Amazon successfully applied for a banking licence.

I doubt its application process would resemble what we’re currently accepting. And that’s the rub.

We’re in a world where customer experience is set by the technology giants, yet when it comes to a mortgage application or house buying, we’re proud to boast we now no longer use fax machines.

In response to my own question, I don’t know what the mortgage world will look like post Covid-19 but I’m pretty sure that the pandemic will act as an accelerant for the introduction of greater digital processing and the adoption of technologies already widespread in other industries.


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