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The mortgage market must continue to innovate long after Covid – Beardmore

by: Clare Beardmore, head of broker relationships and propositions at Legal and General Mortgage Club
  • 03/12/2021
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The mortgage market must continue to innovate long after Covid – Beardmore
The coronavirus crisis has clearly presented challenges to the mortgage market, but overall, the response from lenders, advisers and other providers has been to show resilience.


Even in the face of record levels of demand, we have pulled together to help customers achieve their goals. 

Technology has, of course, been at the centre of our response. For advisers, increased use of technology has helped to make the process of completing everyday tasks, like sourcing, an altogether more efficient process.  

It has also helped advisers to remain connected to their customers, with Legal and General’s research uncovering that 75 per cent of advisers have seen an uplift in customers engaging with their digital resources – that is anything from video conferencing to digital document signing.  

It has also been so exciting to see the change in mentality towards tech usage. The industry has embraced innovation wherever possible over the last 18 months to persevere through these difficult times.  

It was as if before the crisis hit, technology was often snubbed by those letting ‘perfect’ stand in the way of ‘good’. But now our views have changed and we are actively looking at ways to achieve the seamless, customer-led journey that we need. 


Continuing the path of innovation 

Of course, there’s still more work to be done and yet more integration will be needed to iron out the remaining sticking points in the mortgage process.  

From my conversations with advisers, it is clear that rekeying is still a massive problem and they’re having to repeat simple tasks two, three or even four times. Through a fully integrated and end-to-end approach we can put an end to this, free up time for advisers, and make the journey more seamless. 

There may be a time where advisers don’t have to enter customer information even once – it is just made directly available by the customer. 

Interestingly, before the crisis began, any mention of a seamless journey would be scoffed at, but since the crisis it no longer feels like a distant vision. Through data sharing and tools like Open Banking, we are making strides forwards.  

When I spoke with Stuart Cheetham, co-founder and chief executive of MQube at Legal and General Mortgage Club’s Summer Conference, it was apparent that his team’s vision is to make the mortgage application journey immediate and real-time. By replacing application forms and decisions in principle (DIPs) with data exchanges, we can continue to provide the same level of advice, that puts customers needs at the heart of what we do, but in a fraction of the time.  

Of course, this must all reflect the needs of our customers.  

For most advisers, finding their client a well-priced mortgage that meets their needs, and sets them up for future success, is the absolute centre of their job. However, at present, inefficiencies and outdated processes are slowing them down, and that cannot last. 

That is because customers have increasingly high expectations, and the crisis has turbocharged that. 

With convenience now at the fore, it is time for the mortgage market to embrace digital innovation and open the door to a better approach. 

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